Amissville column for Aug. 30

Expanded paper recycling: win-win

An Amissville friend told me how Rappahannock County residents can recycle several types of paper currently not recycled at our county trash transfer stations while supporting the larger recycling program next door in Fauquier County. Doing so is really a win-win situation – we are currently paying to transfer trash out of the county because the county landfill in Amissville is full, and the Fauquier recycling program needs more volume. 

Corrugated cardboard boxes can be recycled through the Fauquier program. You simply flatten the boxes and put them aside until your next trip to Warrenton. You can also put aside telephone books and paperbacks for recycling. But the mother lode of reusable material will come from your ever-growing piles of mixed paper.

Trash is transferred from container to truck at Rappahannock County’s Amissville facility. Photo by Cathie Shiff.
Trash is transferred from container to truck at Rappahannock County’s Amissville facility. Photo by Cathie Shiff.

What is “mixed paper?” It’s almost everything made of paper that is not corrugated. The list is pretty extensive and includes: office and copy paper, envelopes, even with address windows, catalogs and magazines, paper egg cartons, paper shopping bags, outer food packaging that did not contact the food, sales receipts, tubes from paper towels and toilet paper, gift wrap, post-it notes, file folders, notebooks with their spiral bindings removed, etc. The category does not include low-grade paper, such as paper towels, paper with any food on it and paper cups and plates. A complete list is available online by searching for “Fauquier County government environmental services.”

A great way to collect the mixed paper is to use a sturdy paper feed bag from the co-op. If you need some, call us because we’ve got a bunch. You might start by simply standing over the bag each day as you go through the mail; you will find that most of it goes for recycling without ever cluttering your counter. And since we’re in the throes of a presidential election, you can make appropriate editorial comments as you send unwanted political materials packing. As you fill the bags, lift them from time to time to make sure they haven’t become too heavy. 

Soon you will have several bags of mixed paper, plus flattened cartons and other items. It’s time to deliver them to the Fauquier County recycling collection facility in Warrenton. Take U.S. 29 Business past Walmart and cross U.S. 29 toward the Lord Fairfax Community College campus. Follow the road past the campus and it will soon end at the gate to the facility. Explain to the guard that you are from Rappahannock County, and he will help you in locating where you drop off the different categories of paper for recycling. 

It’s quick and easy. Besides, it’s just “common cents” that a reduction in the volume of trash transferred from the Amissville and Flatbush facilities reduces costs for us all.