Ask Us: Readers ask about Golden Corral, street cleaning, pet food containers

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 22, 2020

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

While there’s been talk about a Golden Corral coming to Salisbury in recent years, no firm plans have been submitted.

A reader recently asked whether there were plans for a Golden Corral on Bendix Drive, which is adjacent to I-85 and connects with Faith Road. And Teresa Barringer, development services manager for the city of Salisbury, said there have been multiple discussions about plans in the previous 10 years.

Those discussions have included talk about concepts for a Golden Corral at various sites, including one on Bendix Drive.

“However, to date, we have not received a formal submittal for review and consideration of approval,” Barringer said.

Does city still provide washing, vacuuming services?

Another reader asked whether the city of Salisbury still washes streets and vacuums them in seasons where there’s not leaf collection.

The answer, according to the city of Salisbury, is that services have evolved into something that’s more environmentally friendly.

“Street washing was a practice that involved removing debris off the street and into the stream, which environmental studies have shown had extremely adverse effect on the water quality of our surface waters,” the city said in an emailed statement. “The new street sweeping collection method pulls that debris off the street, collects it and then allows us to properly dispose of it.”

Last year, the city estimates it swept about 828 miles of streets while removing 331 tons of debris. It further estimates that amount includes 25 pounds of copper, 29 pounds of lead and 142 pounds of zinc.

“As you can tell by these numbers, street sweeping is one of the most effective ways we can protect our water quality,” the city said in its statement.

Why doesn’t county accept pet food containers for recycling?

Rowan County does not generally accept pet food containers primarily due to the fact that pet food containers are inconsistent when it comes to their composition.

While Rowan County’s recycling centers accept metal cans, a reader wanted to know why metal pet food cans are treated differently. 

“Some pet food brands utilize cans made of steel, aluminum or various other alloys,” said Rowan County Environmental Management Director Caleb Sinclair. “It can be difficult for the public to discern what their particular pet food container is made of which results in contamination of the recycling materials once collected at our convenience centers.”

When material that can’t be recycled gets into collection bins, providers to which Rowan County sends its items could be turned away.

“It is vital to any successful recycling program that only like-kind materials be culled for recycling processing,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair said county staff will work with customers on a case-by-case basis. If a customer, for example, produces an adquately rinsed pet food can made of steel, the county will accept it, Sinclair said.

“Generally speaking, the ‘no pet food container’ rule helps our program to maintain the highest quality materials destined for processing and keeps our program viable,” he said.