Greenville’s anti-contamination recycling campaign aims to educate community


This anti-contamination campaign is part of a grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to educate the public about items that cannot be placed in recycling containers. 

The informational campaign is aiming to put a stop to recycling contamination in the community.

The city is identifying the twelve most common contaminants that are found in recycling containers.

This includes Styrofoam, electronics or batteries, food waste, diapers, tangles, (cords, hoses, wires) plastic wrap, bubble wrap or plastic bags, greasy food containers, clothing or textiles, medical waste, glass, mirrors, ceramics, yard waste and paper towels, napkins, straws and to-go cups.

There will be new city-branded signage placed at recycling centers in the city to illustrate what contaminants are prohibited from being placed in recycling carts. 

“Not only can it be dangerous for the people who are doing some manual separation at east Carolina vocational center but things like plastic bags, plastic grocery bags sometimes get stuck in the conveyor belt which has to be stopped and fixed so there’s monetary issues there are time issues cause that can slow down production greatly,” says Holly Parrott, the recycling coordinator in Greenville.

One ECU student is looking forward to the new campaign. 

“I think that’s really great because I definitely think people need to be educated more on what they can and can’t recycle because I know if you recycle something that you can’t um it kind of ruins everything,” Mikayla Stoudt says.

While some believe there  should be more recycling bins around the city others disagree. “I’ve been living here for three years and pretty much I see them, I don’t know how often people fill up the recycling bins but I think there’s a good bit of bins,” says Andrew Sbardella.

The city will eventually move to a cart-tagging system that will continue to educate the public about items that cannot be recycled.

Parrott says she wants people to know is that there are restrictions here in the Greenville Pitt County market and to pay attention to the educational materials to help the community do the right thing and clean up recycling.

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