The Daily Southerner
Going green is a priority for the Town of Tarboro. Last week, the town received a public recycling facility to help reduce waste. The new receptacle is at the public works complex at 506 Dowd St. and is available to town residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It gives us a place for people to be able to bring their recycling to a local point,” said Troy Lewis, the town’s public works director. “It also has that message, ‘Tarboro wants to encourage people to recycle.’”
Lewis saw the need for the recycling receptacle for businesses and residents of apartment complexes who might not have curbside recycling pick-up, so he applied for a $10,000 community waste reduction and recycling grant through the North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance & Outreach Solid Waste Management Trust Fund. The town received the grant and provided the additional funding, about $3,000, necessary for the facility.
“The more we get recycled, the less goes into the landfill,” Lewis said. “It’s real important for us to reduce our waste stream.”
The recycling receptacle bears local artwork – the Col. Lewis Wilson monument and the Wyatt Fountain, both located on the Town Common, and the slogan “Take Time Out for Recycling.”
“It’s part of our ‘Take Time Out’ marketing series,’” Lewis said. The town has several signs based around that theme, among them a “Take Time Out for Homeruns” sign on U.S. Highway 258 and a “Take Time Out for History” sign on U.S. Highway 64. ElectiCities’ design team did the artwork on the recycling receptacle as part of the town’s membership as a public power community.
No sorting is necessary at the recycling facility. Items that can be recycled are newspapers, plastic bottles, green, clear and brown glass, and aluminum and steel cans. Once the recycling trailer gets full, the items are taken to a facility in Greenville for sorting. The trailer is mobile, said Lewis, giving public works staff the ability to take it out to events such as the Happening on the Common to spread the message about recycling.
“We’re seeing more and more people start recycling. I think people see the benefit of it,” said Lewis, estimating between 20 and 25 percent of town residents currently recycle.
“Environment efforts,” such as recycling, is one of the judging criteria for a competition called America in Bloom (AIB), which the town is entering for the second time this year in an effort to beautify Tarboro through community involvement.
“We want to do everything we can to get people to increase their recycling and that was one of the things that the judges mentioned [last year] – increase your recycling rate,” said Connie Sherrill, co-chair of the town’s AIB delegation.
“One thing that we hear a lot is we have a clean town, and we take a lot of pride in that,” Lewis said. He noted that Tarboro has twice weekly garbage pickup as opposed to once a week like many towns because the town has noticed that residents see the importance of maintaining the town’s neat appearance.
Lewis also pinpointed a state law that went into effect in October 2009, which bans throwing away plastic bottles, as one of the reasons for the increase in the number of people recycling.
To reach the town’s new recycling facility from Wilson Street, take a left into the driveway just before the Shell Station at the corner of Wilson Street and Western Boulevard.