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CoastLine: Recycling and Solid Waste Management in New Hanover & Brunswick Counties

Compressed aluminum cans

How often have you wondered whether to toss a soda bottle into the recycling bin with or without the cap?  Do you rinse out food containers before you recycle them?  And what do you do with all those plastic grocery bags?

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore whether there are clear answers to those questions – and how much it depends on which side of the river you call home. 

But we’re also going to take a deeper look at the future of solid waste management in the region. 

New Hanover County recently announced the expansion of its landfill by more than 273 acres.  Slightly more than a third of that land – 90 acres – is meant for waste disposal.  The other two-thirds will serve other purposes:  habitat restoration, buffer zones, soil borrow pit operations.  The expansion, according to New Hanover County officials, translates to about 60 additional years of use. 

Brunswick County ranks third in the state out of 100 counties in total public recycling per capita.  That county out-sources its recycling operation to Waste Industries, a privately-owned company.   Brunswick County also undertakes special projects each year funded by grants.  We’ll find out what’s on the docket for this year and how having an annual focus helps the county manage its solid waste. 

In-studio guests:

Micki Bozeman, Coordinator, Brunswick County Solid Waste & Recycling

Joe Suleyman, Director, New Hanover County Department of Environmental Management

Listen to Segment 1 here.

Listen to Segment 2 here.

Listen to Segment 3 here.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.