Our View: Less trash in North Carolina

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 10:21 AM

A report issued last week by the North Carolina Division of Waste Management indicated that the state is producing less trash over a span of four years.

The report said that the volume of trash that state residents throw into landfills has reached its lowest level in nearly two decades.

As of June 30, 2012, the state was disposing of 9.4 million tons of trash, which is a 9 percent drop over figures from 1992. That is an average of 0.98 tons of trash disposed per person.

The news is certainly good because it exemplifies the efforts of organizations like SWEEP and the Rutherford County Solid Waste Department and what they do in terms of recycling.

For their work, we say 'good job.'

One reason for the drop in trash output in the state can be tied to the fact that there might be less industry in the state than there was 20 years ago.

The News & Observer reported that one county in the Triangle — Johnson County — had its trash output rose from 0.88 tons to 1.2 tons per year from 2000 to 2010. Conversely, its job base also increased by 20 percent over that same time.

Counties that experienced significant job growth also saw dips in its trash disposal.

While we certainly don't want to take away from the good news that trash production is down across the state significantly, we want to make sure that we put all the factors in perspective.

The state has implemented more waste-stream bans, including ones for plastic bottles, according to Ellen Lorscheider, spokesperson with the Division of Solid Waste.

She told the N&O that the ban has "brought a lot of attention to all disposal bans and disposal of waste in general."

And, we certainly agree with that.

However, as we hopefully pull ourselves out of an economic downturn and start to build more industry in Rutherford County and across the state, we still have to be mindful of things like trash disposal.

We applaud the efforts of groups like SWEEP and the county's Solid Waste department for making the general public aware of recycling initiatives.

But, ultimately, what we do with our trash comes down to an individual choice.

These groups can tell us about all of the initiatives but we have to make the conscious decision to utilize them.

Doing things like recycling will make an immediate impact on our community as a whole. We can each do our part to make Rutherford County beautiful and, thus, make industries want to come here.

It's an individual choice that we all need to be aware of and make for ourselves and our community.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark