Waste materialsfinding new home

Published 2:42 am Monday, January 28, 2008

By Staff
One person’s trash truly is another person’s treasure.
Take Travis Hames for example.
Hames, the owner of Hames Recycling in Forest City had a problem back in November 2002. He had five tons of polyester fabric to dispose of at his facility. If he took it to the landfill, he’d have to pay $185 in disposal fees plus the hauling costs. For the environment, that also meant the landfill would be just that much closer to being filled.
Then he discovered NCWasteTrader.com, North Carolina’s free on-line waste exchange service.
The idea is catching on.
The Bowen Company in Belhaven has 500 cubic yards of mulch listed. A firm in Chocowinity is trying to get rid of coal.
A company in Franklinton has 20 tons of diatomaceous earth it will give away. The filtering material comes in 50-pound bags.
East Carolina University is listing 1,700 used mattresses from when they bought new ones for dorm rooms. The list of items available is about as varied as you can imagine.
The experience of Hames Recycling is exactly the reason NCWasteTrader was started, according to state officials. Businesses and industries are finding it a great ally in their waste reduction efforts.
Companies across North Carolina, as well as throughout the Southeast, have utilized the free service to find markets for items they had previously been sending to the landfill. Users of the service have found that they can save significant landfill fees and oftentimes realize an income from a number of so-called waste products.
With greater demands being placed on landfills, there are alternatives to just burying their waste material.
Gary Hunt, director of the N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance, says he’s convinced that NCWasteTrader creates a win-win situation for businesses and for the environment.
In its fourth year, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Stewardship Initiative continues to grow and promote superior environmental performance by the state’s regulated community.
In 2005, the ESI program developed a third level — Environmental Rising Steward. The level was created to encourage organizations with a mature recycling program to strive to meet the requirements of the Environmental Steward level. Three new Stewards, eight Rising Stewards and four new Partners were added in fiscal year 2005, bringing the total to 40 Partners, eight Rising Stewards and five Stewards.
We applaud the state for their efforts, and hopefully we can come up with even more win-win situations for businesses and the environment.