Single-stream recycling starts soon

If the weather cooperates, Rappahannock County should be offering single-stream recycling — glass, metal, plastic and office paper in one container — by sometime next month.

Recycled cans, by Tom Morris via Wikimedia CommonsTom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

Cardboard recycling will also start soon at both the county’s recycling centers, although the cardboard collection is being characterized as more of a pilot project.

Concrete pads for the new roll-off containers are close to complete at the county’s Amissville and Flatwood trash and recycling centers, County Administrator John McCarthy said this week. Weather has delayed the completion of concrete work at Flatwood, he said, where it was also decided that a second pad was needed for recycled newspapers on the same side of the drive-through area as the single-stream container.

Opposite those recycling containers, at Flatwood and Amissville, are the county’s traditional in-ground trash containers. And McCarthy said the county is relying on a proven consequence of offering single-stream recycling — that food-related trash will be significantly reduced. McCarthy hopes the costs of transporting the glass, cans, plastics and office paper to an off-site materials recovery facility (MRF), where it will be separated and processed, should be offset by a reduced tonnage of trash.

“The more people recycle,” he said, “the better off we all are as taxpayers.”

In a county in which residents must transport their own trash and recycling to collection centers, McCarthy said at a supervisors meeting last June, any step that eases the process is a big improvement — for instance, allowing residents to collect and transport — in one container — all their recyclable glass containers, metal (cans), two kinds of plastics and office paper.

Newspapers will continue to be recycled in a separate container, McCarthy said. And cardboard — boxes now take up a significant amount of space in the county’s trash containers — will still need to be broken down (flattened) by residents.

Last June, when McCarthy first told the supervisors about an possible deal with Culpeper-based Updike Industries, he said the county’s residents have been clamoring for years for recycling options beyond the current options, which offer separate bins for glass (green, brown and clear), metal, newspapers and two types of plastic. In recent weeks, signs on the recycling bins have changed to say that glass and metal recycling could be dumped together.

“Now we can tell people to put all their food [waste] in one bag and everything else in another container, and then just dump that out here once a week,” McCarthy said in June.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 539 Articles

Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.