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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Green Is Where The Heart Is Green is where the Heart Is: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Green is where the Heart Is: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Contributing Writer

I am so proud of our towns for making recycling easier for the residents and visitors by choosing single stream recycling. 
Unfortunately, there are several things that are real buzz kills for our system and they are plastic bags and Styrofoam, food, diaper and pet waste and any other hazardous product such as CFL light bulbs that contain mercury and will contaminate the whole lot.
Last summer the recycling containers were removed from the beach accesses in Kure Beach because it was costing the town up to $6,000 from people abusing them and putting trash in them.  Waste Management would not pick them up because they were so contaminated. 
KB’s only solution was to remove them from the access areas. 
This year KB tried something new.  They put the AWESOME green and yellow 65 gallon recycling containers from Waste Management back out at the beach accesses pairing them with the waste receptacles and this time they have specific instructions as to what can be placed in the recycling and what cannot. 
I opened one at F Street last Sunday to take a peek and it was filled to the top with clean recyclables……and a few plastic bags. 
Mind you, WM has an embossed picture on the lid with what is and is not recyclable.  In addition KB has clearly labeled the top of the lid “No Plastic Bags” with a picture and a circle with a line in it.  Even if someone cannot read English they can understand the universal symbol of “just don’t do it!” 
Since I saw a few plastic bags in the bin, I am inclined to believe that someone put their recycling in a bag and instead of dumping it and disposing of the plastic bag in the trash, they hap hazardously threw the whole thing in the recycling. 
That person wanted to do the right thing, but how do we get it across the damage that a single plastic bag in the recycling stream can cause? 
A few years ago I joined the Island Women as we followed the path of recycling on our island. 
It first goes to Recycle America, a transfer station on River Road where it is dumped in a building creating a mountain of cans bottles and the like. 
From there it is scooped into a trailer and transported to Raleigh where it continues its journey through the single stream recycling process at the Waste Management
Materials Recovery Facility.
At the MRF in Raleigh we watched as the recyclables rode the conveyer system separating glass, aluminum and other metals, plastics, and paper.  The biggest offender, however, were plastic bags.  If cans and bottles were in plastic bags, they never made it to this area because the bags get caught in the wheels causing the machine to shut down for repair, creating costly delays.  Plastic bags can be recycled on the island at Food Island or OTB (over the bridge) at Harris Teeter.  Use them for dog waste and to line waste baskets but DON’T put them into the recycling stream.  Recycle your extra ones at the grocery store.  Better yet, ask for paper or use reusable bags and eliminate your need for them altogether. 
Understanding how our single stream system works efficiently is the best way to get users to follow instructions.  xo mo
Kure Beach resident Mo Linquist, Red Ribbon Professional of IFSG and allied ASID is a recognized expert on Pyramid Feng Shui. She is the “ PersonPlace” design consultant specializing in soft goods such as fabrics, window treatments, reupholstery, blinds, shutters, feng shui and green healthy living products.  Her design studio is located in the Artful Living Group building 112 Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.   Linquist speaks nationally and holds regular workshops and accredited trainings on this ancient form of environmental psychology.
Helping clients create home and office spaces designed specifically to support their individual goals and intentions, Linquist uses cutting-edge techniques integrating science, 20 years of interior design experience and Feng Shui to balance, harmonize and create new patterns for success. To learn more about her work or for a consultation, contact her at FaceBook at Mo Linquist Living Solutions or call 910-458-7822 office or 330-904-3636 cell.