Learning to Recycle and Turn Trash into Energy

As we celebrate our 7th year Anniversary, we’re looking back on important posts that are relevant today. Here’s an interesting one from February 2010…

Our friend, Bobbi Waters, Solid Waste Planner and Outreach Coordinator at the Coastal Environmental Partnership’s (CEP) Tuscarora Landfill site gave us a 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.

During the tour, we learned 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 “CoastalGrow” from the Landfill for $30 a ton? You can buy it by the pound!

I was very impressed with the fact that CEP lines the landfills with special materials to prevent waste runoff or discharge into the earth. 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’s 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 2,500 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.

– Craven County: 252-636-6659
– Carteret County: 252-728-8595
– Pamlico County: 252-745-4240

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. For more information call 252-633-1564.

Special thanks to Bobbi Waters and the Coastal Environmental Partnership Team for the tour!

Tell us what you think by sending us an email or call us at 252-638-6858.

Visit New Bern Now’s Facebook page or sign up for the latest updates by submitting your email address in the right margin on New Bern Now’s website.

Wendy Card