Reuse

Image of exhibit celebrating the history of The Scrap Exchange and Durham's Lakewood neighborhood.
Katy Clune

North Carolinians throw away 11 million tons of waste each year, contributing to the more than 200 million tons of waste discarded by all Americans. 

a sustainable carry-out box
Courtesy of Damian House

Sustainability advocates are raising money to create a reusable restaurant carry-out container system in Durham.

A bicycle commuter.
Heb / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_Copenhagen#/media/File:Copenhagen_cycle_chic.jpg

North Carolina's "Share the Road" signs and "sharrows" on the pavement are confusing to many motorists.

That's according  North Carolina State University researchers George Hess and Nils Petersen. Their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, reports that language is ambiguous and does not reflect state law.

A picture of a teacher and intern working on a computer.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Computers, smart phones and other electronics often end up in landfills just a couple years after they're manufactured. The United Nations says electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in developed developing countries alike, and it can be hazardous.

A picture of used aluminum cans.
Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

Spring cleaning is underway; you can tell from the yard sales dotting lawns over the weekend. Most other unwanted items can go in your recycling bin. Morning Edition producer Rebecca Martinez has been reporting on recycling and re-use.

Eric Hodge: Communities across the state have really been pushing recycling in recent years, making it more convenient. Why does that matter?

A picture of Bob Savino and some fresh mattresses.
Carol Jackson / WUNC

Off all the items that end up in a landfill, operators agree that mattresses are the biggest nuisance. So one Greensboro entrepreneur found a way to give new life to mattresses while turning a profit.

"Landfill operators hate mattresses, frankly. Mattresses don't compact well at all."

That's Gayle Wilson. He runs Orange County's Solid Waste Department.

Picture an enormous thrift store with a funky vibe and full of boisterous music. A vintage-looking swordfish hangs above the register, and the art that lines the walls is made from old binders and colorful bits of foam and plastic.

"We get a ton of fabric, beads, buttons, trim, notion, paint, wood, frames, matte board, foam core, billboards, signage, magnets," said Ann Woodward.