North Lakes recycling center temporarily reopens – North Texas Daily

The Northern Lakes Recycling Center temporarily reopened on September 28 as part of a new solid waste management strategy.

The facility is approximately 30 years old and has been in operation since the City of Denton started its recycling program. The recycling site was closed for approximately six weeks due to construction of the new North Lakes Tennis Center in the park. With the completion of the construction of the parking lot, the recycling site is once again open to the public, but only for a limited time.

The plan is to permanently close the Northern Lakes site in mid-2023 and replace it with a collection site. This “full conversion order” will require every home, multi-family apartment and commercial institution to have some sort of point-of-origin recycling program, said Denton solid waste manager Brian Boerner. This will ensure that people have a place to manage their recycling as it is generated instead of storing it and taking it somewhere else.

“It comes down to education,” Boerner said. “If you’re willing to put in a little work, you can make huge strides in reducing your solid waste footprint.”

There’s a longstanding problem with illegal dumping at unmanned recycling drop-off sites like the one in North Lakes, Boerner said. There is demand in areas surrounding the town of Denton for a recycling depot, and it is estimated that nearly 60% of people using North Lakes right now are non-Denton residents.

“They come from towns outside of the city of Denton, and I know for a fact as far away as Gainesville,” Boerner said.

Dumpsters sit at the North Lakes Recycling Center on October 26, 2022. Photo by Bren McDonald

Another issue that will be addressed by this new plan is the type of materials accepted. Denton residents can find out which materials are accepted at their local drop-off site by using the Waste Management Wizard online help on the City of Denton website.

“Before we put restrictive lids and smaller holes in the boxes, we had to throw out whole loads of materials that were collected only because people were using them as trash cans,” Boerner said. “Now that we have restriction lids in place and have better control, our contamination has dropped to around 12%.”

The Town of Denton has developed a new waste management program over the past two years. Studies have been done on the city’s waste stream and the methods that can be implemented to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

“Landfills are limited resources, so again, the hole is only so big, and you can’t cram that much, so as much material as we can divert, that’s what we want to try to do. “Boerner said.

The Overall Solid Waste Management Strategy was written for the City of Denton in May and contains an assessment of solid waste best practices, demographic and financial impacts that affect solid waste systems. It analyzes data collected locally, nationally and globally on solid waste disposal to develop a strategy that can help the city divert the flow of solid waste.

Universities located in the city are major contributors to the solid waste stream. The University of North Texas prides itself on being a clean university, with the recognizable large recycling bins dotted around campus and signs urging students to be aware of where their trash goes. Many students also take on this duty.

“I think [recycling] is very important because our planet is constantly being polluted by big business and ordinary people,” said studio art major Mawali Trice Jr. “The impact of recycling on our local environment is significant.”

There are many ways people can help the environment locally, from recycling to conserving water – it all makes a difference.

“I always make a conscious effort to recycle and pick up trash,” said freshman media arts student Brendan Rivers. “It’s just about taking care of the little things.”

The selected image: A sign for the North Lakes Recycling Center is displayed on October 26, 2022. Photo by Bren McDonald