Partnerships help county keep top rank in recycling

Staff Writer

Catawba County has been recognized as a leader in recycling.   We have attained the number one ranking in the State of North Carolina over three of the last four fiscal years. The National Recycling Coalition, a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing recycling across the United States, recently recognized the County’s recycling program and EcoComplex as this year’s outstanding community or government program. 
Our citizens, businesses, municipalities and school systems have done a great job with recycling, including some businesses that are part of a special program. 
The County’s Commercial Recycling and Waste Reduction Partnership is a free and voluntary program that encourages local businesses to take proactive steps to improve their environmental record, while also improving their bottom-line. It recognizes businesses that operate in an environmentally friendly manner by practicing the “four Rs” (reduce, reuse, recycle, rebuy). 
The program now has 23 partners: Bassett Upholstery, Blue Line Technologies, CR Laine Furniture Co. Inc., Commercial Plastics Recycling Inc., CommScope, Inc., Corning Optical Communications, HMTC Hickory, Ethan Allen Maiden Retail Service Center, Ethan Allen Operations Maiden Division, Frye Regional Medical Center, Heritage Home Group LLC – Hickory Chair, Hickory Mechanical Inc, HSM Corporate, HSM Solutions, Lee Industries, Leggett and Platt Distribution Center, Pallet One of NC Inc., Parker Southern, Recycling Equipment Inc., Republic Services Conover Materials Recovery Facility, ReSource Warehouse and Gallery, RollTech Molding Products LLC, and Temple Furniture. 
Businesses that become partners are able to access a wide range of data and assistance.  Staff in our
Department of Utilities and Engineering have created a 49-page Resource Guide for Commercial Recycling and Waste Reduction. 
It has information on why businesses should be interested in recycling and reducing waste; waste reduction options; how to create and implement a waste reduction program; source reduction and reuse strategies and ideas; how to implement a recycling program; tax and business incentives for recycling and waste reduction; and “how to find cash in your trash”. 
Program partners receive technical assistance at no cost.  Our staff helps partners find markets for their recyclable materials, both locally and around the state. 
It’s easy to join the partnership.  First, your business must be willing to make a strong commitment to recycling and waste reduction.  It should establish a workplace "Green Team."  Then it may submit an application to join the Partnership, which should include a narrative of the company's environmental program and one or more significant goals for the coming year in recycling, waste reduction, reuse and buying recycled products. 
If this program sounds like a good idea for your business, I encourage you to contact Amanda Kain at
828-465-8217 or amandak@catawbacountync.gov.   You may learn more at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/ue/commrec/default.asp.

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