NewsOur recycled plastics do get recycled - if we are careful to recycle only the allowed items.

Here in Wake County, the answer is “Our plastics get recycled locally, creating new products” – if we remember to recycle only what we know is allowed.

The News and Observer recently did a series of stories on recycling in Raleigh and in Wake County.  Below are links to the articles and a fabulous Q&A video that answered many of my questions.  Thank you, @newsobserver and @kcataudella, for some great local investigative journalism.

But at CUCC it is worth noting that we have more options than most people in Wake County for some of those eight hard-to-recycle items, options brought to you by Justice in a Changing Climate.

Food scraps and dirty pizza boxes:  You don’t have to drive your compost to a Wake County Convenience Center.  Just bring it to the rolling bin in the CUCC courtyard.  And Aeri, our aerobic bacteria, loves to munch on dirty pizza boxes.  Just remember to dispose of the “Barbie table” in the landfill trash.

Florescent light bulbs (curly or straight) and household batteries: Hand them to Jane or Gary Smith who will make a periodic run to the collection site for everyone at CUCC.  Please put a piece of tape on the ends of Lithium Hydride batteries (they can start fires otherwise). Remember to hand deliver bulbs and batteries; they are hazardous so we don’t want them sitting around the building.

PRO TIP FROM GERI BOWEN  If you have computer equipment that is still in good shape, take it to the Kramden Institute which recycles computers and computer accessories for students.  Talk to Geri if you have any questions and she’ll tell you about the good experience she had dropping off equipment there.  Reusing is even better than recycling!

News and Observer resources

Is recycling worth it? We dove into recycling in Raleigh and this is what we learned” – all about what happens to our the plastics in our Raleigh recycle bins [“About 80% of the materials brought to Sonoco are recycled, McDonald said. (The other approximately 20% of items should have never been sent to the facility in the first place, such as food waste and textiles.”)  This article also has links to recycling information for adjacent counties.

7 ways we’re recycling wrong in Raleigh (and how to correct it)”  These are the seven things we toss in our (and CUCC’s) recycling bins that then have to be landfilled (at additional cost = taxes).  This is where CUCC’s extra options can make your life much easier!

8 hard-to-recycle items and what to do with them in the Raleigh or Durham areas” – a slightly different take on where you can recycle things that cannot go in your (and CUCC’s) curbside recycling bin

It’s against the law to throw plastic bottles (& other items) in the trash in NC” – The story includes a video showing how our plastic bottles are reused here in NC.  But we don’t need plastic bottles at CUCC – we now have an accessible water bottle filler!  Bring your own container and fill ‘er up.

From the curbside bin to a brand new item: We tracked Raleigh’s recycling process” – Follow the journey of glass and plastic bottles from your recycling bin to a new product.

Sticky note reminders from Jane

Click on each sticky to see it enlarged.

Printable version for your refrigerator

Story compiled by Jane Smith with help from Geri Bowen for Justice in a Changing Climate