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Recycling rules relaxed, rates are rising
The R-Board is set to accept more recycling, in a more convenient way


Date published: 11/4/2008

BY JONAS BEALS

Stafford and Fredericksburg residents have been keeping a close eye on their garbage. According to the Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board, it recycled 44 percent of its waste stream last year, 19 percent higher than the state requirement. A recent change should improve that mark.

The R-Board's recycling facilities now accept empty aerosol cans, shrink wrap, plastic lawn furniture, plastic buckets and grocery store bags that have been collected and placed into a single bag. On the paper side, you can now recycle milk and juice cartons, as well as hardcover books.

Residents also can place all recyclables in one bin. As long as the item is on the R-Board's list of acceptable materials, it will take care of the sorting. At local recycling centers, separate bins for paper and containers will be combined.

In industry terms, the R-Board has transferred from a double-stream to a single-stream recycling system. This means that all accepted recyclable materials are combined before being sent to Recycle America for sorting.

"We expect it to increase the volume of recycled material," R-Board analyst Julie May said.

Most importantly, neither the R-Board nor the garbage haulers have to separate recyclable items. In fact, haulers can use regular garbage trucks to collect recycling now.

"We had a meeting with the haulers in Stafford and Fredericksburg," May said. "They know about the program. They can even use regular garbage trucks and compact the load."

The R-Board handles approximately 25,000 tons of recyclables each year, and the income from metal recycling allows the regional system to operate without taxpayer support.

"This is the way the recycling industry is going," May said. "We're proud to be a part of it."

For more information, including a list of recyclable items and collection locations, visit r-board.org.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com