A new recycling resource will become available in downtown Mount Airy in the coming months — 14 resources, actually.
This involves a $32,000 project in which 14 units — combination recycling/trash containers known as “doubles” — will be placed at select, high-traffic locations in the central business district.
The city government recently was approved for a $16,000 reimbursement grant from the N.C. Division of Environmental Quality/Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service, which will cover half of the project cost.
City officials had applied for the grant during the winter, with a goal of improving the appearance of trash containers in the downtown section while also increasing opportunities for recycling there.
The state grant requires a 50-percent local match, with $8,000 of the $16,000 involved to come from the city’s general fund and the other $8,000 from the group Mount Airy Downtown Inc. It engages in appearance and other efforts to enhance the central business district, such as partnering with the city to provide the new containers, which cost $2,328 each.
The dual-receptacle approach these will offer, in which regular trash and recyclables are discarded at the same location, will benefit downtown Mount Airy in multiple ways, according to city Public Works Director Jeff Boyles.
This concept addresses the mentality of someone who, for example, wants to toss an aluminum can into the recycling bin and might also put non-recyclables into the same container if a receptacle for those were not readily available.
With openings on the sides of the containers, the design is such that items placed into the units will be protected from contamination by rain water, with the thin slots on the receptacles also serving to discourage people from putting in household garbage.
“The units will be attractive metal containers,” Boyles added.
Expected late summer
Although funding has been approved for the receptacle project — including the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners voting on May 19 to accept the state grant — the installation of the new containers will not readily occur, according to the public works director.
“We cannot proceed on this project until the next fiscal year, which begins July 1,” Boyles explained Thursday. Funding for the local match is earmarked in the city budget for 2016-2017.
“It will take a week or two to finalize the purchase and process our paperwork, and then they will need time to assemble and deliver,” Boyles further mentioned regarding the timetable for a supplier in Charlotte to make the new units available here.
“It’s hard to say, but I suspect we’ll have them in place by the end of summer.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.