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…
Welcome to our little recycling center
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.
The man on the left is a retired county solid waste employee and the wonderful man on the right, Our Man Emanuel, is the daily attendant of the site. The container behind these men holds the free library selection.
One of the many powerful mechanics in use–the CRUSHER!
Our man “E” creates amazing displays to educate visitors and avoid contamination
Separate please, no corrugated here. Notice the convenient location of hand sanitizer and towels…”E” thinks of everything!
there is even whimsy here made from cast offs, artfully placed by our man “E”. These displays flank his “office” cooling/warming station.
My friend P Allen Smith would like this
pay attention to your metals!
Even the resident kitty mascot Gravy watches every move here
Co-mingled plastic bin at last! This was downgraded to only #1 and #2 clear plastics in 2020.
newsprint and magazines here please
one diligent UVA professor contributes his personal glass collection
Those dead phone books have a bin all to themselves. By 2020, most phone books are no longer distributed…a good thing.
even family pets get into recycling!
there is team spirit here!
in this college town, plenty of signage continues to educate
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.
Do you know this? https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033
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