It's estimated that the average American household generates about five pounds of solid waste every day. Most of that ends up in landfills. Nationally, about 30% gets recyled. In Lincoln County, the Solid Waste Department handled 62,000 tons of assorted trash in fiscal year 2019-2020. 11,593 tons were recyclables. That means for Lincoln County, recycling took care of 18.5% of the trash.
Lincoln County takes recyclables at the landfill near Crouse and at the various convenience sites across the county. Mixed paper, newspapers, corrugated cardboard, plastics except for #6 including plastic soft drink and water bottles and milk jugs, aluminum and other metal cans are all recyclable in Lincoln County. The county also takes yard waste at the landfill and at the Optimist Club Road convenience site.
The city of Lincolnton has an active recycling program: the First Friday recycling was started in 2019. Some towns in nearby counties have scrapped their recycling efforts. Gastonia did away with curbside recycling pickups last Fall, saying only about 35% of households ever participated and the cost was outweighing the benefit. Kings Mtn., Shelby & Bessemer City also scrapped their recycling efforts. Gaston County residents can still recycle at the county convenience sites.
Lincoln County has a new Recycling Coordinator. Jenna Harmon, who previous work in veterinary services with Animal Control started in her new position last week.
Recycling helps to prolong the life of landfills which would obviously fill up much faster if there was no recycling. Environmentalists note that it is also ecologically beneficial, since reusing waste materials helps to reduce the need to manufacture more.
This Thursday (April 22nd) is Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is a recognition of the environmental movement. Recycling is just one of the ideas that has grown substantially over the last half century. A Native American proverb puts it this way: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”