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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Carter panel pleased with recycling efforts

July 6th, 2011 8:41 pm by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON —The Carter County Commission’s Landfill Committee is pleased with the early results of the new plastics recycling point at the Carter County Recycling Center in the Cherokee Industrial Park.
Committee member Charles VonCannon said the public response has been good for the effort which began last month without much fanfare or publicity. He said the public still needs to be educated on what plastics can be recycled.
VonCannon said there is a triangular recycling symbol on every plastic container with a number inside from 1 to 12. He said the county can only recycle plastic that has a 1 or 2 inside the symbol.
Even with those restrictions, VonCannon said he was surprised at how many items qualified for recycling. In a survey conducted of trash produced over the weekend, VonCannon said he was gratified to know that oil containers, insecticides and herbicide containers all carry the numeral 2 and could be accepted for recycling.
Some committee members asked whether there were incentives for the public to support the plastic recycling program. Landfill Manager Benny Lyons said the incentive was paying less for disposing of household garbage.
He said it costs $1 per bag for county residents to dispose of garbage at the landfill or convenience stations in Roan Mountain and Elk Mills. By not placing plastic containers in the household garbage bags and instead placing them in the free recycling bins, the citizens were paying less for disposing of the rest of their garbage.
The question of where the recycling station will be at the landfill was not answered. Mayor Leon Humphrey prefers a hillside next to the scale house. Lyons said that area is congested and preferred a location above the transfer station. Humphrey said that area was less visible to people bringing household garbage to the landfill.
The committee will tour the new station at the recycling center and the proposed locations in the landfill at its next meeting.

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