A handy means of recycling, as well as trash disposal, is now available in downtown Mount Airy due to a $32,000 project.
Fourteen new containers — combination recycling/trash units known as “doubles” — were installed by city sanitation personnel last Friday at select, high-traffic locations in the central business district.
The attractive metal containers are fulfilling multiple goals of Mount Airy officials: to improve the appearance of trash receptacles in the downtown area while also increasing opportunities for recycling there.
Mount Airy is taking a cue from other communities that have adopted the dual-receptacle approach that allows regular trash and recyclables to be disposed of at the same location.
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. Meanwhile, the thin slots on the receptacles also serve to discourage people from putting in household garbage.
The new containers have been well-received, according to city Public Works Director Jeff Boyles.
“I would say the response has been very positive so far,” Boyles added Thursday afternoon.
“Everyone I’ve spoken with says they look very attractive, and are pleased our citizens and visitors have another option for recycling should they choose to do so.”
The city of Mount Airy instituted a curbside recycling program in 2012 as part of its emphasis on the environmentally friendly practice.
In order to provide the new receptacles downtown, local officials applied for and were awarded a $16,000 grant last winter through the N.C. Division of Environmental Quality.
That provided half of the $32,000 cost involved, with the grant requiring a 50-percent local match.
The remaining $16,000 needed came through an $8,000 allocation from the city’s general fund and the other half from the group Mount Airy Downtown Inc., which engages in appearance and other efforts to enhance the central business district.
City officials had hoped to have the containers installed downtown by late summer, which was delayed until last week.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.