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Has the city considered requiring residents to recycle?

Julian March
StarNews
Workers from the company Labor Ready unload new recycling bins at the City of Wilmington Operations Center Complex on Nov. 12, 2012. StarNews file photo

Workers from the company Labor Ready unload new recycling bins at the City of Wilmington Operations Center Complex on Nov. 12, 2012. StarNews file photo

Q. Traveling around Wilmington it appears that only about half the residents have recycling bins — therefore I assume the rest are not participating. Given the problems at the landfill and ecological benefits of recycling, would it be possible for the city to make recycling mandatory?

A. Wilmington residents are required to sign up for city trash service, said Richard King, the city’s public services director.

That’s unless a customer wants a service the city doesn’t provide, King said. (Examples include apartment complexes, which may opt for dumpsters instead of roll out carts, or a private neighborhood such as Landfall with backdoor service.)

Recycling is free for all city trash customers, though customers have to sign up to get a recycling cart. More than 80 percent of trash customers have recycling carts, King said.

In the past, city staff have raised the possibility of providing a recycling cart to every trash customer.

“We’ve talked about that but we haven’t pursued it,” King said.

The city would have to pay for the extra carts with no guarantee those customers would recycle, King said.

Under the current voluntary program, people are showing initiative that they at least plan to recycle, he said.

Some cities have mandatory recycling rules. Seattle, for example, will not pick up trash filled with recyclables. Wilmington has not discussed implementing similar rules.

To sign up for recycling, call 910-341-7875.

RELATED LINKS:

The city first said recycling customers will get a blue cart, but now you have to sign up. Did they run out?

Why does the city pick up recycling at single-family homes, but not apartment complexes?

User-contributed question by:
Leslie Posey

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One Response to “ Has the city considered requiring residents to recycle?”

  1. On June 3, 2015 at 9:30 am John McMahon wrote:

    There is a state law that makes it illegal to dispose of certain recyclable material in the landfill… however it’s essentially unenforceable until all municipalities provide recycling collection.



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