Thursday, February 05, 2009


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.


"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.


  1. Anonymous2:27 PM

    This is a terrible idea. Visitors to the Island do not have the approved bags and I do not believe that visitors will want to pay $5 to get a sticker for a bag. The net result is that visitors and other will dispose of their waste in someone else's garbage cans or revert to litter. This will create an unfair burden on the Island property owners, who will have to pay to dispose of other people trash, after picking it up.
    Why does Ocracoke have a PAYT system and not the mainland Hyde County?

  2. Anonymous2:51 PM

    They currently have that system in the town where I live in NC. Our stickers are 2.50. We have a terrible littering and dumping problem because people don't want to spend 2.50. They are trying to vote in the mandatory pickup and add the fee to our water bill.

  3. Anonymous3:12 PM

    I to agree this is a bad idea and that you will see a lot of illegal dumping and litter. Will the rental agencies supply bags to the renters?Also I think peoples empty trash cans will be used to collect other peoples trash who do not use the bags.

  4. Anonymous3:33 PM

    On both sides of me are rental houses and I have had other peoples garbage put in my trash cans during the summer. I will be moving my cans to the back of my house and getting a trash compactor and put my trash out on collection day. I hope people do not litter more I pick up way to much as it is now!

  5. Anonymous8:46 PM

    As an annual visitor to Ocracoke I would gladly pay the trash fee, either to the rental company or purchasing the stickers. However.., the renters in the house adjacent to ours last year couldn't even be bothered to put their trash in tied bags in the cans, they just dumped loose trash in the can and left the lid off. I am afraid people like that won't be too inclined to follow the rules.

  6. Anonymous11:52 PM

    Ocracoke doesn’t have a lot of isolated roads, but other counties that have done this have seen a major increase in dumping along dead-end or blind spots along roads. As someone that lives on a dead-end road, dumping has become a major problem, one that I can’t even get the Sheriff’s office to come out for any more. They say they are just getting two many calls on dumping, was never a problem when our dump was open for regular hours & free. Times are hard and everyone is always looking to save money, Better get a good neighborhood watch program started and a neighborhood pickup / clean up group started.

    The house we rent, just always asked us to take our trash to the dumpsters near the Post Office / Sheriff's office, will this still be an option for visitors?

  7. Anonymous10:41 AM

    How does this affect the visitors that come to the beach from Hatteras? Some actually take their trash to the dumpsters at the ramp entrance. Common sense would say take it with you back where you came from, but a lot of trash will be dumped somewhere. Probably on the beach.

  8. Anonymous2:40 PM

    When we come to Ocracoke I always pick up trash off the beach while I walk . I disposed of it at the sheriff's office at the dumpsters. I guess I will not be doing that any more.

  9. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Any idea how the rental companies plan on handling this? Sure hope folks comply or there could be a heck of a mess. I always pick up trash on my beach walks but I would'nt want to have to pay to dispose of it. Any thoughts on this?

  10. A few comments about PAYT: I don't have a crystal ball, so I don't know what (if any) future problems we will encounter. But I do know that as a single taxpayer I had been paying a disproportionate amount for the very little trash I personally generated. PAYT is much more equitable.

    I don't know what the rental agencies' policies will be, but I'm sure they have plans to implement the new program. You can contact them directly for that information.

    We have a trash can at Village Craftsmen. We have always been willing to collect customers' trash (the vast majority of which always comes from other businesses -- drink containers,especially). We will continue to do this. It is a very minor cost of doing business, and it is good for the island and good for business.

    I also pick up trash as I walk the beach. I will continue to do so. My total trash bill (with PAYT) will still be significantly lower than it was when I was taxed for solid waste disposal. If you want, you can personally hand me your bags of beach trash, and I will pay to dispose of it.

    This system may not be perfect (the old system certainly wasn't) but it will only work if people want it to work. If it proves to be a burden, changes will be made.

    I, for one, am willing to give it a try, and I will not be littering because of it. I trust that Ocracoke residents and visitors are no less committed to keeping the island beautiful now than they were last year.