SC DHEC, PalmettoPride Encourage South Carolinians to Practice Effective Recycling Methods

Recycling facility workers sorting a line.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) wants everyone to know about the many benefits of recycling and encourages residents to study the best ways to recycle effectively and responsibly.

“We want South Carolinians to be fully aware of the correct ways to recycle their waste and other items so they can be reused as intended,” said Myra Reece, DHEC’s Director of Environmental Affairs. “Often times, items may not be recycled correctly and cannot be used again so they unfortunately end up in a landfill. We want to prevent that as much as possible and make sure our residents are equipped with the right recycling methods.”

Correct recycling is effective because it reduces our negative environmental footprint, from physical waste to contaminated water and harmful gas emissions. South Carolina’s Recycle Right SC public outreach campaign, which was created in partnership with DHEC and PalmettoPride, provides information on what can be recycled, where to recycle and how to recycle correctly.

Tips from the campaign include:

  • Avoid “wishful recycling,” or attempting to recycle items you hope are eligible. This can lead to contamination
  • Check local laws and regulations on recycling and the best places to drop items off
  • Avoid using plastic and paper bags, and instead invest in reusable containers
  • Make sure items donated for recycling are clean and in good condition

“Recycling reduces the amount of trash that has the potential to become litter. The best way to end litter is to prevent it from happening in the first place and reducing waste production is crucial in this effort,” said Sarah Lyles, PalmettoPride’s Executive Director. “As South Carolina’s anti-litter and beautification organization, PalmettoPride is elated to partner with DHEC and participate in the Recycle Right SC campaign.”

South Carolina’s recycling efforts from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021 included:

  • Nearly 1.2 million tons of material from the residential and commercial homes and buildings
  • A 23.9 percent recycling rate with 45 percent of the total amount of reported recyclables coming from residents
  • Total emissions removed equating to 800,000 passenger vehicles, according to the EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM)
  • Conserving more than 4.25 million gallons of gasoline and preventing an annual energy consumption equal to about 493,000 households according to WARM.

For more tips on recycling, view DHEC’s Recycling’s Dirty Dozen list, which draws attention to 12 items that should never be placed in recycling bins, including plastic bags, rope-like materials such as hoses, and hazardous materials or chemicals. Information on where to recycle near you can be found on DHEC’s Recycle Here page and additional information on recycling correctly can be found on DHEC’s residential recycling page.