How Brunswick County Recycles
Brunswick County is making every effort to divert as much material as possible from ending up in a landfill by providing 13 recycling centers as well as many recycling programs at our County’s landfill and convenience centers. Brunswick County has also included in our contract with Waste Industries that curbside recycling be made available to all Brunswick County residents via a subscription service on a voluntary basis.
The recycling process in Brunswick County is single stream or commingled recycling. With single stream recycling, there is no sorting required making this more convenient for residents while increasing participation. Our single stream recycling includes plastic containers #1 – #7, aluminum and steel cans, newspapers, mixed paper, paperboard, magazines, junk mail, phone books and glass (brown, green, clear).
Once the single stream recycling is collected unsorted at the curb, it’s all hauled to the transfer station located at the Brunswick County Landfill where it is unloaded in a dry box trailer. Once the dry box trailer is full, it’s picked up by a third party hauler and delivered to Sonoco Recycling in Jacksonville, NC. In a rare circumstance that a load of recycling is contaminated, it is then placed with the municipal solid waste which is transferred to the Sampson County Landfill. Brunswick County only has a construction and demolition landfill and no household items are being landfilled in this location.
After materials reach Sonoco Recycling, they are separated, cleaned and prepared to make new products. The commingled materials begin on a conveyor belt that immediately sorts out cardboard and paper. The cardboard and paper are placed on a separate conveyor belt that runs the material through a de-inker to remove any markings, washed in a chemical washing process and mixed by a pulper leaving the paper in a pulp slurry state. The pulp slurry is then pushed through steam heated rollers and flattened into continuous rolls of paper. The rolls are used to make cereal boxes and other new paper products. The other materials are run through a two stage metal recovery system where magnets pull out the steel so it can be bailed and shipped to steel mills. The aluminum is exposed to very high heat so it can be melted and molded to become metal bars. The bars are cooled down and shipped to manufacturers to make new aluminum cans and components for cars and airplanes. Plastic is sent through a manual sorter, separating the material by polymer type. Plastics are fed into a grinder and morphed into thousands of plastic flakes that make it easier for the material to be melted down into a smooth polymer mixture. The mixtures are used to make new products such as bottles, t-shirts and carpet.
In addition to our single stream recycling, we also accept and recycle fluorescent bulbs, corrugated cardboard, appliances, scrap metal, rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, cell phones, oyster shells, used oil, oil filters, antifreeze, fuel, latex paint, paint cans, tires, electronics, used cooking oil, textiles, mobile homes, shingles, carpet, concrete, brick, block and asphalt at various locations.
NCDENR has recently recognized Brunswick County for our recycling efforts for fiscal year 2013-14 as being 12th in the state for common household recyclables per capita recovery and 3rd in total public recycling per capita recovery.
For more information including locations where these items are accepted, please contact Brunswick County Solid Waste and Recycling at (910) 253-2520.