Spotsylvania County Schools
January 10, 2012 by staff
Spotsylvania County Schools, Tons of recyclable materials from the Spotsylvania County school division are now being trashed after the company that had collected them was bought out.
J&E Recycling had operated the school division’s single-stream recycling program since April 2010 and provided free pickup from the schools, absorbing the cost of transporting it.
However, the company that purchased J&E last fall quickly sold its recycling program to a second company, which told the school division it could not absorb the cost of the service and would need to institute a fee, said Assistant Superintendent Scott Worner.
“This was to be budget-neutral, and suddenly it was not,” Worner said.
That meant the division had to solicit bids for the service. In the meantime, all recycling bins were removed from the schools and placed at the division’s fleet maintenance facility to prevent an overflow and mess, Worner said.
The last recycling pickup was in early November, and bins were put in storage at the end of that month.
The program is now on hold until funding can be found to restart it.
The school division’s 34 sites-including each school and all facilities-had been generating about 6 tons of recyclable materials per week during the program, Energy Manager Stephen Demoratz said.
That included paper, plastic, cardboard and metal.
Apart from some small-scale individual efforts, all of that is now going into the landfill.
School Board member Amanda Blalock said she’s upset by the need for more funding for the program now because she had opposed paying $21,905 to buy recycling bins to start it in spring 2010.
At a time when positions were being cut, she wanted the money spent instead on a paraeducator.
At the board meeting when the program was presented as free, she said, she was skeptical.
“All that kept going through my mind in that meeting was, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” she said this week.
She said she supports recycling and will probably support funding to preserve the initial investment if it comes to that, but said every dollar counts in these tight fiscal times.
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