Trash pile: Council supports McIntire recycling, not Ivy landfill

news-recyclingcenterThe McIntire Recycling Center gets an extra lease on life.

Despite recent cuts to its operating schedule and limits on what it will accept, the McIntire Recycling Center will continue to get the support of Charlottesville taxpayers–- about $28,000 until the end of the calendar year–- even while its usage has plummeted as more convenient options abound.

The City Council voted its position Monday, November 1 after the County of Albemarle, which also funds the operation, issued a request and City Public Works Director Judith Mueller explained how usage was dropping.

news-ivylandfillThe Ivy Landfill closed in 2001, leaving the RSWA with no revenue stream other than a tax on all area waste, but a lawsuit settlement ended that.

"The tonnage is down," said Mueller. "For the current calendar year, it's going to be about half of what it was in 2007."

Mueller told the four present Councilors (Councilor Holly Edwards was absent) that even though the City offers free curbside recycling pickup, about a third of the McIntire's traffic still comes from City residents.

news-recyclingcurtailingA private firm called Van der Linde Recycling continues to accept the items banned from McIntire.

"There's a social atmosphere at McIntire that many people consider very special," explained Mueller.

Yet two councilors gave other reasons why city residents should support McIntire, which typically sees people unloading materials from inside gas-chugging automobiles after painstaking sorting–- a growing rarity in this area ever since a private firm began operating a MRF so efficiently that it won a City contract to sort and process the stuff left at curbside.

"We recycle so much," said Councilor Kristin Szakos of her own household, "that we only put out garbage about once every four weeks. Ours is one of those cars coming in and unloading everything."

Councilor David Brown pointed out that only by sorting can citizens and companies ensure that their old office paper becomes new office paper. "You can't use newsprint or cardboard to make this," said Brown, holding up a sheet of office paper.

The operator of the McIntire Center, the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, voted June 22 on a slimmer budget that terminates daily acceptance of batteries and compact fluorescent bulbs at McIntire, which now closes on Mondays and Tuesdays.

In its resolution, the City Council indicated that it would urge a more expansive array of operations at McIntire and cease supporting non-remediation activities at what was long called the Ivy Landfill. The move would save about $16,000 through the end of the year.

In 2001, after neighborhood complaints and a lawsuit, the landfill stopped filling land, yet the City remains under an obligation to support environmental remediation there. Mueller noted that only 15 percent of recent users of the Ivy operation, what's now called the Material Utilization Center, are city residents.


@dagger, "The city can put its trash in the Rotunda..." and I'll let you borrow my sleeping bag for your stay over.

The city can put their trash in the rotundra with the rest of the city trash

Why on earth do they have to have a person @ McIntire and hours at all? Put it on the honor system, just like UVa's recycling park, and every other recycling collection point I've ever seen, and take down the gates. People will have to break down their cardboard if there isn't an official to operate the box-smoosher, big deal. That probably eliminates the largest line-item expense.

god forbid someone in the public sector losing a job. Heck the city has hired 30 some people spend spend spend
If the public wants to cut back just scare them with cuttting police, fire, and teachers and make them pay.

Here's what would happen if the Center was not staffed. Some years ago there was a recycling center near University Hall that was not staffed. People dropped off so much trash there that it had to be closed down. Thats why we need someone onsite to monitor those using it.

Why are we duplicating services for City residents, who already have free curbside recycling. Taxpayers are paying for this, and either curbside recycling should be stopped, or the subsidy for McIntire and Ivy, but it is wasteful spending to fund both.

Time to shut down the RSWA and privatize trash services.

@Nancy Drew, it has been years since I've been to McIntire but I think there are items that the city residents can't put in curbside but can recycle at McIntire. Does anybody know if there's a difference?