By: Steve Harrison (Charlotte Observer)
Last month, the city of Lincolnton near Charlotte stopped its recycling program, and residents began throwing their glass, plastic bottles and cardboard into their garbage.
The city's recycling contractor, Sonoco, could no longer find a home for the reusable waste — a problem seen nationwide, and in Charlotte, because the market for recyclables has collapsed.
Shannon Binns is the executive director of the nonprofit Sustain Charlotte. He said this down market is a "long overdue wake-up call that we can't consume large quantities of single-use, disposable materials just because they are recyclable."
He said the county and city need to identify the top five sources of contamination and create an educational campaign to help people understand what is recyclable and what isn't.
Binns said the county could ask restaurants to stop giving people single-use disposable bags and other items and could offer a certification program for restaurants that eliminate certain single-use plastics.
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