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.
Matthews adopted the more aggressive timeline for waste reduction when commissioners voted in favor of the plan Monday, June 11. Mint Hill was the first southern Mecklenburg town to adopt the new plan. The state-required, 10-year plan must be updated every three years, according to Bruce Gledhill, director of Mecklenburg County Solid Waste. The 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. 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. Matthews residents currently recycling about 42 percent of their waste.
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. More recycling also saves municipalities cash by paying fewer landfill fees. Recycling drop-off is free.