Chatham@Work: Shannon Culpepper, Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling

Posted 6/27/19

For three and a half years, Shannon Culpepper has been the Waste Reduction Coordinator for Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling.

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Chatham@Work: Shannon Culpepper, Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling

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About Shannon Culpepper: Born in Salt Lake City, raised in Wisconsin, Culpepper now lives in the small sliver of Sanford that is in Chatham County. Culpepper received a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Studies, a Master Degree in Public Administration, and Master Certificate in Environmental Studies from UNC-Wilmington. For three and a half years, Culpepper has been the Waste Reduction Coordinator for Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling.

“The majority of my job involves managing our recycling programs and providing outreach and education to the public in various forms — presentations, tabling at events, hosting our own events, making signs and materials,” she said. “My days are full of such variety — from meetings, to answering residents’ questions, to presenting to a group of first graders. This variety helps to keep the job interesting and I get to meet at lot of people.”

She is the middle child with an older sister and younger brother. This past November she got engaged. She and her fiancée have two cats.

What part of your job would most surprise people?

I talk to people about composting at home, so I have a worm bin in my office to demonstrate vermi-composting. As a collective I call them Herbert. There are several hundred in there — too many to name and no way to give them name tags.

Your standard order at a coffee shop?

A mocha.

Your ultimate “happy place?”

Anywhere my family is just hanging out, talking, and laughing.

Favorite character from a Disney movie:

Mulan — I love her strength and tenacity.

Stay up late or get up early?

Stay up late.

On a snow day, you’d stay home and binge-watch:

The Office.

What’s your favorite athletic team, and why?

Green Bay Packers. I grew up in Wisconsin so you have to stay true to your team. Even if you end up living in North Carolina longer than you lived in Wisconsin.

The TV program that’s a “must-see” for you:

The Good Place or Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

How many hours per week do you spend online?

Too many.

What’s your favorite one-day travel destination?

The North Carolina Zoo.

What’s your favorite snack food?

White Cheddar Cheez-its.

If you started a business of your own, what would it be?

An organization consulting business to help people organize their closet, kitchen, office, etc.

The credo or motto you like to try to live by:

If you are going to be a bear be a grizzly.

If you had lots of money to give away, you’d give most of it to:

Those working to make sure every person has access to clean drinking water.

What is your favorite book?

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

What superhero power would you most like to have?

The ability to just think of a place and be there; no travel time required.

Favorite dessert?

Ice cream cake.

If you could create one rule that all society had to live by, what would it be?

Genuinely be kind to one another.

How do you define success?

Meeting goals and expectations you set for yourself, not that others set for you.

Describe your life philosophy in six words or less:

Every path has its puddles.

If you could instantly learn one language, which would it be?

Spanish.

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