Recycling Works Newsletter Spring 2022

RBAC's quarterly newsletter discusses current topics of interest to recycling businesses, including information on financing opportunities, commodity markets and new technologies.

In the Spring 2022 Recycling Works issue:

CRA Conference

The Carolina Recycling Association (CRA) celebrated its 32nd year at its annual trade show and conference, held March 21-24, 2022, in Myrtle Beach. More than 400 recycling professionals from North and South Carolina as well as different parts of the southeast attended CRA’s first in-person conference since 2019. 

Topics covered included: multi-family recycling, employee retention for front-line positions, and recycling education. This year’s conference also included Waste Wise Wednesday to cover hard-to-recycle items like foam, solar panels, textiles and batteries.

The keynote address was given by N.C Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Elizabeth Biser. The keynote session included a presentation on product circularity by JT Marbuger, founder of Circular Solutions Advisors, and Todd Marty, Coca Cola Consolidated’s senior director of public affairs.

Next year the conference returns to Wilmington, NC, and will be held March 27-30, 2023.

State of the State Recycling Report

Each year, DEQ’s Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) receives annual recycling reports from every county and municipality in North Carolina. The data shows that of North Carolina’s 652 local governments, all 100 counties and 58 percent of municipalities operated or contracted for a recycling program in FY 2020-21.

North Carolinians recycled 301 pounds of material (comprised of glass, plastic, metals, fiber, electronics, specialty wastes, construction-and-demolition materials, tires, and organics) per person in local government programs in FY 2020-21 – down from the statewide high of 340 pounds per person in FY 2018-19. This decrease can be attributed to the fact that traditional recyclables have become lighter as manufacturers create lighter and thinner containers using fewer raw materials, a decrease in glass collection by some local government programs, and a change in methodology in recycling tonnage calculations to account for contamination.

Read the full report:

Food Waste Compost Capacity Report

In early 2021, DEACS surveyed the state's food waste composters to determine their operational capacity to accept additional food waste. DEACS compared that total of 350,000 tons per year with the estimated 2.5 million tons of food waste generated per year in the agricultural, commercial, and residential sectors. Read more: 2022 Compost Capacity Report

Multifamily Recycling Grant

The Multifamily Recycling Grant Program is a special grant program offering funding to begin or expand multifamily recycling programs within North Carolina. Eligible applicants include local governments, recycling businesses or non-profits, multifamily property owners, or multifamily property management companies. Grant funds may be used to purchase needed equipment to start or expand the collection of traditional household recyclables (paper, cardboard, metal cans, glass and plastic bottles and containers) from multifamily residences. Examples of eligible purchases include carts, dumpsters, collection vehicles, concrete pads, recycling corrals and educational materials. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with no due date. Approved grant applications will be funded in the order in which they are received until funding is exhausted.

Available Funding:

  • The minimum amount of grant funding available per Multifamily Recycling Grant project:  $25,000.
  • The maximum amount of grant funding available per Multifamily Recycling Grant project:  $250,000.

The 2022 Multifamily Recycling Grant request for proposals is available for download at: Please contact Carol Abken at 919-707-8145 or or Sandy Skolochenko at 919-707-8147 or if you have any questions.

MRF Survey

The state Recycling Program is conducting a survey of all the MRFs that serve North Carolina communities. To better direct these efforts to provide technical assistance and grant funding, please take a short survey about MRF capacity, material quality and equipment. Individual responses will be kept anonymous. Data will be aggregated to understand market trends.

Survey link:

New Organics Recycling Specialist

NC DEACS is pleased to announce that Christine Wittmeier will be taking over the role of Organics Recycling Specialist beginning May 16, 2022. Wittmeier is a graduate of Auburn University and was previously the Environmental Programs Supervisor for Henderson County, NC. You can reach Christine by email at


DEACS Job Opening

DEACS is hiring a Program Coordinator. This position will provide recycling technical assistance to counties, municipalities, state agencies and other waste generators throughout North Carolina and administers the NC Green Travel Initiative that recognizes and encourages the growth of sustainable environmental practices by the state’s travel industry. The opening closes on May 18. Apply here.


The Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC) is a program of the N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) that provides technical, business and financial assistance to recycling companies.​​​​​​​