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Cornelius News

Waste not: Recycling saves us all money


Let’s get the burning questions out of the way. Yes, you can put metal caps back on glass bottles and recycle them in Cornelius. Post-It notes would be OK, too, but all paper should be at least as big as your hand. Likewise, clean paper charcoal bags are good to go in the recycling bin as well as used pizza boxes, even if they’re greasy.

But, please, no cheese or pepper packets, table tents or dipping sauce containers. And be sure to eat that last slice.

While Cornelius has taken a slight dip in our rate of recycling, we’re into it.

Some 500 new, larger recycling containers have already been snapped up by residents; the town will be ordering more of the 96-gallon containers for dedicated recyclers. (Just call the town at 704-892-6031.) What’s it take to be considered dedicated? Your current 64-gallon recycling cart is regularly filled to overflowing; you already crush and break down your recycled materials.

Recycling is the recovery of useful materials—paper, glass, plastic and metal—to make new products, not just reducing the amount of virgin raw materials, but what we dump into costly landfills.

In 2014, Cornelius recycled 455 lbs. per household. Recycling saves us tax money. With the help of a strong recycling effort, the town’s new solid waste budget is falling to $1.9 million in FY 2016 from $2.04 million this past year.

Cornelius gets high marks for recycling. Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant says there is a “high demand” 96-gallon recycling carts, which are 50 percent larger than the standard ones.

Apartment communities are responsible for providing garbage services; there’s no ordinance requiring them to provide recycling services. The town provides garbage and recycling services to single family homes, townhomes and condos.

Recycling tips:

Bottles that contained thick ingredients like salad dressing should be empty and rinsed. They do not have to be spotless.

Plastic film and plastic grocery bags are not accepted. Filmy plastics wrap around rotating shafts and screens at the recycling plant.

Scrap metal and car parts: Nope.