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Frederick County eyes Martinsburg-based Apple Valley Waste for recycling services

WINCHESTER — The Frederick County Public Works department is planning to sign a contract with a Martinsburg, W.Va.-based company to provide recycling services next year, after its current recycling contract expires.

The county, which operates the Regional Landfill on Landfill Road as well as 11 refuse convenience centers, currently sends mixed paper, cardboard, steel, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles, jugs and shopping bags to Southern Scrap on Stine Lane for recycling.

Earlier this month, the county entered into a new contract with Southern Scrap to continue recycling services through the end of the year. Under the new contract, Southern Scrap will stop accepting plastics on Aug. 13. The county sought bids for a new recycling vendor to take over once its contract with Southern Scrap expires in mid-December.

During a Public Works Committee meeting on Tuesday, Public Works Director Joe Wilder said that four bids were received for the processing of recyclable material. The county’s invitation for bid closed July 18.

The low bidder was Apple Valley Waste, a sorting facility in Martinsburg. Solid Waste Manager Gloria Puffinburger said the company is charging significantly less than the highest bidder, which would have charged $128.45 per ton on all items. Apple Valley Waste will recycle:

Cans, with no processing fee and give a rebate to the county

Mixed paper, with a $25 per ton processing fee but no rebate

Cardboard, with no processing fee and no rebate

Plastics, with a $60 per ton processing fee and no rebate.

Glass will still not be recycled.

Fees, which were applied based on the county’s tonnages for fiscal year 2019, would result in a yearly processing cost of about $25,775. This would be more than offset by a potential rebate of $50,400 for metal cans, based on the market rate.

Puffinburger also said the county intends to use Apple Valley Waste to recycle plastics beginning Aug. 13 since Southern Scrap no longer accepts plastic.

However, in order for Apple Valley Waste to recycle the plastics, the county needs to hire a company to haul them to Martinsburg. Bids are due for hauling plastics on Aug. 9. Once the bids are reviewed, county staff will come back to the Public Works Committee and present options for continuing the plastics recycling program. If the hauling fees prove too high, Puffinburger said it is possible that the county would temporarily stop recycling plastics.

Wilder said the county still wants to find a more permanent solution. Although it’s cheaper at the moment to use a recycling vendor, “when times get tough they go away and we are left fending for ourselves,” Wilder said.

Currently, SCS Engineers is conducting a study for the Regional Landfill that will look at various short-term and long-term options for managing recyclables for Frederick and Clarke counties and the city of Winchester.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission also plans to conduct a study on regional recycling options for localities in the NSVRC area. The study would examine the feasibility of creating a centralized recycling location for Winchester and Frederick, Clarke, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. This study was prompted by challenges facing the recycling market.

Wilder said the findings of both studies should be available around October.

County Administrator Kris Tierney said county staff is trying to leave no stone unturned in finding a long-term recycling solution.

“Nobody wants to do away with recycling,” Tierney said. “We are trying to find the most feasible, cost-effective way to do it.”

Recycling Projects intern Brandon Wyatt, a rising junior at Virginia Tech, gave a presentation to the committee on a Frederick County Alternative Recycling Database (FCARD) that he has been working on this summer. Puffinburger said the county hopes to launch the database online sometime this fall.

The database would educate citizens on alternatives places in the community to dispose of materials. Earlier this summer, Wyatt surveyed local businesses to learn what materials they accept. With the help of the county’s IT department, the collected data will be made accessible on the Frederick County government website. The database will contain a list of local businesses and what type of materials they accept.

Courtesy : www.winchesterstar.com