Staunton City Wants to Eliminate Curbside Recycling

April 7, 2021

Here within the city limits of Staunton, we regularly pay city fees for our water and sewer and for our trash and recycling. However, perhaps because they are nonsensically spending $200,000 on golf carts, the city now needs to tighten the budgetary belt a little. Their solution is to eliminate curbside recycling. (See the discussion beginning on page 117 of the April 1 budget work session minutes.)

The City Council is holding a public hearing on the budget tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. I encourage everyone who cares about this subject to participate either by in-person or phone-in comments or by sending an email to the Clerk of Council like Deena and I have done below. (Click for instructions.)

Here is the email we sent:

Dear Clerk of Council:

We are writing in opposition to the proposed change to the city recycling program, as contemplated during the April 1 budget work session, to eliminate curbside recycling.

As we understand it, if Staunton citizens wish to recycle their household glass, paper, and metal wastes, they will no longer be able to place them in curbside bins for collection. Instead, they will have to transport their materials to a collection center at Gypsy Hill Park.

While the objective to reduce fees is laudable, the council overlooks the effect human behavior will play in all this. Most of us do not have the time, energy, and some cases, the transportation to cart our recycling to the park every week. We pay city fees for this service, so that is the service we expect to receive. If the city expects us to port our own recycling to the park, then most of us will simply choose not to do it. We will instead opt for the convenience of throwing it all into the regular trash, the environmental impacts be damned.

The council’s analysis suggests that their new model will permit the resumption of plastic recycling through Dave’s Recycling in Harrisonburg. Fine; if having a collection center at GHP will facilitate plastic recycling, then by all means establish a plastic-collection center there. But do not tie that to general recycling unless you wish participation in general recycling to be severely impacted.

Sincerely,

Matthew & Deena Warner

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