Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase that has been around for awhile and a concept that promotes good stewardship and wise use of resources. Whether or not one follows this advice and to what degree is pretty much up to the individual. For folks who are looking to live healthier, more earth-friendly lives though, there is quite a bit going on in the community that supports this greener way of life.
In 2008 Fayetteville began its curbside pick up recycling program to much fanfare. It was a long time coming and the community embraced it.
“It started off with a bang,” said Gerry Dietzen, City of Fayetteville environmental services engineer. “People accepted it very well. I believe we have a very high participation rate in Fayetteville compared with other cities — somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 percent.”
This program brought in about 9,000 tons of recyclable materials in the ﬁ rst year. There are no numbers for the current year, but support for the program remains strong.
Since then, the city has taken on servicing the many recycle drop-off centers through out the city. This used to be the responsibility of contractors, but once the city took over, Dietzen maintains that stations are not left to the point of overﬁ lling like they were before.
All of the city’s buildings recycle now as well, to include the many recreation centers and athletic ﬁ elds, police and ﬁ re stations, and the administrative buildings.
Once the waste is picked up for recycling, it is processed locally which is a boon for the community in the form of local jobs.
“The MRF (Material Recovery Facility) in town came on line in November of ‘08,” said Dietzen. “It is doing very well. I think that our curbside recycling program may have inﬂ uenced Hope Mills and some other smaller communities around, and I think a lot of them now bring their materials here (to the MRF) for processing and that is good for our economy.”
The community also beneﬁ ts because there is less waste being put into the local landﬁ lls. When matter is added to the piles of garbage, it gets buried and is in an anaerobic state. That produces methane gas, which is just one more pollutant added to the air.
“I think the biggest beneﬁ t that comes from this is that we are reducing the amount of waste in the landﬁ lls,” said Dietzen. “This material is no longer decomposing and creating methane gas, and we are certainly beneﬁ tting from that in more way than one — cleaner, healthier air to breath and that kind of thing.”
According to Buildings.com, on a national scale, total building-related construction and demolition (C&D) waste is estimated to be 135.5 million tons — a ﬁ gure that represents, at 30 percent, the largest single source in the waste stream. The average new construction project yields 3.9 pounds of waste per square foot of building area. Example: A 50,000-square-foot building = 97.5 tons of waste. The average building demolition yields 155 pounds of waste per square foot. Example: A 50,000-square-foot building = 3,875 tons of waste. With all the growth and construction going on locally, we’ve got our share of opportunities for construction waste.
Enter the Restore Warehouse. Located at 205 Forsyth St., this business prides itself on helping neighborhoods, the environment, homeowners and builders alike. Their mission is to promote affordable housing in the Fayetteville area by providing inexpensive building materials to local businesses and homeowners while supporting conservation of the environment and by funding the programs of Fayetteville Urban Ministry and Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity.
They take in donations of new and sellable, used building materials and sell them for 50 - 75 percent off the retail price. You never know what you may ﬁ nd, cabinets, ﬂ oors, and possibly even the kitchen sink. They also accept monetary donations, and volunteers are welcome too.
The Restore Warehouse is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information give them a call at 321-0780 or visit http://www.restorefaync.org.