Mecklenburg County’s Foam Recycling Earns National Achievement Award


Mecklenburg County’s Foam Recycling Program has been recognized with a 2024 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.  

Mecklenburg County initiated Polystyrene Foam Collection at its Full-Service Centers in November 2022.  In the short time, since the program was initiated, the County has recycled over 40 tons of white rigid foam.  Since foam is very light, 40 tons recycled in less than two years is phenomenal.  It is a huge savings from having this material go to a landfill and be buried and is now ensuring the material will have a second life as a new product.  

“We appreciate NACo leaders recognizing our work. Everyday we strive to provide residents with alternatives to placing items in a landfill. It takes all of us in Mecklenburg County to live in a sustainable community,” said Solid Waste Program Director Jeff Smithberger.    

Each year, NACo’s Achievement Awards recognize outstanding programming in 18 categories aligned with the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, libraries, management, information technology, health, civic engagement and more. Launched in 1970, the program is designed to celebrate innovation in county government. Each nominated program is judged on its own merits and not against other applications.  

“The Achievement Awards recognize excellence in county government and effective public service,” said NACo President Mary Jo McGuire. “This year’s winners have delivered results for our residents and demonstrated innovative efforts to strengthen our communities.”

Residents can feed Mecklenburg County’s Foam-a-Saurus Rex by bringing their white rigid foam to one of our Full-Service Centers.