Tag Archives: recycle

This week at DHEC

Highlights from this week at DHEC:

Don’t Waste Food

Richard Chesley interviewed with ABC Columbia about our Don’t Waste Food S.C. campaign. Richard pointed out that 38.4 million tons of food are simply thrown away in the United States every year.  To put it another way, 40% of all food processed is simply tossed in the circular file.

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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

nbhaad-facebook-infographic-1200x1200In observance of  National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7th, we worked with community-based organizations to offer free HIV testing testing events across South Carolina. More than 12,600 African-Americans in our state are living with HIV/AIDS, and thousands more haven’t been tested. For more information about the fight against AIDS in South Carolina, including local HIV testing sites, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437), or visit http://www.scdhec.gov/stdhiv .

Gold Star Honor for Tobacco-Free Efforts

teamphotoThis week DHEC was recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Working Well initiative and Prevention Partners for achieving the highest standard of tobacco-free excellence.

Jen Wright of Working Well visited DHEC to present Director Catherine Heigel and members of our Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control and Worksite Wellness team the Gold Star award for creating a tobacco-free workplace and providing high-quality tobacco cessation programs for employees..

In order for an organization to receive this recognition, it must have a tobacco-free worksite policy, refer its employees to effective quit programs and counseling, provide comprehensive cessation benefits (nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications) and offer incentives to encourage employees to quit tobacco. These are among several evidence-based components recommended by Working Well and Prevention Partners for comprehensive quit-tobacco systems at worksites.

Spare old tires second lives as mosquito havens, nuisances and hazards  

Old, discarded vehicle tires might not have the get up and go they used to, but if we don’t properly dispose of them they operate just fine when it comes to aiding and accelerating the growth of the mosquito population.

Tires are ideal breeding sites for several species of mosquitoes that could carry diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. They collect leaves and easily fill up with water when it rains, making them perfect places for mosquito larvae to thrive.

Considering the fact that South Carolinians generate more than 4.5 million waste tires every year, it’s critical that we dispose of them in the right manner.

Recycling is the best solution

Here’s how you as a citizen can help:

  • When you purchase a new tire, leave the old one with the dealer.
  • If you have tires around your home, toss out any water they might be holding, keep them dry and cover them or store them inside. If you don’t have a use for keeping them, the best solution is to recycle discarded tires. Most counties have collection programs that accept a minimal number of waste tires (usually about five) at drop-off recycling centers. Check with your local recycling coordinator or call the Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling at 1-800-768-7348 for a drop-off center near you.
  • Report tire dumping and unpermitted storage of waste tires. Contact your local litter control office or the local DHEC Environmental Health Services Office. To find your local litter office go to org/about/ and select your county. DHEC offices are listed at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DHECLocations/.

Properly discarding tires helps control mosquito populations and combats mosquito-borne diseases, and it also prevents potential fire hazards and removes unsightly nuisances. Recycled tires can be turned into valuable products like rubberized asphalt or crumb rubber applications that can be used in road projects, playgrounds, sport facilities and even erosion-resistant beach walls.

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Recycled tires can be used to construct sports facilities.

In South Carolina, DHEC is working to identify responsible parties to remove and manage illegally dumped tires. But while it’s critical to cleanup existing piles, the best solution is to prevent such piles from forming in the first place.

Be responsible and lawful

It’s going to take responsible, informed, lawful efforts on the part of those who sell, buy, transport or process tires to avoid the creation of waste tire heaps:

  • If you transport more than 15 waste tires at any one time in South Carolina, you must be registered as a hauler. Be sure to obtain a waste tire hauler permit.
  • A permit also is required to process waste tires, including the use of mobile shredders.
  • The storage of waste tires typically requires a waste tire collection permit. Certain exemptions apply to new or scrap tire dealers, tire retreaders, tire manufacturers, permitted solid waste facilities, businesses that remove tires from motor vehicles and agricultural users.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road: Once tires have lost their get up and go, dispose of them properly. Spare them a second life as mosquito havens, nuisances and environmental hazards.

Reduce Holiday Waste

By Richard Chesley, DHEC Recycling Program manager

The holidays. We do more, buy more, eat more. And,  we throw away more.

Think about it. The food waste, shopping bags, packaging, ribbons and bows, wrapping paper and boxes – it all adds up. In fact, it’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away about 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year.

In South Carolina, it is estimated that we dispose of nearly 960,000 tons of waste between November and the end of January – comprising 31 percent of the total waste disposed of in a year!

But it doesn’t have to be the most wasteful time of the year. The holidays are a perfect time to reduce, reuse and recycle.

 

Give more, waste less gift

Think about gifts that make memories, not waste. For example, you could give tickets to a game or concert, a membership to a gym or fitness classes, gift certificates for a massage or manicure, classes to learn a new hobby or even give some homemade cookies in a reusable tin.If something more tangible is on your list – Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than too many that may become unwanted.

Let’s wrap it up (or not)

Who needs wrapping paper? Use a simple ribbon or bow for large gifts and try reusing old maps, blueprints, or pages from the Sunday comics for a unique and eco-friendly gift presentation they will love. Be sure to save reusable bows, boxes and bags for next year!

It’s in the cards

Consider sending e-cards rather than paper ones this year or look for recycled-content holiday postcards that will save you on postage and envelopes.

Tree-cycle

When the holidays are over, remember to recycle your Christmas tree. Call your local recycling coordinator or click here to learn where you can take your tree to be mulched or composted.

Make a grocery list, and check it twice
Did you know that food waste is the biggest contributor to landfills? Help reduce wasted food by buying only what you need, donating what you don’t and safely storing leftovers so you can get the most out of your meals. For the food waste you do generate, try composting – it’s a gift to your garden.

Recycle more

If we had just one thing on our holiday wish list, it would be to  recycle during the holidays and throughout the year. It’s easy, it supports jobs and it helps keep South Carolina clean and beautiful. From empty green bean cans to drink bottles to tires and trees – click here to find what and where to recycle near you.

For more information about recycling and other solid waste management topics, please call the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling at 1-800-768-7348 or visit www.scdhec.gov/recycle.