September 16, 2008

Prince George Turning Green


PRINCE GEORGE -- Beyond city limits, where garbage and recycling are often a curbside service, some county residents have to make a trip to the nearest dumpster or convenience center to dispose of their waste.

Although it may not seem so on the surface, recycling programs are thriving Prince George County.

There is only one main center for refuse collection for county residents. It is located at a bend in Union Branch Road in the southwestern end of the county.

At this site, where trash is also deposited, almost anything that isn't nailed down can be recycled.

"The county had some recycling for years," said David Sutton, convenience station supervisor. "We increased in the past six months."

Along with the standard glass, newspaper, cans and plastic bottles, Prince George recycles appliance scrap metal, yard waste, electronics, batteries, propane tanks, tires, used oil and used antifreeze.

Central Virginia Waste Management, which handles the county's refuse, takes it to a facilty to be recycled.

Additionally, there is a container where county residents can donate old textiles to Goodwill.

The expanded recycling program began about six months ago after Sutton approached the Board of Supervisors about expanding recycling services. So far, the response has been positive, he said, especially with electronics recycling.

"The electronics are starting to get real big, especially with the new TVs," he said. "We average 12,000 to 14,000 pounds of electronics a month. That's 12,000 to 14,000 pounds not going into landfills."

Overall, Sutton said recycling has increased by nearly 70 percent in the county in the past year. At the same time, the amount of trash going to a landfill in Sussex County has gone down.

"We cut our trash disposal going to the landfill in half just by having recycling," he said.

Sutton hopes county residents will begin to compost their biodegradable waste.

Scott Reiter, extension agent for Prince George, said there will be classes that will include instruction on maintaining compost at 9 a.m. Sept. 27 in the Prince George Human Services Building.

Containers for compost are available through Central Virginia Waste Management, Reiter said.

"If people used compost, they'd save on trash too," Sutton said.

The Prince George Convenience Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except for Wednesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years' Day.

A second recycling facility is located in the courthouse complex parking lot. It only accepts glass, paper, cans and plastic bottles.

- Elliott Robinson may be reached at 722-5160 or at [email protected]

Originally published by STAFF WRITER.

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