Earth Day: ‘So the Earth can be prettier’

Earth Day: ‘So the Earth can be prettier’


by MIKE HANSON / NBC Charlotte

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 9:34 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mecklenburg County celebrated Earth Day by bringing people, tents, tote bags, fuel-efficient cars and brochures full of information to the corner of Trade and Tryon in uptown Charlotte. The goal was to raise awareness and promote the benefits of recycling.

Jeff Smithberger, director of Solid Waste of Mecklenburg County, says half of the Queen City participates in recycling and half does not.

“Every day is really Earth Day. People need to understand that they need to take care of our environment and celebrate it, and we have this beautiful extravaganza here today… and highlights the ability for us to talk about the things that are easy for people to do.”

Erin Dummert stopped by several tents with her daughters. She was impressed.
“This is great. Just to have something where people can come out and get seeds and trees… just experience what they can do for Earth Day is awesome.”

Erin’s daughter Jocelyn agreed.

“I think it’s really cool that they’re giving us trees to plant in our back yard… so the Earth can be prettier.”

Here is a list of the items you can put in your curb-side bin: newspapers, glass bottles and jars, plastic water, or soda bottles, wide-mouth plastic containers, juice boxes, empty aerosol cans, cardboard boxes (flattened), phone books, tin/steel cans, aluminum cans and pizza boxes.

Be sure to remove any plastic caps from your bottles because Mecklenburg County doesn’t have the machinery to remove the caps at this time. Without the caps, the process speeds up.

Mecklenburg County offers free Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal to its residents living in Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville. The County contracts with ECOFLO to operate collection sites at four recycling centers.

Hazardous materials brought in are collected and evaluated for recycling, treatment, or proper disposal by ECOFLO. By disposing of household hazardous waste properly, the water, and environment is safer. has a list of the collection centers throughout the city.

Hazardous Waste is defined in four ways:

• Toxic - can cause injury or death if swallowed, absorbed, or inhaled.
• Flammable - can be ignited by a flame, spark, ignition source or hot surface under almost all temperature conditions.
• Corrosive - a chemical or its vapors that can burn or destroy living tissues at the site of contact, and deteriorate or wear away the surface of a material.
• Explosive - violently bursting when exposed to pressure to heat or other substances.