Education is not limited to just the classroom. Lately in Moore County, it’s occurring house to house and trash can to trash can. Local towns are putting a massive effort forward to let homeowners know what they can — and more importantly, can’t — discard in their recycling bins.

“Education is a huge part of the puzzle now,” said Mel Gilles, with the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, who met with local officials this past week to discuss recycling concerns. “Contamination is driving recycling costs up.”

And so most of those things we used to recycle are no longer good to go. Improving the stream of recyclables is worth thousands of dollars that local towns might not have to pay out in this climate of soaring prices for dumping recyclables.

Our job as consumers, now, is to take a few minutes to familiarize ourselves with the new do’s and don’ts of recycling. A little awareness on our parts can save time, money and hassle.

(1) comment

Kent Misegades

What is the underlying premise justifying recycling? Lack of space for landfills? Hardly. The environment will collapse if one plastic bottle, can or glass container is returned to the ground where it originated? Hardly. Or that communities jumped into recycling at a time when there was a quick buck to be made, only to have the unstable economics of recycling result in net costs to taxpayers? Like most money-losing activities pursued by government, the only real solution is abstinence and free markets. Otherwise governments are throwing our good money after bad. If it came out of their own pockets they'd never had pursued recycling in the first place.

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