It has been more than a month since new state laws governing recycling took effect, but it’s unclear if these laws are working in some rural communities.
Beginning October first, North Carolina residents were required to recycle items like plastic bottles, wooden pallets, and oil filters. But its not so easy for everybody to recycle.
“Well, I think some are. But I don’t know how you can enforce the regulations, because you don’t have the ability or the means to recycle unless you do get to a center,” said Archie Cribb of Whiteville.
Cribb visits a recycling center in Whiteville two to three times per week, but the drop off sites are few and far between, with only six in Columbus County.
“I think its good to recycle. But I think having a law its going to be tough to enforce it unless you had more provisions,” Cribb said.
The biggest change is that you cannot throw away plastic bottles anymore. Instead you need to bring them to the recycling center, where they have a whole new container just for that purpose.
The numbers of bottles in the bins are up, but it’s clear to employees that not everybody is recycling. They say its tough to expect people to travel far away from home to get to the centers and follow the rules.
Folks like Archie Cribb say there could be a better way. “Well I think if, and I know it would be expensive to get the infrastructure, but if they had the ability for you to separate it out for them to pick it up out in the country I think that would help, but of course it would be expensive.”
Meaning there’s still room for improvement.
Recycling officials say 80 plastic bottles are disposed of every second in the state of North Carolina.
The new rules are aiming to reduce this number to help the environment and save valuable landfill space.
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