The Battle for Recycling Sites

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I’ve been working on the Recycling Map lately, and the project has taken me out to some of the drop sites. These unstaffed bins, administered by Charleston County Solid Waste, often take a beating. People drop off unwanted items like tires, cinder blocks, wood, and everyday trash. This is not good.

When things get real bad, the Recycling Center will simply close the location.  We’ve blogged about this, and modified our maps to reflect the changes. But the real issue here is about responsibility. The county provides a valuable service that is expensive and large scale, yet fragile because if the role we play. We need to follow the rules, or the whole program starts to fall apart.

I guess things have gotten really bad in Mount Pleasant. Check out these signs from the drop site at the DMV. The first one reads, “NOTICE – There will be no dumping on the ground of any debris. Charleston County Ordinance 1115. A fine of $675 will be imposed if you violate this ordinance. YOU ARE ON CAMERA. Charleston County Environmental Department. ” Cameras?…really? It’s a recycling drop site, not a bank.

Dumping Dumping

Are these signs too much? I worry they might discourage would-be recyclers from putting items in the bins for fear they’ll be sent to Gitmo. The “No Dumping” sign references a separate law, while the “Under Investigation” sign hints that some really bad stuff went down. “Have Info?” and “Environmental Officers”. Sounds serious.

Debra down at the Recycling Center explained that the Mount Pleasant DMV site was being abused, but wouldn’t get into details…so I didn’t pry. She also said that when things get real bad, the site gets closed – this is what happened at the Bi-Lo on Coleman Blvd.

I guess the message here is that we need to encourage people to use the sites properly. Be mindful of the recyclable materials list, and maybe even clean up a site if you feel the need. We’ve talked about organizing an “Adopt-a-Drop Site” program made up of volunteers willing to keep their neighborhood site clean. Debra thought this was a great idea…maybe it’s time we got started.

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