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Originally published: 2014-03-17 12:43:26
Last modified: 2014-03-17 12:44:11

Our View: Trading the old for the new

That Watauga County is proud of its mountain home was again evidenced as the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources released figures about household recycling. Watauga again ranked in the Top 5, this year at No. 3, among North Carolina counties in the amount of common household recyclables recovered. In real numbers, each resident of Watauga County recycled plastics, paper and glass at an amount of just more than 233 pounds per person last year. 

Indeed, in the spring, summer and fall more than 80 percent of Boone households alone recycle.That environmental dedication points to more than good stewardship of our land, it shows, as the recycling coordinator for Boone said, that "folks in this community ... put our mountain first."

But not to rest on our laurels, now it's important that Watauga continues to explore other avenues in recycling convenience and materials. Boone's curbside recycling program is largely behind the town's high percentage, but both the town and county must continue to explore a similar program for recycling other plastics and materials not currently accepted. Today, for example, only the convenience center at the old landfill site off of U.S. 421 accepts rigid plastics, such as plant containers. 

Beyond this, food waste for composting, used cooking oil and electronics all present other opportunities for recycling, and the chance to not only give back to our mountain region, but preserve it for generations.