The City of Greenville has continued to enforce a recycling campaign to help educate residents on proper recycling practices which will improve the cleanliness of the city.
Holly Parrott, the coordinator of recycling in Greenville, said the old motto for residents was “when in doubt, throw it in,” but the new motto the city is promoting is “when in doubt, throw it out.”
Parrott said the city’s residents need to clean up their recycling. She said China and other markets are beginning to only accept .5% contamination in recycling sent to them.
According to an article published by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, China halted the import of most plastic and other recyclable materials in January 2018 which they used to process for the United States and Australia, resulting in more recycling ending up in landfills, incinerators and on the ground.
Parrott said recycling practices vary in different places. She said some basic rules stay the same in other areas but residents are sometimes confused about which materials can be recycled in Greenville which maybe could not have been recycled in Raleigh, for example.
Parrott said the focus of the campaign is new education for residents who are unfamiliar with practices in Greenville and re-education for those who have been residents.
All of the signage is being redone in multi-family residences, or apartment complexes around the city. Signage refers to signs placed around residences and complexes explaining what can be recycled and what cannot.
“This (signage improvements in apartment complexes) will affect college students a lot because they live in a lot of apartment buildings,” Parrott said.
Parrott said new brochures have also been approved featuring colorful designs which will make them more intriguing to look at. She said the brochures will also be beneficial for people whose first language may not be English, they will be easier to read and understand.
There will be a cart-tagging program in the future where cart hangers will be used to further educate people, in addition to the other signage improvements, Parrott said.
Parrott said the recycling campaign is slowly proceeding since its beginning in August due to the campaign having no time restraints. She said the event is ongoing.
“It started with a PSA (public service announcement) that’s on the website, and then our press release, and then when we get the brochures we’ll go to any and all events and neighborhood meetings to try and get the word out,” Parrott said.
Parrott said this campaign will take time but it will teach residents how to recycle correctly and she predicts it will be successful.
This campaign was modeled after other programs around the country which have been successful, according to Parrott, which should lead to effective practices.
Hailey King, resident at The District at Tar River apartments, said the recycling initiative should be helpful to college students. She said sometimes residents at apartments in Greenville are confused with the proper way to recycle.
“A lot of times we (college students) aren’t sure what can and can’t be recycled,” King said. “So it’ll definitely be helpful to have some clarification on what can be recycled.”
King said she wants to recycle as much as possible but it can be challenging with so many specifications on different materials and what methods are considered correct. She said signs will be an effective way to grab the attention of college students and other residents on the grid.