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Friday Five: More recycling and road rants
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Friday Five: More recycling and road rants

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Last week’s Friday Five item about the Kannapolis trash cans sparked a discussion with Kannapolis officials and it fits right in with one of today’s story about reducing waste and extending the life of the Speedway Landfill.

No. 1

Problems with recycling. Last week I pointed out the trash cans in downtown Kannapolis have “trash only” on one side and “recycling” on the other side of the trash can. Recycling and trash all go into the same can and is unsorted. City Councilman Ryan Dayvault, City Manager Mike Legg and Assistant City Manager Wilmer Melton and I exchanged emails last weekend about the situation and about recycling.

Kannapolis officials are looking at options for the trash cans, but there is a bigger problem. Even if the trash and recycling were separated many people wouldn’t follow directions.

“The reality is the majority of our special events stand alone recycling containers end up as trash because people ignore the signs and labels,” Legg said. “Once a couple of nacho cheese leftovers get thrown in the recycling can it becomes trash. We even have residents that use their recycling container for regular trash.

“I am not convinced that better lids or signage will help much. The majority of people will do the right thing but it only takes a couple of people to throw their half consumed slushie into the recycling bin and the whole load is contaminated. Separating and cleaning is not realistic.”

My contention is that the city should still at least have the cans labeled correctly. People who try to do the right thing should not be deceived (I am not convinced Kannapolis officials realized the cans were double labeled).

If we give the public the perception that it doesn’t matter, then they won’t take the extra step to try to recycle. I can tell it often takes extra effort to recycle. How many times have we all carried a plastic bottle or can around until we come to a recycling bin?

No 2

Looking at options. A more defined recycling bin might help the situation.

“One option is to design the recycling containers so it is clear that only recycled materials belong in the containers,” Legg said. “Signs won’t change habits in my opinion. Separate containers won’t prevent it too. If it’s a big opening people will through everything in it regardless of the label. I think the vast majority of recyclables in places like we are talking are plastic bottles and aluminum cans. So perhaps we may want to see if we can retrofit the containers to facilitate these as the primary recyclables.

“I have seen that in many other places. For instance people are not putting cardboard or other large recyclable items in the recycling containers downtown or at the ballpark. It is unlikely people will cram a used nacho tray into a hole designed for a plastic bottle.”

Kannapolis Director of Communications Annette Privette Keller said this issue is not limited to downtown. “We are having the issue across the city (across the entire county) with people's carts at their homes. We are working to educate people about the basics. We started the ‘Recycling Right’ campaign - countywide- a couple of months ago. We started over and have gone back to the basics. We are saying the cart with the yellow lid is recycling only. Here is why it is important to only put items in the recycling cart and so forth. The preliminary stats show it is working. We will keep at it.”

We can all keep trying.

No. 3

Improvements at Frank Liske Park. New exercise equipment is coming to Frank Liske Park through the county's capital improvement program.

A crew has been demolishing the old swings and exercise area near the community garden and tennis courts this week. The soft, rubbery squares under the equipment had started to curl and probably was becoming a trip hazard.

This area is shaded much of the day and was a great spot to stretch and cool down after a run or to get in a good workout without being in the blazing sun.

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The exercise stations in woods below the lake are also being replaced. Work should be done before the end of the summer.

The old equipment had been purchased with a grant from The Charlotte Observer’s Cabarrus Neighbors publication. The equipment was used by many people for several years.

No. 4

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is back. The festival is a combination of outdoor theater, circus, arts and crafts fair, jousting tournament and feast

Open auditions are scheduled for Saturday, June 12, and Saturday, June 19, from 9 a.m. to Cannon School, 5801 Poplar Tent Road in Concord.

The Festival is calling for actors, entertainers, musicians, performers, and colorful personalities of all types to inhabit the Festival’s make-believe Village of Fairhaven. Amateur and professional opportunities are available. Auditionees should be age 13 or older. Audition safety protocols and registration information is available online at

The Festival returns Saturdays and Sundays, October 2nd through November 21st on a 250-acre farm between Concord and Huntersville, at the junction of NC 73 and Poplar Tent Road. Advanced discount tickets are available online June 1st at

No. 5

Ranting against the Independent Tribune. Multiple readers/subscribers have ranted about the newspaper’s poor service. I understand your frustration. There is nothing worse than paying for something and then not getting it.

We are trying. It’s a tough job and our carriers don’t make much money. I wish I had the solution but I don’t. Yelling, screaming and cussing don’t work. I’ve tried. I feel like Kramer on the “Seinfeld” when he was eventually screaming “Serenity now!”

I would urge you to use our digital version if you can. There are a lot more stories, photos and videos. Realistically that’s direction we are heading.

No. 5A

NCDOT rants. Have you driven southbound on Branchview Drive (N.C. Highway 3) and crossed the bridge over Burrage Road? Windborne “Win” Springs has. “It’s like driving over a speedbump at 45 miles per hour.”

I’ve never understand how we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases millions on bridges and they can’t find a way for a smooth transition. One of the worse is over on Afton Glen in Kannapolis near Gordon Foods.

Springs, who retired from the Cabarrus County IT department, also had a reverse rant for NCDOT.

“They did a great job where Mall Drive comes into Concord Parkway. That area is much better,” Springs said. I agree.

James Earnhardt wants to know why Union Street is so rough between downtown and Locke Mill (Buffalo Avenue). He also said McGill Avenue is really rough.

If you have a story suggestion, Friday Five or something I can rant about email or call or text 704-786-0001.

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Mark Plemmons

Mark Plemmons | IT editor


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