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County To Seek Grant For Boardwalk Recycling Containers

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk may soon get new recycling containers following a vote of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved seeking a grant to improve recycling options at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk during their February 17th, meeting.
According to Joe Suleyman, Environmental Management Director, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources ( NCDENR) has requested proposals for grant funding to assist local governments in expanding, improving and implementing waste reduction and recycling programs.
Suleyman explained to the Board, "NCDENR encourages and awards bonus points for projects that create away-from -home recycling opportunities such as recycling at public facilities like parks or public venues. The New Hanover County Environmental Management Department, in partnership with the Town of Carolina Beach, proposes to make "away from home" recycling convenient to visitors and residents who utilize the Town of Carolina Beach's Boardwalk."
He explained, "The goal of the grant is to purchase recycling receptacles and position them along the boardwalk near the intersection of beach access points to achieve
the greatest impact. Visitors would have the opportunity to recycle upon arrival and once again upon departure from the beach."
Suleyman said the request is for $ 30,000 in grant funding with an additional $6,000 required match in funding. The $6,000 match was included in the Environmental Management Enterprise Fund's fiscal year 2014 - 2015 requested budget for the department.
The Board voted unanimously to approve of the request.
Suleyman explained the grant opportunities come along once a year. He said, "Several months back, the former Mayor of Carolina Beach [Bob Lewis]came here making you aware of a project they were doing expanding and renovating their boardwalk and I was impressed by that presentation and some of the things it would bring to the community."
When the grant opportunity arose, Suleyman said the Boardwalk project came to mind and a need was identified at the Boardwalk.
He said Town Manager Michael Cramer was contacted and supports the idea to enhance the downtown area.
Suleyman said the new containers will be strong enough to withstand the oceanfront elements while being visually appealing over the long-term.
He said if the grant is approved the containers would be in place before the peak of the tourist season.
The Town of Carolina Beach will be responsible for servicing the recycling containers.
The containers will be made of recycled plastic material and will resist UV light that typically breaks down a plastic container. Suleyman said they are practically indestructible.
He explained, "Durability was an important factor in selecting the type of receptacle. The receptacles would be subjected to high winds, rain, sand, salt water, and high temperatures. To avoid high maintenance costs and ensure a long service life while retaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance, a receptacle constructed of recycled HDPE was selected. A need for marine -grade hardware (to resist corrosion) and UV- stabilized pigments (to prevent fading) further narrowed the field of acceptable options."
He explained, "The County proposes to purchase 18 three - compartment receptacle units (45 gallon per compartment). Two compartments in each unit will be designated and marked for recyclable materials, and the third will be
designated and marked for non - recyclable materials. Each receptacle is constructed of recycled HDPE containing UV- stabilized pigments and marine -grade hardware. Each receptacle is clearly marked with text and universally-recognized symbols showing the types of materials collected."
In 2012, the Town of Carolina Beach had a population of 5,883 and had over 550, 000 visitors. The boardwalk area provides direct access to the beach for many residents and visitors, and hosts numerous festivals, concerts, and events.
Based on the service frequency, visitor count, and historical per- capita generation rates, it is estimated that this program would divert 12, 156 pounds of recyclable materials (primarily PET beverage containers) away from landfill disposal per season.
Suleyman explained, "The receptacles are warranted for three (3) years and have an expected service life of 20 years. There has been increasing interest in the Town government to not only increase recycling rates overall, but to improve on recycling collection at the beach as well as the adjacent business district. Aesthetically pleasing, low- maintenance recycling receptacles strategically located along high - traffic areas are a key element of this vision. It is expected that this project will be sustainable through the full service life of the receptacles, and may lead to future program expansion to adjacent areas with high foot traffic, such as the Central Business District (CBD)."
The goal of this project is to enhance and expand an existing service. The boardwalk renovation includes an 800' extension of the existing boardwalk, doubling the current length. The multi- compartment recycling receptacles are intended to replace existing 95-gallon carts at beach access points.
$30,000 will purchase 18 units, cover advertising and shipping of the containers.