Friday, June 8, 2012
By: The Editorial Board | GoDanRiver
Published: May 21, 2012 Updated: May 21, 2012 - 6:00 AM
The logic behind recycling is simple: Why throw out something that can be used again and again?
But getting from that sound principle to a workable recycling program is another story.
In Pittsylvania County, about a third of the trash is recycled, which extends the life of the county’s landfill. But the board of supervisors’ beautification committee wants to expand recycling in Pittsylvania County.
“It’s a huge, huge need,” said Megan Evans, chair of the beautification committee. “To be such a large county, there’s a huge need for recycling.”
The county’s 19 trash collection sites include bins for newsprint, aluminum cans and cardboard. Mixed metals are separated at the Dry Fork landfill and sold to support landfill operations. But costs— and the market— keep the county from collecting plastic and glass.
“We’re pretty close to doubling what the state requires,” said Assistant County Administrator Otis Hawker.
“… We should all try to recycle, reuse and do the best that we can, but with the economy the way it is nationwide, you’re not seeing markets develop.”
Even though plastics and glass recycling isn’t offered at the county sites, Pittsylvania residents can still bring their recyclables to bins in Danville.
The payoff? People won’t throw away something that can be used again. The city will be able to ship more recyclables, and the county’s landfill won’t fill up as fast.
Last month’s Earth Day cleanup was just the start.
There is a growing realization that the county’s scenic vistas and rural roads are worth the effort it takes to clean them up— and maintain them.
At the same time, Virginia’s largest county could never afford to be able to do the work that volunteers on Earth Day were able to do. There simply isn’t room in the county budget for beautification. There probably never will be.
But the beautification committee is onto something. A few grants here, and a day of cleaning there and the county will be better off for it. Beautification is not the biggest issue facing Pittsylvania County, but it matters for most people — and their property values.