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Ask SAM: Where can I recycle medicine bottles?

Ask SAM: Where can I recycle medicine bottles?

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Q: Where can brown plastic pill containers be recycled in Winston Salem? I believe the plastic is recyclable (5 P P).


Answer: Helen Peplowski, the director of sustainability in the City of Winston-Salem’s Office of Sustainability explained what can be recycled and unfortunately, medicine containers cannot be recycled. “While the containers have the recycle symbol on them, we do not accept these containers in our curbside recycling program. We recycle based on shape of the container, rather than number, and because the opening of the bottle is not smaller than its base, we don't take it.”

Peplowski suggested checking with local organizations to see if they could use the containers. Also, if the containers have pills in them, the Winston-Salem Police Department has a Pill Collection Drop Box for people to dispose of unneeded medication.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, that’s the mantra these days! Buzz60’s Maria Mercedes Galuppo has the story.

Q: This past year I have received many lovely flower arrangements. I now have way too many very nice vases and need to get ride of them. Do local florists accept clean reusable vases? If not what can I do with them?


Answer: Dahlia’s Creative Floral Designs in Clemmons has a base buyback program to encourage recycling. A spokeswoman said, “I can't really speak for other florists, but at Dahlias we have a vase buyback program to encourage our clients to recycle them. We offer $1 per vase cash, or $2 per vase store credit in exchange for clean vases.”

Q: My sister and her husband are in their 80s and do not have a computer. How can they sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine without internet access? Most places require you to sign up on the internet for your appointment. They want to get the vaccine but do not know how they can make an appointment.


Answer: In addition to online appointments, the Forsyth County Department of Public Health has a call center that you can schedule an appointment through. Daniel Lemons, the director of environmental health at the health department said that “residents can schedule the appointments at Bit.Ly/FCNCCovidVaccine or by calling the new call center at 336-360-5260. New appointments are added on a weekly basis based on the amount of vaccine Forsyth County Public Health is allocated by the state. There are a limited number of appointments and they usually fill up very quickly. Vaccine supply is currently limited and residents are urged to be patient.”

Q: Can you tell me when the new interface will be installed on City Link to help citizens with a documented, dated and complete follow up on complaints involving city issues, i.e. streets, lighting, garbage issues, signs, etc. I was told a new one would be installed, soon. This would be a great improvement over the existing City Link program of giving a reference number to call back and check. We as citizens would like a more detailed show of action and documented proof. 


Answer: The project is running behind because of the pandemic. Shantell McClam, the director of City Link, said “we are currently hard at work reviewing, testing and training staff in preparation of the implementation of our new system. Unfortunately, we were delayed a bit due to the pandemic and are not able to go live with the system as early as we had hoped. However, we are confident it will be implemented this year. Much like your reader we are excited about the new technology, enhanced communication and improved customer access it will provide.”



Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101


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