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Written by Lisa Doty, Watauga Recycling Coordinator   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 09:58

Watauga County ranks 7th  in the state for recycled materials recovery out of 100 total counties according to a recent report released by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR).  Watauga County has ranked 8th and 9th respectively in the state for the two previous years. “I would like to commend Watauga County for getting more material in recycling bins since it is from the efforts of residents and businesses that we are doing so well with our program here,” said County Recycling Coordinator Lisa Doty.  “Recycling is a true economic and environmental solution, both locally and globally as it is one of the few environmental actions that every single Watauga County resident can participate in and know it really does make a difference.”
The total  amount Watauga County recycled in FY 09-10 was 5,814 tons (256 pounds per capita recovery), compared to 5,419 tons (239 pounds per capita recovery) in FY 08-09.  The totals include tonnage recycled by both the County and the Town of Boone. 
The County saw an increase in all materials collected in the county, but other factors that contributed to this increase in recycling include:
·         an increase in glass recovery with the new bunkers built by the County,
·         an increase in electronics recovery,
·         a large increase in plastic recycling,
·         the new Town of Boone Recycling Center at the Horn in the West,
·         and a large increase of on-site recycling centers at multi-family housing units facilitated by the Coordinated Recycling Committee. (This committee is made up of the County, Town and ASU recycling coordinators, as well as Town Council and County Commissioner representatives and other community members.)
According to NC DENR, the disposal bans on plastic bottles, oil filters and wooden pallets that became effective October 1, 2009 contributed significantly to the implementation of recovery programs and led to the highest recovery of plastic bottles and oil filters on record.
There are ten convenience centers located in Watauga County where residents can recycle glass, metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, pasteboard, batteries and compact fluorescent lights.   Rigid plastics, electronics, tires, white goods, oil, oil filters, lead-acid batteries and scrap metal are accepted for recycling at the main Recycling Center on Landfill Road.  The County also is providing more opportunities to recycle away from home at schools, parks and recreation locations and encourages residents to use these bins for cans and plastic bottles whenever possible.
For more information on recycling, locations and hours of operation for convenience centers in Watauga County, go to or call 828-265-4852 or 828-264-5305.

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