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What you need to know

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Recycling changes are coming to the Valley. (Photo: Getty Images)

Residents in all three localities will not be able to recycle plastic or glass beginning April 1. 

On Thursday each locality announced they could not collect those recyclable materials because the company they utilize for that service, Sonoco, would no longer accept it. The business decision trickled down from a decision made by China. In 2017, the country announced that it no longer wanted to import U.S. recyclables, according to The New York Times. 

The global market shift has impacted community recycling programs across the U.S., according to The Washington Post.  

Here’s exactly what you need to know about the change in the Valley. 

Well, what can I recycle? 

  • The city of Staunton will still offer curbside recycling pickup. Residents can put out mixed paper, aluminum and glass. 
  • The glass won’t be recycled. It will be crushed up and used as refuse cover at the landfill. 
  • The drop-off site in Waynesboro at North Delphine Avenue and 6th Street will still accept mixed paper, aluminum and glass.

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People are reading: No glass or plastic recycling services in Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County

Where will plastic go?

The trash. 

If residents bring plastic to the regional landfill it will go into the trash with everything else, said Greg Thomasson, Director of Solid Waste Management with the Augusta County Service Authority.

Edna Hunter, Owner of Augusta County Disposal, said there’s not another recycling center nearby to take it. 

“We didn’t want to stop taking, but if they can’t accept it we can’t take it to Sonoco,” said Hunter in a previous report from The News Leader. “Unfortunately it will be taken as trash. It will have to go to the landfill. There is no other facility that was accepting plastic.”

Important dates 

  • March 28 – The Augusta County Regional Landfill’s last day to accept plastic recyclables.
  • March 30 – Waynesboro will suspend collection of drop-off recyclable plastics at its recycling center. It is also Augusta County Disposal’s cutoff date to accept recyclables. 
  • April 1 – The curbside pickup change is effective. 

Wait, how did this happen? 

All three localities utilize the company Sonoco to take residents’ recycling. Since July, the company has been shifting its business model that impacted how localities use it. 

  • In July 2018, the company told Staunton it would increase the price for its services. It said it would bill the city $52,000 annually for the same services it once offered for just $3,100.

The first recycling shift: Global recycling economics cause unexpected costly fees for Staunton recycling program

  • In February, the city of Staunton nixed the recycling bins at Gypsy Hill Park to try and save money as the Sonoco costs climbed. 

Ditching the bins: City nixes Gypsy Hill Park recycling bins to save money as recycling costs climb

  • It’s happening everywhere. Cities nationwide are halting recycling programs as the cost continue to climb, according to The New York Times. 

Julia wants to know everything that’s going on in our community. Did you hear something odd, that might need some news attentions? Send her a note at jfair@newsleader.com and follow her on Twitter @JFair_Reports. 

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Read or Share this story: https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/2019/03/22/recycling-program-reduced-plastic-landfill-stuanton-waynesboro-augusta-county/3243951002/



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