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2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report - Commercial Waste

Commercial Waste

Green up arrow indicatorLandfilling of Commercial Waste has been declining at a rate to well exceed the Meckle‚Äčnburg County short-term goal of reducing commercial waste 46% by 2017.

Landfilled Commercial Waste graph 

Commercial Waste
From 1998 to 2013, the annual per capita commercial waste disposal rate decreased from 1.04 tons/person to 0.44 tons/person. This 57% reduction exceeds the 2012 Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Management Plan's short-term commercial waste reduction goal of 46% by 2017. Despite this steady decline, commercial waste remains the largest contributor to Mecklenburg County's total landfilled waste stream.

Commercial waste disposal trends are impacted by factors such as the health of the economy, State and Local government regulations, government education and assistance programs, private enterprise, and private sector programs. Acknowleding these influences, Mecklenburg County works with the business community to design and implement programs that address commercial waste on a variety of fronts.

To encourage the continued development of commercial recycling markets, Mecklenburg County's Source Separation Ordinance requires applicable business entities to recycle office paper and corrugated cardboard waste. In contrast, Mecklenburg County's Wipe Out Waste Ambassador Program is designed to recognize and reward Mecklenburg County businesses that are committed to building a strong community and fostering an environment of stewardship to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste in the workplace and purchase recycled products. This free program has grown by an average of 200%, over the last two years, boasting over 140 member businesses.

Mecklenburg County continues to offer over 120 free commercial recycling drop off centers and has recently implemented a free interior recycling bin program. All of Mecklenburg County's commercial waste reduction programs are centered on education and providing county businesses with the resources to implement a successful waste reduction and recycling program. As the demand for recycling and waste reduction programs in the private sector grows, so will the County's Commercial Waste Reduction and Recycling efforts.

For more information contact: Ryan Johnson, Sr., Environmental Specialist,

What you can do to increase Commercial Recycling (& decrease commercial waste)?

  • Support community businesses that practice recycling and waste reduction initiatives. In many cases, these businesses can be identified by their membership in the Wipe Out Waste Ambassador Program.
  • Practice Enviroshopping, purchase products with less packaging, and request that producers use less packaging when possible.
  • If you notice a small business not recycling, let them know about the availability of free commercial drop-off centers throughout Mecklenburg County.

More information

Return to Solid Waste Chapter Page 

The trends shown in the State of the Environment Report are not all based on tests of statistical significance. Data analysis, anecdotal evidence, and best professional judgment have been compiled to represent these trends. The State of the Environment Report takes a snapshot of important environmental indicators in an effort to educate the public while highlighting challenges, successes and the general direction of change for each indicator. For additional information on these indicators and the determination of trends, please follow the links and feel free to contact the appropriate resources.

Last updated 2/20/14