Greene County plans to downsize recycling program

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GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Greene County is planning to downsize its recycling program next month.

The county is suspending collection of all plastics (#1 through #7), all paper like junk mail and magazines, and all glass effective Sept. 1, due in part to no market availability for the waste materials.

The county says it searched for months to find a market, going as far as Georgia, but was unsuccessful in that search.

The county's only means of disposing of such materials was to pay for them to be deposited in the landfill, along with non-recyclable waste, according to the county’s memorandum.

“We realize it was impossible for us to continue to recycle because there is no receiving or interest in purchasing our plastics, our glass or our waste paper,” said Greene County Administrator Mark Taylor.

With no market found, the county estimated spending at least $6,000 to dispose of the materials as waste after accepting them as free recyclables.

The county's budget for the current fiscal year is tight. Approximately $100,000 in contingency funds remains, according to the memorandum.

"Having no reasonable means of stockpiling those materials, being left in the situation of receiving them without charge as recyclables and having to pay to dispose of them as waste, we found ourselves in the situation of needing to notify the community that we would no longer be able to receive those materials for free for recycling," said Taylor.

Greene County is not alone in downsizing its recycling efforts; other localities have discontinued their acceptance of the same materials.

“What I’ve been told is we have described as one of the last holdouts for continuing to accept these recyclables, so this is a broader community problem,” said Taylor.

In the meantime, the county says it will continue to collect cardboard, newspaper, aluminum and tin.

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