Keep McIntire Alive and Recyclin!

by Betty on December 13, 2012

Open Letter to the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, the Charlottesville City Council, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, and all Citizens who care

As a concerned Albemarle County resident, mother of two, and long-time recycling advocate since 2007, I am disheartened by the proposal by Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to close or privatize Ivy Transfer Station and McIntire Recycling. Specifically, Supervisor Boyd wants to see the County “get out of the trash business.”

Unfortunately as US citizens consuming 25% of the world’s resources, we are inevitably “in the trash business.” The least we can do is recycle. Recycling saves landfill space, preserves valuable resources, and promotes local economies.

The least our elected officials can do is to offer their citizens access to recycling. Without these facilities, we have no outlet. Further, over 250 curbside recycling programs exist in Virginia, so why isn’t Albemarle County one of them?

This begs a larger question: what is the best way to handle our waste? Well, if you’ve been following recycling in our community lately, it’s been more than messy.

The city yields decent recycling rates by using both single-stream curbside recycling which is processed by a “clean MRF” (Materials Recovery Facility handling recyclables only) and all-in-one mixed waste collection processed by a “dirty MRF” (handling recyclables mixed with non-recyclables). Residents in the County, however, must rely on private haulers who use this “dirty MRF” and contradict federal EPA definition when they advertise their service as “single-stream.” False perceptions that these haulers achieve high recycling rates abound without proof.

But common sense tells us that mixing dirty diapers and newspapers is not recycling. I do not want to buy products made with that recycled material, and I am confident paper recycling mills feel the same.

Which is why I and many other avid recyclers (some for more than 25 years) continue to use McIntire’s Recycling Center. Today, the Center receives an estimated 500 customers each day and recycles over 5 million pounds of recyclables each year! Sales of these high quality materials cover 90% of its’ operating costs. Further, recycling provides jobs and regionally based manufacturing inputs. Responsible recycling is a responsible and reasonable use of my tax dollars.

Therefore, I urge you, Albemarle Board of Supervisors and the Charlottesville City Council, as well as taxpayers, concerned citizens, avid recyclers, and all who care about our quality of life to take RESPONSIBLE action NOW to keep McIntire alive and recyclin’. I plan on attending Tuesday’s meeting at 2pm at the Moore’s Creek WWTP. Charlottesville cares about preserving our quality of life and being responsible stewards of this beautiful place we call home. How can we be one of the “top US cities to live in” and still have no responsible recycling choices? It is a basic service that we all deserve.

Join me in urging elected officials to: 1- Keep Ivy Transfer Station and McIntire open to the citizens 2- Demand more transparency of actual recycling numbers by private haulers 3- Create an Albemarle County Waste Management Plan that includes: 1) true single-stream recycling to get the highest recycling rates possible, and 2) subsequent use of a dirty MRF to process landfill-bound waste giving recyclables a second chance to be captured.

**We now have an ONLINE PETITION for you to sign, listen to my radio show on 1061 the Corner tomorrow morning at 9am Email the BOS: or City of Charlottesville: and the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors: We also might hold a petition at McIntire, so STAY TUNED!**

Teri Kent, concerned Albemarle County resident and Founder/Executive Director of Better World Betty

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