For decades, China has been the largest importer of waste from around the world. Beginning January 1st, 2018 China instituted a new policy banning the import of 24 types of solid waste including unsorted paper products and polyethylene terephthalate (a low-grade plastic used in bottles). They also instituted a new contamination rate for recycling imports of just 0.5% and temporarily suspended licenses for many recyclers. This is a result of the world exports containing large amounts of dirty waste as well as some hazardous waste. This is a huge wake up call for the material recovery facilities all around the world. China is now holding them to a strict standard in order to get the material that they need to remain the second largest economy in the world and protect their environment.

Some solutions that have been discussed are improving our recycling with new robotic sorting technology, upgraded equipment, and/or developing more domestic recycling and reprocessing. So what can residents do to help? We can make sure that we're recycling correctly by knowing what materials are accepted in our community. This will help reduce contamination when our recyclables reach the material recovery facilities.

As of right now, the Carolinas are fortunate to have a strong plastic recycling industry as well as many paper mills in the southeast. Click here for more information on the impact that plastic recycling has had on the Carolinas.
Keep Brunswick County Beautiful conducts a Community Appearance Litter Index of 50 roads throughout the county each year. In 2017, it was found that Mt. Pisgah Road was one of the highest scoring roads.

On May 9th, Keep Brunswick County Beautiful Board Secretary E. Gifford Stack, Board Treasurer John Henderson, and Board Members Lora Sharkey, Gere Dale, Joe Posey and Ed Gutnecht joined Executive Director Micki Bozeman in a litter sweep of Mt. Pisgah Rd. A total of 21 bags with 380 pounds of litter was collected from the roadside and ditches. This also included some signs and a vacuum cleaner.
Keep Brunswick County Beautiful teamed up with Surfrider Foundation Cape Fear Chapter, Plastic Ocean Project and Coastal Water Watch to recognize local restaurants as Ocean Friendly Establishments. The goal is to bring awareness of the plastic pollution problem in the world. The restaurants have agreed to only serve straws upon request. This is a self-regulated initiative and the restaurants are encouraged to educate they're waitstaff and ask that they adhere to the initiative. This is not only a way to raise awareness to the amount of plastic waste but it also saves the restaurant money! Several Brunswick County restaurants have joined the initiative with much excitement.

Shagger Jacks (Oak Island), Mojos on the Harbor (Bald Head Island), Inlet View Bar & Grill (Shallotte), George's Pancake House (Calabash), Cafe Koa (Southport), Dry Street Pub & Pizza (Southport), Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar (Leland), Pepperoni Grill (Oak Island), Pepperoni Grill (Boiling Spring Lakes), Swain Seafood Shack (Oak Island), Kai Joe's Tacos (Oak Island) and Mr. P's Bistro (Southport)

Anyone interested in joining the Skip the Straw initiative and becoming an Ocean Friendly Establishment can contact Micki Bozeman .
Each year, the Ocean Conservancy posts results from coastal and waterway cleanups. The 2018 results are in and Brunswick County showed up! From small to large cleanups, Brunswick County residents helped beautify our beaches and waterways.

Brunswick County Results
747 Volunteers Participated
1799 Pounds Collected
582 Miles Covered
30,230 Items Collected

Global Results
1,352,775 Volunteers Participated
50,582,996 Pounds Collected
42,992 Miles Covered
36,301,108 Items Collected

Anyone can participate in Clean Swell by downloading the Clean Swell app from the App Store or Google Play. Anytime you collect litter whether it's a day at the beach or on a fishing trip, log it in your app. All results are automatically plugged in to the Ocean Conservancy database.
Brunswick County residents and property owners can dispose of the following year around.
Electronics, fluorescent bulbs & CFL's, single stream recycling , scrap metal, appliances, propane tanks, oyster shells, tires (limit 5 per resident), used cooking oil, latex paint & cans, textiles, corrugated cardboard, household & automotive batteries, used oil, oil filters, antifreeze, fuel, smoke detectors and cellphones.

Electronics, fluorescent bulbs (4 foot or smaller) & CFL's, single stream recycling , corrugated cardboard, scrap metal, household batteries, appliances, oyster shells (all locations except Leland), tires (Southport and Leland only, limit 5 per resident), used cooking oil, smoke detectors, textiles and cellphones.

For location and hours, please visit the  Brunswick County Solid Waste & Recycl ing   website.