Recycling options to expand

Rappahannock County’s recycling options will be expanding shortly, as the board of supervisors approved a decision to continue and grow the county’s partnership with Updike Industries at its meeting Monday afternoon (June 3).

Rappahannock residents have been clamoring for expanded recycling options for years, said County Administrator John McCarthy. Specifically, many residents had inquired about the possibility of recycling cardboard.

Currently, the county only recycles glass (green, brown and clear), metal, newspapers and two types of plastic.

“The problem was that we’d always fill one part [glass, plastic, etc.] before the others,” McCarthy said, adding that the county once considered building its own cardboard baling facility but found it simply wasn’t economically viable. “Rappahannock by itself just doesn’t generate enough volume. But Rappahannock with parts of Fauquier or Culpeper or other counties would.”

McCarthy and the board began looking into expanded recycling options in January and considered a partnership with Fauquier County to combine recyclables. Such a partnership would require the installation of two concrete pads ($35,000) and the purchase of two roll-off containers at Flatwood and the Amissville landfill, the county’s current trash and recycling sites.

Under that agreement, the county would have to purchase and maintain the containers, a potentially expensive option.

At Monday’s meeting, McCarthy said he had spoken to Culpeper-based Updike Industries, which had agreed to match Fauquier’s recycling offer, with several other benefits.

Though McCarthy cautioned the supervisors that the county will still have to install the concrete pads, Rappahannock won’t actually own the containers, saving the cost of maintenance. Furthermore, he said, Updike doesn’t require the county to sign a long-term contract, meaning the supervisors could change providers at any time.

Updike also will offer significantly expanded recycling options, including three types of glass, cardboard, printer and copier paper, juice boxes, aerosol cans, milk cartons, telephone books and brown grocery bags – in  addition to the current options.

All those items will be accepted in a single, all-inclusive container, to be sorted and recycled by Efficient Roll-Off, a private recycling company, at an off-site materials recovery facility (MRF). McCarthy said Updike will charge $148 per container to haul away the recyclables, which is $2 cheaper than what Fauquier had promised.

In addition to the all-inclusive containers stationed at Flatwood and Amissville, McCarthy said there are plans to place a 20-yard open container at the Amissville landfill to house all the different sorts of metal county residents want to recycle. The idea, McCarthy said, is to build a ramp leading up to a flat surface where residents can park before unloading the metal into the container below.

“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.

Barring inclement weather and factoring in time for the construction process at the landfill, McCarthy said, the new recycling options will be available within the next two months.