Watching Our Wasteline: Shred-A-Thons, oyster shells and waste diversion successes

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 09:39 AM

In conjunction with the Chapel Hill Police Department and sponsorship of the Sustainable Community Foundation and the Local Government Federal Credit Union, Orange County Solid Waste Management held two shredding events for confidential paper collection in October. The Shred-A-Thon at University Mall on Oct. 10 saw an estimated 600 participants bring 28,860 pounds of paper, and Oct. 12 the site in Hillsborough drew another estimated 500 who brought 15,000 pounds more paper.

Orange County Solid Waste also thanks the Hillsborough Police Department for major assistance at the Hillsborough event and University Mall for again generously providing their parking lot and staff support.  
Mario and Nancy Ciasulli of Hillsborough said in an email to Orange County, “… thanks to you and the people who operated the Shred-A-Thon. My wife and I were wondering what we would do with all the old papers, canceled checks with our little one-sheet-at-a-time shredder. … What a great feeling to have this off our chest.”
The next Shred-A-thons are slated for April 2014. Watch for the dates.

Recycling assistance
There was great demand for recycling assistance this fall at Orange County special events, large and small. Thanks go to the organizers of the Ruritan Rodeo in Efland, Occoneechee Car Show in Hillsborough, Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon at Meadowmont and the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools Walk for Education Celebration.  These events requested recycling bins early, organized their own teams of recycling volunteers, and diverted significant amounts of recyclable materials! You can too. Call us.
Carrboro was clean and pristine after the Carrboro Music Festival Sept. 29, thanks to roving recyclers and litter patrol volunteers. Town Manager, David Andrews said, “We appreciated all that you and [volunteers] did to make this year’s festival fun, safe and smooth.” More than 1,100  pounds -- or an estimated 9,000 bottles and cans -- were recycled.
For the first time, Chapel Hill Festifall organizers planned comprehensive composting and food waste diversion in addition to the usual bottle and can collection. Teams of volunteers staffed six trash sorting stations. The food was so good that not much was wasted; mostly food soiled paper was collected for composting. Along with that, about 100 pounds of paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and foil were recycled. Chapel Hill Public Works reduced their event trash cans by half.
TerraVita, always the belle of the sustainable ball, managed 98 percent waste diversion again this year.  This deluxe food and beverage tasting event at Southern Village Oct. 12 hosted more than 700 participants, chefs and crew yet discarded only 20 pounds of waste while 560 pounds of food and wet paper waste were collected for composting and 300 pounds of metal foil and glass and plastic bottles were recycled.
Oct. 7- 8, two big dump trucks sent by North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries carried more than 133,000 oyster shells weighing 33 tons back to the coast from the stockpile accumulated at the Orange County Landfill over the past year. The shells are used to replenish the oyster beds.
Most of the shells came from two Orange County restaurants, Huey’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Mebane and Squids Oyster Bar in Chapel Hill. Gary Huey, owner of Huey’s Restaurant said, “We are trying to help replenish the oyster population for North Carolina. We will keep voluntarily doing it and the elimination of the tax credit will not stop us. We do not get a lot of oysters from North Carolina now and hope this will help some.” 
Greg Overbeck, co-owner and Marketing Director of the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group which includes Squids added, “We have made a commitment to sustainable practices and we will continue.  We truly appreciate that Orange County Landfill takes part and provides space for us to bring the shells.”
The following businesses have been added to Orange County’s commercial recycling route in the past three months: Montessori Day School, Urban Fringe Salon, Vapor Girl, The Farmhouse Restaurant, Fleet Feet Corporate Offices, ACR Supply Co. and the United States Post Office 179 E. Franklin Street.