Under a new state law, all businesses in North Carolina that serve alcohol must recycle their glass bottles and aluminum cans.
The law takes effect Tuesday and applies to all restaurants, bars and other businesses with an Alcoholic Beverage Control permit. Businesses are exempt for one year if there isn't a recycling market in their area.
Mark Center, a district supervisor for the Alcohol Law Enforcement, said recycling will be checked during routine, unannounced inspections. Failing to comply is a class one misdemeanor with a possible fine.
Wilmington is one of the cities most affected by the law. The 60-some downtown bars and restaurants go through about 2 million bottles of beer and 140,000 bottles of liquor a year. Officials have said that amounts to between 10 tons to 12 tons of glass recyclables every week.