Trash converted to Electricity at the Coastal Environmental Partnership

A special thanks to Bobbi Waters, Solid Waste Planner and Outreach Coordinator, at the Coastal Environmental Partnership’s (CEP) Tuscarora Landfill site for giving me a fantastic tour of their facilities.

To be honest, I had no idea of how the landfill’s “Green” policies and efforts have improved the quality of air and living for residents of Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico Counties! I have an all new respect for their environmental efforts for our communities!

Besides Bobbi, I had the pleasure of meeting the friendly staff, Allen Hardison, Executive Director; Miriam Sumner, Finance Officer, Kristie Nobles, Administrative Secretary, and Tom the INGENCO Man.

The tour started as we passed by the oyster shell collection point. Did you know that you can improve our ecosystem by recycling oyster shells? Drop off your shells at the landfill to enhance the “Crystal Coast” by creating reefs and increase the oyster population. The old oyster shells will be “recycled” to areas of the NC coast to help rejuvenate the oyster population and slow beach erosion by producing reefs. Baby oysters form on top of other oyster shells, in turn producing more oysters and attracting more fish and sea life (sea bass, drum, crabs, croaker, flounder, grouper, speckled trout, striped bass, etc.). Recreation fisherman along with those who rely on fishing as their lifestyle should be strong advocates to this recycling effort. Spread the word!

The next remarkable point is how they recycle trees and fallen branches from our yards and turn them into compost and mulch. How many of you spend boatloads of money on “compost and mulch”? Why not purchase it from the Landfill?

I was very impressed with the fact that CEP lines the landfills with special materials to prevent waste runoff or discharge into the earth. The LOVE Canal won’t happen here (just a note for those who know about the love canal – for those who don’t know, it was about a man called Mr. Love and had nothing to do with love.)! When the “Cell” also known as a phase of the landfill is filled, they cover it with the same special materials and basically entomb it where it can’t effect our environment.

When commercial trucks or residents bring waste to the landfill, it is weighed and routed to the correct collection site, and then it is compacted by special large compacting equipment. Compacting the waste means decreasing the landfill area and lowering costs. At day’s end, the working area is covered.

Besides standing on top of Craven County’s highest point (125 feet above sea level), the most fascinating aspect was learning how they convert “Trash into Electricity”!
As waste enters the landfill, it begins to decompose. This causes methane gas to build up in the landfill. Methane can cause global warming, so it is illegal to release it into the air. The Coastal Environmental Partnership sells the methane gas to INGENCO who produces electricity from landfill gas. This process provides electricity to approximately 2,200 homes. CEP is the only “landfill gas-to-electricity plant” east of Raleigh.

Mark your calendar for their Hazardous House Waste and Electronics recycling dates.

– Main Administrative Office: 7400 Old HWY 70 West, New Bern, open M-F: 7:30-4:30
– Tuscarora landfill: 7400 Old HWY 70 West, New Bern, open M – F: 7:30 – 4:30 & amp Sat: 7:30-2:00
– Newport Transfer Station (TS): 800 Hibbs Road, Newport, open M-F: 7:30-4:30 &amp Sat: 7:30-12:00
– Grantsboro TS: 3291 Hwy. 306 N, Grantsboro, open M-F: 8:30-4:00 &amp Sat: 7:30–2:00

I highly recommend this tour to adults and children alike, as we need to know how we can improve not only our environment, but the environment of our future generations!

Please visit their Website for detailed information of how you can improve our community and learn about recycling efforts.

Strong work, Coastal Environmental Partnership and thanks for the fun tour!

WS Card