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County simplifies recycling

A new compactor system at the county recycling center will mean quicker and easier recycling, eliminating the need for most sorting.

Beginning Saturday, the recycling center at the county landfill will go to a single stream system from the old three-stream system that segregated cardboard, mixed paper and cans, plastic and glass. The new process will only require the sorting of glass from all other recyclables, which will save time and increase convenience during visits to the center.

In June Henderson County Solid Waste received two grants totaling $45,500 from the NC DEQ Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) to install compactors to compress recyclable material at the Convenience Center and near the Transfer Station for curbside recycling collected by haulers. These grants will increase collection and operational efficiencies in the county’s recycling programs and also provide for education materials and improved signage. The compactors will be fully installed by mid-fall this year.

Users will now be able to combine containers and cartons made of plastic, aluminum, steel, or paper into the same collection bins with newspaper, mixed paper, and cardboard. There will be six 40-yard containers converted to accommodate this mixed stream. To ensure that collected items are high quality, users should clean food residue from containers, flatten cardboard, and never deposit plastic bags or household waste into the collection bins. It is acceptable to leave labels and plastic tops on food or drink containers.

Glass containers and bottles must be dumped into two identified collection bins as a stand-alone item at the Convenience Center. Users should remove metal lids or plastic caps and place those small items in the single stream bins with other non-glass materials.