Talkin’ Trash on Oct. 27


Talkin’ Trash: Harrisonburg garbage updates and options

Thursday, October 27 | 6-7:30PM

The Gathering Place
Common Good Marketplace
841 Mt. Clinton Pike
(behind Everence and Bowl of Good)

It’s been over a year since the City of Harrisonburg switched from single stream recycling to an all-in-one trash stream sent to a sorting facility east of Charlottesville. With the closing of the incinerator at JMU and rising local landfill tipping fees, this alternative promised an improved recycling rate at an affordable cost.

How’s it going? The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) is hosting a public forum to find out.

On Thursday, October 27 at 6PM at The Gathering Place in Harrisonburg, some of our local waste managers will be on hand to address solid waste management issues for Harrisonburg. All are welcome to attend and hear from:

• Harsit Patel, Business Services Manager with Harrisonburg Public Works who oversees the city’s solid waste management;
Linda Zirkle with Rockingham County recycling;
Eric Walter of Black Bear Composting;
• and a representative from van der Linde Recycling where most of Harrisonburg’s household trash is currently being sent.

Some questions.

What kind of recycling rates are being achieved with Harrisonburg’s new trash collection method over the past year? Is the quality of recyclables an issue?

Rockingham County offers separated recycling. How effective is this process?

The local landfill has a limited life. Can recycling and composting be maximized to extend its life? What are the options for future local landfills, if any?

Anaerobic breakdown of organic waste in landfills is a significant source of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Currently, Harrisonburg’s organic wastes end up in a Richmond-area landfill. There has been a commercial-scale composting facility in the valley for five years where almost 30% of our waste stream could be converted into valuable soil amendments. It is now scheduled to close due to lack of demand for organics recycling. Why has it been underutilized?

What can we do to create more robust recycling streams and landfill diversion for Harrisonburg’s garbage?

Attend the forum, bring your questions and hear from our local waste managers on updates and options for our trash!

CAAV is pleased to have JMU political science professor Rob Alexander to moderate the forum. He brings with him extensive facilitating skills and experience from numerous environment-related arenas.

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