Officials confront failed recycling efforts

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In a brief ceremony Monday night, Ed Riggs Jr. (left) accepts the Chairman’s gavel for 2018 from Paul Delamar III who has led the Pamlico County Commission over the past year.

BAYBORO – Elected officials learned Monday night that Pamlico County’s unattended recycling bins are being used as free dumping grounds, where rotting garbage and even adult diapers contaminate entire loads of otherwise legitimate recyclable materials.

At least in Pamlico County, forget those warm, fuzzy images of recyclables being miraculously transformed into beneficial end products. WRONG! Brace yourself, Recycling Advocates!! The percentage of bin contents being diverted to a sprawling regional landfill is STAGGERING.

According to an exhaustive report prepared by an all-volunteer advisory committee, “60 percent (of materials in our recycling bins) enters a landfill and the county pays approximately $40,000 annually in tipping fees for its disposal.”


In addition to this intentional contamination, one of the committee members, Jayne Stasser, told the County Commissioners that even diligent, well-meaning recyclers are inadvertently contributing to the problem.

“Don’t put any type of plastic bags into those bins,” urged Stasser, stressing that commonly used trash bags used to collect and carry recyclable materials to the bins cannot – under any circumstance – be deposited along with otherwise OK items.

“You’ve got to empty those bags into the bins, then take the plastic bags to Food Lion or somewhere else for proper recycling. When we see a plastic garbage bag in there, the recycling people automatically assume it is household waste.”

The committee proffered Option A and Option B plans to hopefully remedy the county’s failed recycling efforts. Both plans are expected to cost more every year than is currently being spent. More on those alternatives – which are far from being adopted – in future issues of this newspaper.


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