NC lawmakers may cut spending for recycling

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Lawmakers in North Carolina are gunning for a state agency that helps increase recycling, a move that would save nearly $3 million.

The state Senate already has passed a measure that would eliminate the Department of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service and sent the idea along to the state House.

The move would eliminate "funding for DEACS programs including waste reduction and increased recycling efforts," according to Senate Bill 257, which put savings at $2.91 million per year.

The DEACS is home to the Recycling and Materials Management Section, which would be eliminated if funding is pulled, according to the Association of Plastic Recyclers.

That trade group is urging its members to contact legislators in North Carolina about the proposal to eliminate the department, which APR called a recognized national leader in its efforts to promote recycling.

The move, according to the bill, would eliminate 32.5 jobs.

The proposal also would reduce funding for DEACS support in the state Department of Environmental Quality's regional offices by 50 percent, or $1.35 million. "To achieve this reduction, DEQ shall eliminate 2 positions from each of the 7 Regional Offices and may reduce operating expenses and/or salary reserve to achieve the remainder," the bill states.