"Recycling in Anson County has been way more than we anticipated," he said. "The bins are filling up fast."
Dawkins announced that the county was starting a recycling program in the Dec. 23 issue of the Anson Record. At first, the recycling was mixed, or co-mingled, meaning that all recyclable materials could be placed together in one large bin at one of six convenience centers located throughout the county. However, just a month later, so many Ansonians are recycling that on Tuesday, Dawkins and county partner Waste Connections began separating recyclable items— that is, paper and cardboard in one bin, aluminum cans in one bin, plastic bottles in one bin and so on.
When all of the items are recycled together, Dawkins explained, the rate the county has to pay is tripled. Separating the recyclables keeps expenses at a much more manageable level.
Although many county residents are already recycling, Dawkins would like to see everyone eventually recycle. "The hardest thing is breaking the habit of throwing everything into the trash," he admitted. "You've just got to start separating it out, and once you do, it's really not that difficult."
He said that he and his family have a separate bin for each recyclable item— paper, plastic, aluminum cans, etc.— and when that bin gets full, they empty it into the appropriate bin, just like they empty the regular trash. "You just get used to it," he said.
All of the bins will be marked from now on, and each of the six convenience centers has an attendant onsite to answer any questions. Those with questions call also reach Dawkins at 704-694-5208.
In the near future, he hopes to expand Anson County's recycling program to include electronics as well. "In 2011, all electronics will be banned from landfills," he said. "And a lot of people don't understand that when you throw away your computer, your personal information is still on there. It makes you a target for identity theft."
In the meantime before electronics recycling is available, he recommends donating old electronics to Good Will or other reputable charity organizations.
The six convenience centers in Anson County are:
• Ansonville, 2244 Plank Road, 704-826-6353.
• Burnsville, 26 Jones Pond Road, Polkton, 704-826-6357
• Gatewood Station, 860 Old U.S. 52 South, Wadesboro, 704-694-9375
• Lilesville, 2668 Hailey's Ferry Road, 704-848-4549
• White Store, 5574 Union Church Road, Polkton, 704-272-8474
• Anson County Landfill, 375 Dozer Drive, Polkton.
The convenience centers are open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The landfill is open every day.