Last week, I took a trip to the Shenandoah County Landfill to talk to the manager and find out how their program deals with the county’s trash. I learned that they are constantly searching for new and creative ways of dealing with waste and decreasing the impact tons of trash can have by recyling a vast array of materials. One of their latest ideas includes harnessing the methane gas realeased by the landfill and turning it into energy to heat their facilities: where recyclables are hand sorted all year round despite temperatures that can drop below freezing.
Shenandoah County started an active recycling program in 1991 that began with dedicated bins for voluntary drop-offs by citizens at the Landfill Property. As of the end of 1995, this program had grown to include a Materials Recovery Facility in a reconditioned barn complex as the center piece for 15 recycling collection centers located throughout Shenandoah County. County employees collect, sort, and ready for sale an average of over 200,000 pounds of recyclables per month, an effort that now covers all associated costs and generates a modest profit. Also, under the auspices of the Lord Fairfax and Central Valley Planning Districts utilizing a State grant, the County operates the Regional Tire Operations Program (RTOP). This involves a mobile tire shredder, which provides the Counties, cities, and Towns of the northern Shenandoah Valley an environmentally acceptable method of disposing of waste vehicular tires. After the start up with the State grant “seed money”, RTOP has become a self sufficient program that is a testimony to the benefits of regional cooperation.
For those of you that live in Shenandoah County, think twice about what you’re throwing away. Conservative estimates indicate that, with minimal added effort, County citizens could literally quadruple the amount of recycled materials diverted and saved. It’s just a matter of who’s willing to walk ten more feet to the right recycling bin. If you are interested in learning more about what happens to your trash, visit the landfill’s webpage or schedule a visit; they are always willing to help educate the public about what they do (which is really quite interesting.)
Items Accepted Throughout the County:
The following materials are accepted for recycling at any of the 15 specially marked collection bins located throughout the County:
- Paper: Newspaper, office paper, magazines, cut-up cardboard including cereal boxes.
- Aluminum: Cans, plates, foil, and smaller items.
- Tin/Steel cans: All food cans and containers with tin coating.
- Glass: All colors of glass.
- Plastic: All plastic numbers 1-7.
- We cannot take oil product containers or plastic bags.
Items Accepted at the County Landfill Only:
The following items are accepted for disposal and recycling only in designated areas at the Landfill property:
- Brush, wood products, lumber, or yard waste such as leaves or grass clippings.
- Waste automotive products such as used petroleum/oil and antifreeze.
- Vehicle batteries.
- Larger aluminum products.
- Scrap metals of all kinds.
- Appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, ranges, washers, and dryers.
- Waste tires. Please Note: There is a fee based on size charged for all tires regardless of the source.