Visit Rowan County Recycling Centers this Holiday!

by | Dec 16, 2021 | Greenspace

When most people think of the holiday season, they may think of shiny new toys and colorfully wrapped presents. Food on top of food with loved ones near, sporting full shopping carts online and squeaking and shaking on the store floor. Finances and pinching pennies. Ringing bells and charity.

When I think of the holidays, I dream of similar things, with a twist. I have also learned that looking at it from a waste perspective can be dreadful. I don’t particularly enjoy the extra trash and unwanted toys littering the roadsides for the months following. Nor, the presence of single-use plastics, un-sustainably produced food to the point of a downfall on people’s health and well-being. The stress circulating during the holidays, questions of “is this enough?”. Leading to a higher demand for things that might be forgotten. When I think of smiles from a happy holiday, I also think of contamination.

Not to bash the holidays. Yes, they come with a lot of cultural, religious, and symbolic significance and can lead to happiness and bonding experiences.

Did you know that during the holidays, Americans dispose of roughly 25 million tons of trash? This is 25% more than the average waste disposed of during the rest of the year which is significant. This results in a substantial amount of space consumed in our landfills, on our roadsides, and in our waterways.

What can we do to reduce the extra wastes during the holidays? One easy solution: use our local recycling centers to account for the recyclables: packaging, plastics, aluminum pans, cans, and many other items. The purpose of this blog is to discuss what you, as a Rowan County citizen, have access to! And there are a whole lot of recycling centers around.

What are the Locations?

What do all of the Recycling Facilities Accept? 

  • For your extra Amazon boxes and cardboard, you can take them to each site by flattening them and removing any packaging or tape. At each Rowan County site, they also accept:
  • Cheerwine Aluminum cans

It is noted that these remain as beverage cans. Make sure that they are rinsed properly!

  • Old Electronics
  • Glass bottles and jars

All types of glasses are accepted. Do not get this confused with other materials! The reason being it will ruin the integrity of the recycled glass.

  • Paper

Everything, but paper with food residue on it!

  • Plastic bottles #1 and #2

This includes milk jugs and beverage drinks. You can find these numbers usually on the packaging or bottom of your bottles. The numbers indicate the type of plastic they are.

  • Steel Cans

Canned corn, beans, anything canned, except for animal food cans is accepted.

  • Old Televisions

I visited the recycling center on North Long Street and recorded a walkthrough of the facility on Tik Tok. Yes, I am a Tik-Toker. You can watch on social media!

What are Other Solutions to Reduce my Waste During the Holidays?

I encourage you to simplify your holidays and to become knowledgeable about your wastes. That can be difficult when we have so many different types of wastes and materials to consider. Even if you take a gander at your trash can, ask yourself:

  • Are any of these items reusable?
  • Can I recycle anything?
  • Did I seal my bag as much as possible to reduce the possibility of item fallout?
  • Can I reuse any of this packaging next holiday?

There are plenty of online sources to help you start a simple holiday. A great resource that I use is Simplify the Holidays, brought to you by the Center for Biological Diversity. Some easy changes that I learned from them include utilizing reusable or recyclable wrapping paper, making holiday decorations from old items sitting around the house, and shopping locally for presents and food.

I also encourage you to make a Green New Years Resolution. Start small, such as minimizing your shower time, or eating meat once a week. Resolutions are important because they are a goal you make to reset your habits. In this case, a green goal is intended to reduce wastes and improve the health of the planet in some minuscule way. Imagine what would change if everyone had the drive to make a green new year’s resolution! Additionally, you can participate in, or host a litter cleanup near you. Keep an eye on the roadways this year around the holidays and take a grabber and some trash bags to get going! Let’s make our holidays as litter-free as possible this season!

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About The Author

Madison Kluge

You might see me on the city of Salisbury’s greenways sporting a pair of rainbow roller skates! I officially graduate(d) May 2021 from the Environment & Sustainability program at Catawba College and I have/will soon take on the role as Salisbury’s Sustainability Coordinator. At Catawba, I researched the Emerald Ash Borer for a couple of years, spearheaded campus composting, and became heavily involved with environmental education planning. My goal as a connector is to establish a non-formal greenspace pedagogy with you and navigate the great outdoors by engaging with a variety of local farmers, NPO’s, parks, trails, preserves, educational institutions, and sustainable events. I will also explore available technologies/ apps that enhance our experience of the great outdoors in plant and animal identification and citizen science initiatives. To my fellow nature and environmental enthusiasts: get to know Rowan County better with me in the evolving greenspaces. Let’s get dirt under our nails!