Monday, January 31, 2011

A convertable wedding dress you can wear again?  Gowns made from sustainable fabric?  Read more from "Do Your Part":

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fort Macon Coastal Education Center

Fort Macon's Doorway to History.  I just discovered this awesome Coastal Education Center at Fort Macon.  It truly is worth a trip to the beach.

Operated by North Carolina State Parks, it is devoted to environmental education about North Carolina's fragile coastal ecology, offering 4,000 square feet of exhibit space, a teaching auditorium and conference room along with administrative offices.

The coastal education and visitor center was designed to meet sustainability standards of the U.S. Green Building Council through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It offers features such as rainwater collection and low-flow water systems, recycled construction materials and preferred parking for alternative  fuel  vehicles.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Discount at Trade Wilco

While traveling Down East yesterday, I stopped at one of my favorite convenience stores just before crossing the bridge into Beaufort.  While purchasing a 32 oz. fountain drink, the nice cashier reminded me that I could get a refill for 85 cents.  Pretty good deal I thought as mental images passed through my brain of keeping that plastic cup in my car just for a deal.  I have been known to do that.

I asked if I needed to bring that particular cup back with me.  The cashier explained that any cup would do.  And up to 64 oz.  Wow!  What a deal.  I was impressed.  AND I could get that discount at any Trade Wilco!

Just thought you should know.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Little Sweep

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NC Environmental Education Centers

Did you know there are 20 NC Environmental Education Centers within 60 miles of us?  That's right.  In fact, there are 199 EE Centers statewide.  Take a look at this site to see what's out there:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State Study Shows Strong Growth in Recycling Jobs

Monday, January 24, 2011

Little Sweep

From Tom Glasgow, County Extension Director, Craven County

Little Sweep, a community clean up event which takes place each year on the first Saturday in February.

If you or a group you belong to have a couple of hours to spare on February 5, or would like additional information, please give our office a call at 633-1477 or e-mail  We can provide suggestions for sites in need if you don't already have a place in mind.  We can also supply trash bags. 

Litter is a serious problem in North Carolina, and spending a few hours a year in litter clean up efforts is certainly a valuable use of your volunteer time.  A reference sheet I obtained from North Carolina Big Sweep provides three main reasons why litter is harmful.  First, litter hurts our economy.  Businesses don't want to locate in trashy areas, and tourists don't want to linger in trashy areas.  Second, litter is a human health hazard.  Litter attracts disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents, and as litter decomposes, it leaches chemicals into our groundwater.  There is also the possibility of injury from slipping on litter or cutting yourself on broken glass.  A third major consideration is that litter harms wildlife.  When wildlife mistake litter for food, they can suffocate or clog their digestive tracts with the inedible material.  Animals may also starve when litter blocks food from making its way into their digestive system.  In fact, whale and other animal beachings are often associated with ingested litter.  Wildlife may also become entangled in litter, slowly dying and possibly attracting other animals to the same hazard. 

There are many good reasons for helping to reduce the presence of litter in our environment.  We hope you'll take some time to participate in Little Sweep 2011 and in future events as well.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What A Wonderful World

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another Reason I'm Glad I Live Here

665 tons per day.  That's the average amount of trash disposed of here at the Tuscarora Landfill.

Just about 500 miles north of here is a very different story.  Sanitation workers in New York City collect an average of 11,000 tons per day.  Sanitation workers are also responsible for snow removal.  As you might imagine, they've had a challenging winter.

Garbage service was suspended in New York City for a week after the Christmas snow.  They picked up over 18,000 tons of trash their first day back.  That's more than twice the amount Pamlico County generates in a year.

AND they picked up discarded Christmas trees!  My hat's off to the sanitation workers of New York City.

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Could Win $500!!

Via the Recycle Guys.

Enter to win $500! Litter Prevention Contest hosted by Keep North Carolina Beautiful.

Hosted by Keep North Carolina Beautiful - Enter to Win $500!
Let your environmental good deeds be recognized by entering Keep NC Beautiful’s (KNCB) 12th annual Litter Prevention Awards Contest. Apply for a chance to win $500 for litter prevention, recycling and community greening programs initiated in 2010.
Government agencies, school/youth groups and non-profits are eligible to apply, and up to three $500 prize awards will be awarded for each category. Applications are based on the following criterion: response to need, litter prevention, measurability, education, partnerships, innovation and plans for award funds. The application process is designed to be basic and require minimal staff time.

Applications can be downloaded at and are due by March 31. For more information, contact KNCB Deputy Director Heather Thompson at (919)783-6993 or

The 2010 winners included: Johnson & Wales University (JWU), Charlotte; Polk County Appearance Commission, Tryon; Homeless Helping Homeless (HHH), Charlotte; Keep Richmond Beautiful, Rockingham; Blue Ridge Elementary, Warrensville; Craven Community College, New Bern; Haw River Assembly, Bynum; Casa Esperanza Montessori, Raleigh; Solid Waste Environmental Education Panel (SWEEP), Rutherfordton: and Keep Belmont Beautiful, Belmont.

The N.C. Department of Transportation and N.C. Beverage Association are sponsors of this contest.

Keep NC Beautiful is a nonprofit organization that engages and empowers individuals and organizations to take greater responsibility to keep North Carolina beautiful.

Contact: Heather Thompson
Deputy Director
Keep NC Beautiful
(919)783-6993 office
(919)215-4196 cell

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Beat of a Different Drum

Did you ever pretend you were playing drums on mom's kitchen pots?  Well, these guys take it a step further.

canundrum 1_1weln_11446
CanUnDrum – a musical group from Santa Clarita Valley – create melodies from from recycled 55-gallon buckets, PVC pipes, pots and pans. Formed back in 2004, the group, consisting of three drummers, emanated in response to Six Flags Magic Mountain’s call to produce unusual melodies from seemingly unusual stuff.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Find A Bin

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Answers to Your Questions

Do you have questions about your garbage or recyclables?  Here are the phone numbers you will need to find anwers.  If you are in a municipality you may be directed to another number.  Otherwise the main contact numbers are:

Carteret County - 252-728-8406

Craven County - 252-636-6659

Pamlico County - 252-745-3283

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marting Luther King Day

The Administrative Offices of the Coastal Environmental Partnership are closed today for  Martin Luther King Day.  The Tuscarora Landfill, Grantsboro Transfer Station and Newport Transfer Station are open.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Seat Belt Fashion

My buddy Danny Batten is always on the lookout for products made from recycled material.  His stores are a testament to that.  Danny owns One World Shoppe, a Life is Good Store and More in New Bern and Beaufort.

His latest finds are bags and belts made from seat belts.  Here is the link to Maggie Bags Recycled Totes at One World Shoppe:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

NC State University is Really Green

Here are some interesting facts from NC State's Waste Reduction and Recycling Program:

Tailgaters recycled over 24 tons this home season!

Total bins on campus:
Over 2000, including the new walkway bins!

Did you know:
NCSU saved 3.8 million gallons of water in 2009 just by recycling paper!

Did you know:
All dining halls on campus (Fountain, Clark, Case) are now composting! For more on this and other University Dining green initiatives, visit their website

Friday, January 14, 2011

Artist "Paints" With Cassette Tapes

0101 Art from Cassette Tape by Erica Iris Simmons

Art forms never cease to amaze me.  I would like to share this artist, Erika Iris Simmons, with you.  I stumbled across her story a few days ago.  She creates art from cassette tapes. 

Read more here:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Did You Know?

  • N.C. throws away enough glass each year to fill up more than 11,800 tractor-trailers. If you put those tractor-trailers end to end they’d stretch from Asheville to Greensboro.

  • Last year NC trashed enough paper to fill 1558 football fields three feet deep.

  • One ton of paper made from recycled scrap paper saves 7,000 gallons of water.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

All Roads Lead to the Landfill

How does your garbage get from your house to the Tuscarora Landfill? Let me count the ways.

Residents of Craven County have numerous methods. Some municipalities offer curbside collection with charges added to the utility bill. Craven Coun-ty’s Pay-As-You-Throw program offers residents incentive to reduce, reuse and recycle before they put that sticker on their trash. In other words, they only pay for the amount of trash they generate. After the sticker is placed on the trash it is either picked up by one of Craven County’s Franchised Haulers or it is taken to one of Craven County’s Convenience Centers. The final step for any of the above collection points is disposal at the Tuscarora Landfill. Craven County residents also have the option of taking their gar-bage directly to the landfill. The tipping fee is $38.00 per ton or 1.9 cents per pound. There is a $1.00 minimum charge.

Municipalities in Carteret County offer weekly curbside pickup for monthly or annual fees. Carteret County has twelve convenience centers where resi-dents can dispose of waste. Households in the unincorporated areas are charged $160.00 annually. All residents of the county can take their trash to the Newport Transfer Station. The tipping fee is $50.50 per ton with a $1.00 minimum. The additional $12.50 per ton is for transportation.

Options for solid waste collection are similar in Pamlico County. Several mu-nicipalities offer curbside collection. All other residents take their trash to the Grantsboro Transfer Station. The tipping fee is $50.50 per ton with a $1.00 minimum. The additional $12.50 per ton is for transportation.

All of that was said to say this; no matter how or where it’s collected, all gar-bage generated in Craven, Carteret or Pamlico County is disposed of in the Tuscarora Landfill. Collection programs in the partnership area are as differ-ent as their municipalities or counties.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yesterday we looked at the different numbers assigned to plastic containers.  They all have one thing in common; they are surrounded by a triangle formed by three arrows.

Those three arrows have significance.  They represent the three steps of recycling.  The first step is the collection of recyclable material.  The second step is the processing of that material into new items.  The third step is the purchase of items made from recyclable material.  The cycle is not complete without all three steps.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What do those numbers on Plastic bottles mean?

You'll find these numbers on just about any plastic container you have.  Here is what they mean.

Poly(ethylene terephthalate):  Soda bottles, water bottles, vinegar bottles, medicine containers, backing for photography film.

High-density Polyethylene:  Containers for:  laundry/dish detergent, fabric softeners, bleach, milk, shampoo, conditioner, motor oil. Newer bullet proof vests, various toys.

Poly(vinyl cloride):  Pipes, shower curtains, meat wraps, cooking oil bottles, baby bottle nipples, shrink wrap, clear medical tubing, vinyl dashboards and seat covers, coffee containers.

Low-density Polyethylene:  Wrapping films, grocery bags, sandwich bags.

Polypropylene:  Tupperware®, syrup bottles, yogurt tubs, diapers, outdoor carpet.

Polystyrene:  Coffee cups, disposable cutlery and cups (clear and colored), bakery shells, meat trays, "cheap" hubcaps, packing peanuts, styrofoam insulation.

The hotdog of plastics!  Products labeled as "other" are made of any combination of 1-6 or another, less commonly used plastic.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Secure Your Load

Approximately one half of all the litter on NC highways comes from unsecured loads.  Trash is blown from vehicles not properly secured.  This is a littering offense just as serious as intentional littering.

Penalties for littering in NC include fines up to $2,000 and community service.  An unsecured load at the Tuscarora Landfill and Transfer Stations can cost twice the amount of the invoice.

Follow this link to find out more about unsecured loads:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Off of the Shelf and Into the Tank

From WCTI-TV 12

Those Alcohol-Energy drinks that were recently removed from your grocers' shelves are being recycled into ethanol. 

Read more here:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Does Your Group Need a Speaker?

Does your civic or professional group need a speaker? The Coastal Environmental Partnership can arrange an informative program on the management of solid waste for school or civic groups. Learn what happens to trash after it leaves your home and what you can do to help protect the environment.

Call me at 252-633-1564 or email me at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Want to Trade Waste?

Are you in the market for plant pots?  Or dry sawdust?  Maybe you have slate tile or pine bark you want to find a home for.  You're in luck.  The NC Department of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assitance, NC DPPEA, has a waste trader website. 

"This waste exchange service is designed to divert recoverable materials from disposal while providing feedstocks and supplies to potential users".
Check it out at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

N.C. State University dedicates its first ‘green’ building at Eastern 4-H Center

N.C. State University dedicates its first ‘green’ building at Eastern 4-H Center.

N.C. States first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is being dedicated Thursday in Tyrrell County.  Here are a few of its features: 

"The center’s green features include many recycled and sustainable materials: insulation made from recycled denim, recycled ceramic tile, concrete exterior panels and bamboo flooring. Lighting is controlled by sensors that shut off when a room is not occupied. Exterior glass is treated to allow light in, but keep heat out, and a rain garden helps filter storm runoff from the building. Maune explained the building is heated and cooled by an efficient geothermal system, although this feature does not earn LEED points because of its dependence on a heat pump".

Check out the whole story here:‘green’-building-at-eastern-4-h-center/

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Fix It Club

My illustrious collegue Tom Rhodes with the NC DPPEA shared this link with me this morning.  It's the Fix It Club. 

In the style of David Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons to fix or recycle things that break:

  1. You can be a smarter consumer by knowing how things work and what to do if they don't: appliances, heaters, air conditioners, mowers, plumbing, electronics, clocks, paint, flooring and more.
  2. You can save money by not having to replace things that you easily can fix. It might just need a fuse, a new electrical cord, or a screw tightened. You can do that!
  3. You can buy better things that will last longer than disposables because you know you can probably fix them if they ever do conk out.
  4. You can reduce the environmental impact of having a replacement manufactured from raw materials and transported from a far-off land.
  5. You can learn how to recycle the things you just can't fix.
  6. You can learn new skills and discover the satisfaction of fixing something that's broken.
  7. You can spend some quality time with kids fixing things together -- and teaching them the importance of recycling.
  8. You can keep that family clock or other heirloom running longer.
  9. You can justify the cost of expanding your collection of tools.
  10. You can impress your spouse, partner, and others with your new-found fixing skills.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cycle of Recycling

There are 3 steps to recycling:  Collection, Processing and Purchasing Recycled Goods.

Learn more form NC's Recycle More Campaign at


Recycling Cycle

1. Common items collected for recycling
  • Aluminum cans
  • Clear, green, blue and brown glass
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Newspaper and glossy advertising inserts
  • Plastic bottles that have a neck smaller than the base
  • Steel or tin cans
2. Processing
  • If your recyclable material is collected all mixed together (commingled), it is taken to a recycling plant where it is separated
  • First, the newspaper and cardboard are separated from other recyclables using a sticky conveyor belt
  • Next, a magnet separates the steel cans
  • Aluminum cans are separated from other recyclables by an eddy current (a reverse magnet)
Here is where the magic happens
  • Once the material is separated, it is sent to other factories to be made into new products.
  • Newspaper and cardboard are shredded, pulped, dried and flattened into new rolls of paper
  • The steel and aluminum cans are crushed, melted, and flattened into sheets of metal.
  • The glass pieces are crushed, melted and remolded into new bottles or jars
  • Plastic bottles are chipped, melted, and remolded
It is also important to buy recycled goods when available.
  • You can buy school supplies made from recycled materials such as backpacks and rulers made from recycled plastic.
  • aluminum cans can be remade into new cans, they can also become lawn furniture or gutters.
  • Corrugated cardboard and newspaper can become pens, pencils, paper, cereal boxes or insulation.
  • Glass can be recycled into new bottles, jars or even tiles.
  • Plastic bottles can be made into new soda bottles, picnic tables, carpet and clothing.
  • Steel cans can be made into bikes, nails or even cars.
  • Tires can be made into bulletin boards, floor mats, mulch, soaker hoses or shoe soles.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Environmentally Friendly Recreation in Pamlico County

From the Sun Journal

New Pamlico group promotes environmentally friendly recreational opportunities 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone.  The Tuscarora Landfill, Grantsboro Transfer Station and Newport Transportation will be closed today in observance of New Year's Day.

Our facilities are only closed  3 days a year; Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

All facilities will reopen Monday, January 3rd.

Home Electronics Disposal