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'Living in Charlotte' sustainably — what you need to know about recycling and composting


Note: This program originally aired August 1, 2023.

As the population continues to grow in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County — so does the amount of trash and waste. This means it’s important to turn to sustainable solutions like recycling and composting.

Recently, Mecklenburg has expanded the kinds of materials that can be recycled. But in some cases, citizens have to be willing to go to one of four recycling center locations to drop it off. In 2021, the city made a change in how it collects yard waste: No more plastic bags allowed.

Mecklenburg County

But what about food waste? That’s where Crown Town Compost comes in. The company aims to “empower individuals to enrich their homes, their communities, and the world we all share. Crown Town Compost's unique approach involves transforming the food waste from local businesses and homes into nutrient-rich compost, ready to revive gardens and farms throughout the region.”

So what can you recycle? What can you compost? How much of our recyclables actually get recycled? And where does it all go? We discuss this, and more, on Charlotte Talks.


Jeff Smithberger, director of Solid Waste Management for Mecklenburg County
Kris Steele, co-founder of Crown Town Compost

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.