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What happens to the black plastic film or mulch that sits on mounds of newly planted produce on North Carolina’s nearly 50,000 farms? A project supported by Waste Reduction Partners, North Carolina State University extension agents, the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and other partners is pursuing ways to improve the field collection process to prepare this plastic for recycling.

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Tony Pendola, who serves as the Department of Environmental Quality’s Small Business ombudsman, has worked for the department for more than 20 years, receiving accolades for his commitment to protecting North Carolina’s natural resources while assisting small businesses meet environmental regulations. In 2014, he was on a team that won the Governor’s Award for saving North Carolina Citizens tens of millions of dollars each year on unnecessary special summertime gasoline blends.

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