County closes recycling center because of abuse
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013

County closes recycling center because of abuse

The town of Cornelius has closed an unmanned recycling center at the entrance of Blythe Landing Park on N.C. 73 because, officials said, too many people dumped illegal waste at the site.

LUESA Solid Waste removed the recycling center Dec. 1 because of large quantities of trash, mattresses and other furniture being dumped, said Bruce Gledhill, solid waste director for Mecklenburg County. The Blythe Landing Park recycling center had been there for about a decade, Gledhill said.

“It was a growing problem that started several years ago,” Gledhill said. “We attempted to correct the problem with vigilance, cleaning and policing it, but it got worse about a year ago.”

That location was one of nine unstaffed recycling centers in Mecklenburg County and was the most problematic, Gledhill said. He said the location, on busy N.C. 73, with many commuters from neighboring Lincoln and Gaston counties, and transient population in many surrounding apartment complexes, most likely contributed to the illegal dumps.

“There was no doubt people knew what they were doing,” Gledhill said. “There were several weekends when it was just a pile of garbage. It became an annoyance to us and the town of Cornelius.”

Cornelius Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant said the recycling center served as a convenience to residents to drop off recyclable goods in between curbside pick-ups. He added that residents outside town limits, and especially those in Lincoln County, who might not get curbside recycling service, often used the recycling containers. However, when the abuse escalated, the site became an eyesore and had to be removed.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Grant said.

The town is working with Mecklenburg County to find a replacement location for the recycling bins. Gledhill said there are multiple sites in Cornelius that are county and town property, but no particular site has been identified.

In the meantime, the closest unstaffed recycling center is on Jackson Street in Davidson. There is a staffed station on Statesville Road in Huntersville, which is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Residents of Cornelius are provided with curbside service for recycling and garbage and will continue to be served, Grant said.

Jennifer Menster is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jennifer? Email her at

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