TAKE 5: City sees doubling of recycled materials

Jan. 04, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

This week, we Take 5 with Larry Craig, superintendent of Sanitation & Solid Waste Services at the City of Sanford. During Craig’s 22-year tenure at the city, he introduced and recently improved the recycling program. He has also cultivated and expanded the city’s certified compost facility.

This time last year, the City of Sanford distributed new blue 96-gallon recycling carts. What impact have those carts made this year?

The new recycling program has been extremely effective. With the new, large carts, residents were able to double the amount of materials recycled in 2013 versus previous years. And participation soared from 38 percent in 2012 to 95 percent in 2013.

These high numbers mean that we’re reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and being smarter about making materials available for reuse through the recycling program.

Waste Industries stated during the biding process that they intended to build a transfer station in Sanford. What’s the status on that plan?

At this point, Waste Industries has purchased land at 3290 McDonald Drive and secured a building permit. We anticipate that the transfer station will be operational by early April 2014.

What are some of the challenges facing the city of Sanford’s trash and recycling collection, and how can residents help?

We hear two main complaints about collection: carts are being filled to overflowing, and recycling carts are being used for trash overflow.

There are many ways that residents can help. For instance, they can ensure that their carts are at the curb on their scheduled collection day for pickup. Any trash that will not fit in their brown cart should not be brought to the curb, as it will not be picked up.

As for recycling, the label on lid of the blue recycling cart clearly indicates what can be recycled. Residents should only put those items in their blue carts, and the items should not be bagged.

Residents should also remember not to mix trash in with the leaves or limbs placed on their curbs. When trash gets mixed in with the leaves or limbs, the truck cannot pick them up. Also remember that limbs should be small yard debris, not trees you’ve cut down.

If someone isn’t sure about their individual pickup time, where can they go to find the information?

Collection schedules are posted on the city’s website at www.sanfordnc.net. You can find them in the “General Services” department under “Sanitation Services.” Or call the city’s Service Center at (919) 775-8247.

What’s the best way for residents to report problems with their recycling or trash pickup?

Residents who don’t have Internet access or have additional questions about their collection can call the Service Center. You can also call the Service Center to set up service.

If residents need immediate assistance with their collection, such as dispatching a driver who missed a cart, they should call Waste Industries directly at (866) 423-4122 and choose the “Residential Service” option.