Changes coming to Waynesboro recycling program

waynesboroEffective March 30, the City of Waynesboro is suspending collection of plastics at its drop-off center located at North Delphine and 6th Street. The program modification is necessitated by a lack of markets for plastic recyclable material.

Significant changes in the markets, including international markets, for plastic and glass have occurred in the last year. At this time, it is nearly impossible to identify a sustainable outlet with an acceptable tolerance for contamination typically associated with a municipal recycling program. A reliable demand for collected material is essential for the success of the city’s recycling program.

While markets for glass have also declined significantly, the city will continue to accept glass at its drop-off center. In the near term, glass will be utilized as cover material at the Augusta Regional Landfill. This strategy will reduce reliance on natural cover material, dirt and soil of varying grades of quality.

There is no ability at this time to forecast when collection of plastic will resume.

The city’s recycling program is supported through a contract with a private vendor who provides collection bins, hauling of collected material and who is responsible for the ultimatum sale of the material. For much its history, the program operated at a break-even status, occasionally realizing small profits, depending on the market for various collected materials.

Prices for all materials have fluctuated over time. Since the recent decline in markets, the program has required increasing financial support which is provided by the city’s Garbage Fund. The city is presently conducting a comprehensive study of its solid waste programs and services including recycling. The study is intended to inform decisions regarding programs, services, and the quality and economic delivery of them.

The city very much appreciates the well-established habits of recycling and environmental stewardship demonstrated by Waynesboro residents and our neighbors. It is important to be clear with all concerned citizens about the status of our program and the disposition of collected material.

Please continue recycling but please do not bring plastics to the center. Plastic cannot be accepted even for disposal in the landfill.

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