Say ‘goodbye’ to County’s unattended recycling bins

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To combat illicit dumping, officials plan upgrades

Recycling is not a pretty sight in Pamlico County, nor is it effective.

BAYBORO — In recent years, Pamlico County’s recycling bins have been abused by miscreants who persist in using the sites as drop-off locations for regular household garbage. Local officials refer to the practice as ‘contamination’ of a recycling bin — which means the entire contents end up heading to the Tuscarora landfill,
instead being miraculously transformed into beneficial end products!

Over the past year, an appointed committee has been studying various alternatives, and Tuesday night during a budget workshop four different options hit the fan — including an incredibly costly ‘curbside collection’ proposal that had a minus-zero chance in this tight budget year.

“I think the worst option is to keep the status quo,” said County Commission chairman Ed Riggs, Jr., later adding: “I’ve never said this in public before, but I think we should just take down all of the ‘recycling signs’ and put the ‘trash’ signs up!”


The tenor of the discussion was clear. Most of these board members were intent on doing something, because recycling efforts in Pamlico County have become a joke — and without the laughs.

“We’re just not really recycling,” said Commissioner Missy Baskervill. “Our problem is more of a garbage problem than it is a recycling problem.”

The vote was 6 to 1 (Commissioner Paul Delamar III opposed) to allocate an extra $48,000 over the next fiscal year. The goal is to establish four or five locations, staffed with part-time attendants — fenced, secure areas open on a rotating schedule to accept only legitimate recyclable materials.

Tentative plans call for sort of a ‘four-corners’ approach, with sites in Arapahoe, Oriental, Reelsboro and Vandemere, hopefully meant to cover most of the county.

“This way what we collect will be ‘true’ recyclables,” said Riggs.

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