The Hyde County Commissioners have issued the following information about trash on Ocracoke. If you own property on the island, or live here all or part of the year, this information will help y0u adjust to our new Pay As You Throw policy.
"On May 5, 2008, the Board of Hyde County Commissioners voted to implement a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) system of residential and commercial solid waste collection on Ocracoke Island after a year of public input and weighing alternatives. Previously, the county’s solid waste bill was being paid by monthly fees for residents and businesses that were standardized and did not reflect the amount of trash disposal by each household and business. In the place of a monthly fee that was previously attached to the property tax bills, residents will instead buy the appropriate bags and only pay for what they use. For business owners, instead of dumpster tipping fees or unfair standardized fees, each business will be responsible for buying their bags and using those for the disposal of non-recyclable solid waste on Ocracoke.
"At the Ocracoke convenience site, residents and businesses are encouraged to recycle their glass, plastic, newspapers, “white paper”, cardboard, and aluminum in the appropriate bins on site for FREE. By not having these heavier items in your everyday trash, the approved PAYT bags will only contain non-recyclable items. When you reduce your waste, you reduce your costs.
"Complimentary PAYT bags were given out at the first of the year to initiate this method of solid waste collection. The new, approved PAYT bags are $3.00 per bag. Another option for businesses and for larger households is a sticker that is available to stick on your own larger bags for $5. The new PAYT bags and stickers are currently available at the Ocracoke Convenience Site during regular hours.
"January was a month of transition and we'll be doing our best to answer questions as we continue forward. The big thing to remember is that PAYT will only work if the community WANTS it to work.
"By Monday, February 16, all Ocracoke residents and businesses should be using PAYT bags and stickers for their waste disposal.
"Please note that this new collection system will still use the existing curbside and dumpster pickup or you can dispose of your trash bags at the Ocracoke Convenience Site during regular hours. The plan to include all roads not previously covered by curbside pickup is still underway.
"Please be informed about the recycling program at the Ocracoke Convenience Site. The capacity for recycling has doubled at the convenience site to meet the expected demands of this system, but it is to your advantage to recycle everything that you can.
"What is PAY AS YOU THROW?
"It is a system that charges everyone for trash services based on the amount of waste they throw away. The system is fair to everyone, and it puts you in control of how much you spend on trash. Participating in Ocracoke’s new program will be easy: either place your trash in the approved $3 bag or your own larger bag with the $5 sticker. Then, just place these bags for curbside collection or take to the dump as you always have. Only trash in the approved bags or bags with approved stickers will be accepted. There are no other hidden charges, and no charges on your tax bill.
"Acceptable Recycling Items at the Ocracoke Convenience Site:
"Steel (tin) cans: Rinse, remove lid and place it in the can; labels may stay on. No aerosol or paint cans.
Aluminum cans: Rinse and crush if desired. No foil or foil pans, please.
Glass: Clear and brown food and beverage containers. Rinse and remove lids. No light bulbs, ceramics, windows, ovenware, candleholders, or cups, etc.
Newspapers and inserts: Place in bin and keep dry. Do not tie. We do accept magazines, phonebooks, or other papers. No shredded paper.
Plastics: # 1 and # 2 plastic bottles and jugs including soda, juice, milk, water, detergent, shampoo, etc. Check the number on the bottom, and must have a neck narrower than the base. Rinse, remove lid, and flatten. No wide mouth jars, tubs, buckets, bags, cups, plates, Styrofoam, or pesticide or motor oil bottles.
Cardboard: Please flatten and place in separate “cardboard only” bin at site.
"The Ocracoke Convenience Site winter hours are currently Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.
If you have questions or want more information, please call James Blount, Hyde County Solid Waste Superintendant, at 252-926- 4196 ext.4463."
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter provides more information about the majestic live oaks on Ocracoke Island. You can read it here.
To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.