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June 15, 2010

Encouraging recycling

Common today, recycling is one of the first public efforts to reduce environmental waste. Many localities have separate public waste pick ups for the recycled items. What else can cities and counties do to promote recycling?

Dr. Mike Walden, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist at N.C. State University, responds:

"Well ... one set of recommendations that cities and counties do is go on and go further and give a financial incentive to recycle. You may remember -- I remember -- when I was growing up there was this 5 or 10 cent fee per bottle that you had to pay when you bought something that came in a bottle, and you would get that back when you return the bottle. So some areas have gone to that. And in fact research has found that areas that do impose such a bottle fee, people have seen an increase in recycling.

"Another step that localities can take is to require recycling. Of course, to make sure that works you have to have the enforcement to back it up so you have to have personnel to regulate, check the trash.

"And then I think a third long-run way to deal with this issue is education. And I think we are doing that -- making sure that children in particular are aware of the benefits of recycling and hope that they carry that information along with them to adulthood."

Posted by deeshore at June 15, 2010 08:55 AM