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Orange County continues to offer mulch for sale at the landfill/disposal center on Eubanks Road at half price of only $12.50 per three cubic yard scoop.  We are now also selling compost for $30 per cubic yard. We load, you tarp. Delivery of mulch or compost in any quantity is available for $50 within 10 miles of the landfill or $75 if 11-20 miles. Call ahead to (919) 968-2788 to make delivery arrangements. 

Labor Day Schedule

For the Labor Day Holiday, Monday September 7, County Solid Waste offices, landfill and waste and recycling centers will all be closed. Curbside recycling collection will be as usual, carts out by 7am. 

Curbside recycling is up 16 percent total (urban plus rural) and apartment recycling is up 7 percent from April to June during the COVID pandemic, compared to the same period last year. Commercial recycling is down 63 percent. These changes are understandable since people are spending more time at home and consuming more there, while businesses are closed or offering limited service and /or hours. Recycling at the waste and recycling staffed centers is down 23 percent while collection from unstaffed recycling drop-off sites is up 5 percent. 

Illegal Dumping at Recycling Sites

Orange County Solid Waste staff continues to receive weekly complaints from field staff about improper use and illegal dumping at the unstaffed recycling drop-off sites, especially those at Cedar Falls Park in Chapel Hill and Hampton Pointe Shopping Center behind Home Depot in Hillsborough. 

The two biggest problems are people leaving garbage on the ground and not breaking down cardboard boxes. Also reported are the dumping of electronics and furniture, which Orange County residents may take to the Waste and Recycling Centers at no charge, but should NOT be left at the unstaffed sites. Currently, the County issues warning letters but penalties for illegal dumping or littering may be levied in the future on those who are repeat offenders. We encourage anyone who feels comfortable doing so to report a license plate number of illegal dumpers to our office by emailing: or calling (919) 968-2788.  

To keep these sites functioning, Orange County Solid Waste strongly requests that all site users follow the rules: Do not leave any form of waste on the ground or in the recycling containers and flatten cardboard boxes. Unstaffed drop-off sites remain a key component of the County’s recycling program, still receiving over 1,500 tons of recyclables last year or over 10% of the conventional recyclables  collected. 

How I Reduced Waste at My Family Reunion

This year, I was inspired to reduce the waste generated at my mini family reunion. In previous years I had always made sure that my family was recycling properly, but never made waste reduction efforts beyond that. When I brought up the idea of composting, everyone was on board! Most of them were familiar with the idea of composting, even if they didn’t practice it in their homes. My favorite part was teaching some of my younger cousins about composting and why it’s beneficial for our environment. 

We used a 5-gallon bucket to collect our food scraps. By the end of the week my family filled two 5-gallon buckets. Since I left the family reunion early, my dad delivered one of the compost-filled buckets to my house for my backyard composting. The other bucket went home with my uncle who keeps chickens and also does backyard composting. 

In addition to composting, my dad and I were able to convince the owner of the vacation home we rented to request a recycling cart for his house!  With no cart at the house this year, we collected all of our recycling and took it to a nearby public drop off site.  I definitely left the reunion this year with a big smile on my face. — By Kyra Levau

Glass On The Side (GOTS) Expands to Durham County Convenience Center Sites

Neighboring Durham County has now established its Glass On The Side (“GOTS”) recycling roll-off containers at 3 of its 4 convenience centers as part of the regional effort to separate glass for more effective recycling. Their containers were refurbished using a regional grant from the national Glass Recycling Coalition, a consortium of glass bottle producers, processors and end-users formed last year to increase glass recycling nationally. Durham County site attendants are educating users and the County has recently sent out information to all rural households in Durham County about the new program.

The GOTS program is also scheduled to expand to Orange County’s four unstaffed recycling drop off sites in September. Watch for containers at those sites at Cedar Falls Park, Hampton Pointe (behind Home Depot in Hillsborough), Meadowmont behind Harris Teeter and University Place in Chapel Hill. Only glass bottles and jars should be placed in those specially marked black roll-off dumpsters. 

Recent recycling questions from the public 

Q1. One of the renters at our condo complex stuffed his styrofoam into recycling carts I took it out and put it in the trunk of my car. Does recycling take it? I didn’t think so, but also wonder if it should be going to a landfill?

A1: There is no local market for Styrofoam (technical name Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) resin code #6) or any other forms of polystyrene (like Red Solo cups) so put it in the trash destined for the landfill. 

Q2. I broke a dimmable household LED light bulb, the kind that can substitute for a regular incandescent 60-Watt bulb. Can I just throw the pieces out with the regular trash, or is there is some special way I need to dispose of it? 

A2: Throw broken LEDs out with the regular trash. Orange County residential users should continue to take any fluorescent bulbs to Hazardous Household Waste Centers.  Lowes Home Improvement and Home Depot stores also offer fluorescent bulb recycling. 

New Proposed State Solid Waste Legislation

Now that the political season has begun in earnest, a solid waste bill is being considered in North Carolina, requiring that all food waste generators who average over two tons per week of food waste be required to divert that from the trash, will be introduced in the General Assembly. Verla Insko, one of Orange County’s State House Representatives (Dist. 56) is a co-sponsor. Here’s a link to the current draft bill language

Can’t get enough “Trash Talk”? Check us out on WHUP radio 104.7FM or streaming live the second Tuesday of each month on the 3-D News between 8:20am and 8:45am with 3-D News host Mr. B.     

Next show: September 8.