The Orange County Solid Waste Advisory Group (SWAG) is currently holding public meetings to hear feedback on its services and develop its Solid Waste Master Plan, through which the county intends to eliminate solid waste by 2045. Meetings started mid-November and will continue through the start of December. They are offered in both in-person and online formats. Currently, the waste management advisory council is still developing the action items of the plan. The council values civilian input as they continue to shape their initiative. “Our goal is really to get a good broad-based input from the community.” Cheryl Young, research and data manager for the Orange County Solid Waste Management department, said.

The solid waste management team is currently inviting citizens of Orange County to fill out a survey to help them gauge community involvement in proper waste disposal. It will be open to the public until Dec. 5 and will also be available in Spanish, Mandarin and Burmese. Young highlighted that people should take the survey to tell the department what they want, where they think it’s at with its work and what it should be striving towards.

Surveys and meetings will help the department account for the social, financial and environmental factors that impact the execution of the master plan. The county will focus efforts around minimizing overconsumption and maximizing the reuse and reintegration of recyclable materials countywide. “So you know, there’s a flip side: one is pulling everything out of waste, but the other is demonstrating all the very proactive aspects of looking at materials. And I say that because if you think of repurposing, you don’t think of it as waste,” Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Carrboro Town Council member and member of SWAG, said.

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Author: Henry Thomas, The Daily Tar Heel
Image: Ashlyn Rhyne, The Daily Tar Heel