Mint Hill first of southern towns to adopt new plan
by Kara Lopp
Mecklenburg County residents should reduce the amount of waste entering local landfills by 9 percent in five years and another 9 percent in 10 years, according to the county’s draft Solid Waste Management Plan.
Mint Hill became the first southern Mecklenburg town to adopt the more aggressive timeline for waste reduction when commissioners voted in favor of the plan Thursday, May 24. The state-required, 10-year plan must be updated every three years, according to Bruce Gledhill, director of Mecklenburg County Solid Waste. The 500-page document establishes goals and programs for handling solid waste and establishes waste reduction goals, identifying ways to meet them. The plan also describes the methods used to collect and transport solid waste and recyclables to disposal and processing facilities in an “environmentally sound” manner, according to county records.
Gledhill is scheduled to meet with Matthews commissioners soon to review the plan and boards in Davidson, Huntersville and Pineville have already approved the plan.
Since 1999, Mecklenburg County has reduced the amount of waste headed to landfills, per capita, by about 40 percent, Gledhill said.
The use of rolling recycling containers in many municipalities has helped in that effort, he said. Matthews began using the 96-gallon containers last summer and Mint Hill will begin this summer.
“Generally, municipal recycling is up since the advent of the rollout containers. They’re larger so they give you more space and we’ve found that not only do we get more materials, we get materials better protected from the elements. The covered lid really keeps things in good condition,” Gledhill said.
More recycling also saves municipalities cash by paying fewer landfill fees. Recycling drop-off is free, Gledhill said.
If Mecklenburg County commissioners approve, towns will pay an additional $1.50 per ton of waste dumped at landfills, increasing tipping fees from $27.50 per ton to $29 per ton. Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal June 5.
Mint Hill getting rolling recycling bins
Mint Hill residents will soon be the proud owners of 96-gallon, rolling recycling containers.
Town Manager Brian Welch said the new residential recycling bins could arrive at homes as early as mid-August. Once they do, the town’s contracted service provider, RCS, will switch to recycling pick-up every other week. The town has about 8,100 households.
Businesses will not receive the rolling containers, Welch said.
The move won’t cost the town any additional cash, Welch said, because RCS agreed to waive a $1 per house, per month fee for the final year of the current five-year contract during negotiations with the town for a five-year contract renewal.
The deal means a savings of $97,200 for the town, Welch said.
– Kara Lopp