Lake Norman & Mooresville

Curbside recycling on its way in Mooresville

If you want to recycle in Mooresville, you need a certain level of determination.

First, you need to pre-sort your recyclable items.

Then load them into your vehicle. Finally you need to drive them to a facility off N.C. 150 and drop them off.

Fortunately, this fall, recycling in Mooresville will become easier.

Mooresville will roll out its first curbside recycling program, joining other Lake Norman towns like Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville by offering its citizens an easier way to recycle.

Mooresville's curbside recycling will be a "single-stream" program. That means you can throw all the items you want to recycle into a 96-gallon bin - the same size as your trash can - that will have been delivered to your home.

Once the bin is emptied and its contents are taken away, the items will be sorted at a facility and then recycled.

According to Mooresville Public Works Manager John Finan, the city started to look into curbside recycling during the housing boom a few years ago. A large percentage of newcomers were asking for curbside recycling bins when ordering their garbage service.

"This is a service that a lot of people were requesting as they moved into town. And three years ago we started a pilot program to test the amount of participation we would have," said Finan.

In an effort to see how well a recycling program would be received, the pilot program covered an area of Mooresville that included some older areas like downtown and some newer subdivisions.

According to Finan, the program was a success with a participation rate that averaged about 65 percent.

"Subdivisions recycled at a high 70 percent participation, and the original Mooresville area recycled at 50 percent to 60 percent," said Finan.

But demand wasn't just coming from the newer subdivisions. Finan said the city conducted two townwide surveys in the past few years.

"In both surveys we had a 60 percent response that people wanted recycling," he said.

According to Finan, there is not a cost associated with recycling.

However, 2011 taxes will include a new solid-waste fee of $36. This fee covers the cost of everything the sanitation department does, including garbage, recycling and yard waste collection.

Though the plans for the upcoming curbside recycling program are only for residential customers, Finan believes a commercial recycling program is a possibility.

"Once we have residential up and running, and the bugs worked out, we'll come back around and take a look at what it will take for us to offer commercial," said Finan.