In the relatively small, sleepy college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, there is a modest asphalt lot hidden behind scrubby trees—an ugly duckling, to be precise.
This humble place has existed for decades. It continues to be a weekly destination for hundreds of county and city residents—why? We recycle.
After coming here weekly for over a decade, I decided it is high time to honor this tiny worker-bee of a place. For here the phoenix rises…
Although most area trash haulers now offer single stream recycling, there are still hundreds of folks, like myself, who prefer to trek our recyclables to the bins found at the McIntire Recycling Center. We do not need to pay high monthly prices for single stream disposal, as we compost AND recycle. Many businesses also use this service, and because we lovingly separate, McIntire has less contamination than the single stream process.
Often the subject of heated funding debates between County and City, this modest recycling center that could—does.
As of 2020, this center stopped collecting any plastic above #2 and NO colored plastic. This means that all the other plastic goes to a landfill somewhere in Virginia. This is NOT good. According to the local waste authority, all curbside pick-up, both county and city (150K population), goes to a landfill, where little if any recyclables is recovered. Sigh.
On the brighter side, this facility now accepts spent cooking oil, oyster shells (that are returned to the Chesapeake) https://www.rivanna.org/2019/09/19/oyster-shell-recycling-at-mcintire-recycling-center/, pizza boxes and kitchen waste that both become compost.
Do you know where your garbage really goes?
Copyright © 2013 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved