ONDBEAT Dump week ideal time to shed old junk in the trunk

In addition to showers and flowers, April shines as a time for casting off “stuff.”

Keeping pace with that tradition, the Brunswick County Solid Waste & Recycling Department once again staged “free dump week” April 10-15, consisting of six blissful days for Brunswick County residents to drop off free of charge items they no longer needed or wanted at the Brunswick County Landfill in Bolivia.

For locals, this was prime time to dump things they were no longer in love with, things that didn’t work out in their household relationships, were too demanding or took up too much space.

The week was ripe for plucking through plunder and declaring you definitely don’t want to end up like one of those poor people on “Hoarders,” buried under avalanches of accumulated crapola, spurring professional help and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to the rescue. Like much of reality TV, nobody wants to find fame on the boob tube like that.

Posted at the top of the landfill, one of the highest if not the highest spot above sea level in Brunswick County, landfill supervisor Jeremy Baker shot photos of a long line of vehicles waiting to get in. Friday, he said, was the busiest day with 1,253 people carting in discarded items. By the end of the week, the department had amassed 5,526 free loads of just about any and everything you can imagine.

It was the most stuff they’d ever seen being brought to the county facility at 172 Land Fill Road west of U.S. 17 across from the entrance to Brunswick Community College. And last year’s spring dump week was a record for them then, too.

Baker said it seems like more and more people are moving in and they’re subsequently getting busier and busier as people purge their houses and garages of too much stuff.

Old furniture and mattresses, tires, all types of electronics, old wood, paint and stains are among the most common things people drop off. Saturday was hazardous materials day, when everything from oil-based paints and stains to insecticides and herbicides, pool chemicals to cleaners and aerosol cans, were collected by the department in the Shallotte Middle School parking lot.

It’s hectic, Baker said, and they couldn’t have enough help during that week because there’s so much stuff with designated places to put it.

In honor of Earth Day a little belatedly, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Friday, April 28, the department will host a shred event, which is free and open to all county residents and property owners, at the Brunswick County Government Complex at 3325 Old Ocean Highway. A shed truck will be parked in the lot between buildings B and G (look for signs). The event may end sooner than 1 p.m. if the truck reaches capacity. For more information, call Brunswick County Solid Waste & Recycling at 253-2520.

Wherever possible, the department does what it can to recycle. The multitude of discarded electronics is neatly stretch-wrapped by machine in plastic, placed on pallets and transported for recycling back to electronics manufacturers.

Yard debris is ground into mulch that’s given back to residents and used around the landfill.

For items that are still useful, like old furniture and cans of latex paint at least half full, there’s the Brunswick County Swap Shop & Paint Exchange on landfill grounds where residents can browse for things they may be able to use.

People have even brought in old boats that still float that were adopted by others interested in giving the watercraft a second life.

That’s the key and mantra to what Baker and his colleagues strive to abide by as much as possible at the landfill: Recycle, recycle, recycle.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.