Sunday, August 7, 2022

The cost of recycling: Wilmington to spend $36,000 on 23 recycling receptacles

The city was awarded similar grants in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017.

The City of Wilmington was awarded $30,000 to install 23 new recycling containers throughout the city (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)
The City of Wilmington was awarded $30,000 to install 23 new recycling containers throughout the city. (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)

WILMINGTON — In an effort to expand recycling efforts in Wilmington, City Council approved a resolution to purchase and install 23 new recycling receptacles in the Central Business District – but taking care of the environment isn’t cheap.

The new recycling containers carry a hefty price tag of more than $1,500 per unit, although Wilmington got help from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) with the purchase.

Much like similar grants received by the city in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017, the grant required a match from the city; this time the cost was $6,000. In 2014 the city installed 19 receptacles on North Front and North 3rd Streets, and in 2016, 23 receptacles were installed on the northern Riverwalk.

“The grant program focus areas include projects that facilitate away-from-home recycling (such as pedestrian recycling), projects that increase the diversion of materials that are banned from disposal in North Carolina, and projects that demonstrate a potential to significantly increase a community’s overall diversion of materials from the solid waste stream,” according to City Manager Sterling Cheatham.

The City of Wilmington was awarded $30,000 from DEACS for the purchase and installation of the receptacles.

“Eight receptacles will be installed along Market Street between Front and 2nd streets, and the remaining 15 receptacles will be installed on Front Street between Market and Orange streets. Each receptacle will be paired with a matching trash receptacle. In addition to promoting recycling and sustainability, the recycling receptacles will make it easier for pedestrians to recycle away from home and comply with a state law that bans aluminum cans and plastic bottles from NC landfills.

Sustainability Project Manager David Ingram was in charge of applying for the grant on behalf of the city and admitted that the prices for the containers is high. Ingram did say the cost was on par with industry standards.

“I agree with you, they are not cheap … They have to stand up to the elements, they have to essentially stand the test of time,” Ingram said. “These are the ones typically used in outdoor situations in parks and other cities.”

According to Jeff Hasley, an independent regional representative for Victor Stanley, the company that manufactures the containers, the model Wilmington is purchasing is on the high end of the cost spectrum.

Hasley said the prices vary depending on the thickness of the steel used and what options are selected. The model chosen by Wilmington runs about $1150 each, with added costs for a lid and other features, and $90 per container for a custom weather-proof logo.

The containers are expected to be installed by the end of the year, according to City Spokesperson Lee.

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