Letter to County BOS Regarding New Convenience Centers

by Betty on January 7, 2014

Are you eager to see recycling services improved in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area?? The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, January 8 to allow citizens to share comments regarding the site selection for a new convenience center in southern Albemarle County. Please consider attending the meeting to offer up your comments! (Event details: Wed. 1/8/2014, 6-8pm at County Office Building – McIntire).

The Board will be choosing between a site in the Mill Creek area near the Monticello Fire Rescue Station and a site in Keene and wants public input regarding their final site decision.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Recycling Task Force (CART) is pleased that the County is pursuing increased local recycling options, but we think there are better ways to approach the issue of recycling. We know our County has the ability to be so much more progressive on materials management!

As a recycling enthusiast in our community, we hope you will consider attending the meetingto offer up your comments. If you cannot attend, please consider emailing the Board of Supervisors (bos@albemarle.org), sharing your concerns about their plan’s ability to truly increase recycling in our area. 

Here is the official statement that CART is sending to the Board of Supervisors. If you decide to submit comments, please feel free to make it your own!



January 6, 2014


  • Better World Betty – Teri Kent, Peggy Gilges

  • Green Blue Institute – Anne Bedarf, Nina Goodrich, Danielle Peacock, James Ewell


Thank you for the opportunity to provide input to this very important issue in Albemarle County. Please find our thoughts and suggestions below.

Before Convenience Centers are chosen, develop a comprehensive Materials Management Strategy, assisted by experts in the field.

  • In 2007/2008, the RSWA hired experts GBB for this purpose but the RSWA Board did not allow the process to continue beyond the Draft stage.

  • This is not about finding the cheapest solution possible; Albemarle County is a progressive community that is willing to invest in solutions that provide long-term benefit.

  • The County needs assistance from experienced solid waste and recycling professionals with a broad knowledge of what systems work well.

  • Partner with the jobs-focused South Eastern Recycling Development Council as they are working on planning projects to increase recycling that could include our area (http://www.serdc.org/activity).

  • Consider the County’s obligations under the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan (such as, working more closely with the City and UVA) and the RSWA Operating Agreement.

  • Bring together a public task force to focus on this strategy.

Re-consider the closure of the Ivy site as it offers services not currently contemplated in the Convenience Centers.

  • No option is apparent for recycling of vegetative waste, pallets, white goods freon removal, antifreeze, and oil.

  • The “Encore Shop” reuse center is a community asset providing a valuable service.

  • The Ivy site is conveniently located and already developed industrially.

 Reissue an RFP after the above steps are taken so that more than one bid is obtained for true competitiveness.

  • The previous process was flawed as it garnered only one bid. Seek to understand why competitive bids were not obtained.

  • The current bid came from a corporation that currently misrepresents its recycling rate and thus should be carefully scrutinized. Public documents show the all-in-one recycling rate at the VDL facility to be 26%, yet the 90% recycling rate number (true ONLY for construction debris) is erroneously cited for municipal waste. Source separated (McIntire) and true single stream (Republic Services–like the City has) yield much higher quality.

Develop transparency and performance requirements in terms of actual recycling and and details for this type of collection service.

  • For example, the current information is unclear as to what types of plastics will be collected and how they will be collected.

  • Include provisions disallowing co-mingling of source separated recycling.

GreenBlue is willing to be a resource to the County moving forward and hopes that these ideas and concerns are taken seriously. Some of our work could prove useful; please see this document that indicates best practices:


We have the ability to be so much more progressive on materials management!

Thank you for your consideration.

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