Q. Are inmates going through our recycled papers, i.e. mail and personal things that may end up in recycling, or just cans, bottles and newspapers?
A. The New Hanover County Environmental Services department uses the inmate labor from the county jail for two programs, according to department director Joe Suleyman.
“One is litter pickup at the county landfill and the other is in plastics recycling sorting. Plastics are sorted to remove contamination and then separated by types,” Suleyman said. “In both areas, inmates are overseen by a deputy sheriff at all times.”
Recycling is sorted on a hopper-fed elevated conveyor by hand. Contaminants are pulled off the conveyor and dropped into a chute. Next, plastics are separated out by type, he said.
Sgt. Jerry Brewer of the sheriff’s office said this is just latest program Sheriff Ed McMahon has started for inmates.
“Sheriff McMahon is constantly challenging his staff to come up with new and innovating ideas to save money and utilize inmates,” Brewer said. “All of our programs are 100 percent voluntary by the inmates and they have to meet certain criteria to be eligible.”
Date posted: October 2, 2013
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