By Brian Indre
A cardboard pile up at the Gordon Road recycling center has more to do with the excesses of the holiday season than negligence on the part of City of Falls Church residents. The City will also soon test out moving glass recyclables from the curb to a central location as it joins the regional effort to dispose of the waste in a more effective manner.
Lonnie Marquetti, the solid waste program manager for the City of Falls Church, said that the amount of cardboard brought in by residents from the holiday season was to blame. Larger than usual cardboard boxes that contained flat-screen TVs and a heavy dosage of Amazon boxes were all part of the overflow and contributed to the stuffed disposal bins.
Marquetti mentions that it is very seldom that there is an issue of overflow in any of the containers at the center, and not a problem with the current capacity. The center was just severely overwhelmed with byproducts of gifts due to the holidays.
“Next year I have made the arrangements for additional hauling services to be able to accommodate the week of Christmas and the week following, so that we don’t experience the same pile up next year,” Marquetti said.
There are currently three 30-yard containers strictly for cardboard, and one marked mixed paper that can also take cardboard at the recycling center, if necessary. The facility gets serviced once a week, and only the containers that are full will need to be hauled off and emptied.
“Nine times out of ten, every week I am pulling all three of the cardboard containers to be emptied,” said Marquetti.
When it comes to cardboard box recycling, it’s imperative that people adhere to the instructions posted on the side of the containers. Also, boxes that are being deposited should be broken down properly in order to help save space for other disposals.
“If you were to go to the recycling center on the day before it is serviced, which is on Thursdays, all three cardboard containers will appear full. But often times, people don’t break down their boxes or check all the slots amongst the containers for available room and then leaving them on the ground which is not allowed,” Marquetti explained.
Marquetti emphasized that there is plenty of capacity for normal weekly recycling loads at the center, and from here going forward the appropriate measures will be taken in order to be ready for the influx of product coming in over the holiday season.
As tempting as it may be to leave recyclables on the ground if a bin appears full, doing so is strictly prohibited, per Marquetti, who instructs those who do observe improper disposal of cardboard to call the solid waste hotline that is listed on signs at the recycling center.
The newest member of the “Purple Can Club” is the City of Falls Church, as well. According to the City website, starting on Feb. 19, the City will launch its pilot program and will request that residents stop placing glass bottles and jars in their curbside recycling bins.
Those who do wish to recycle glass will need to deposit it at the purple bin located at the Gordon Rd. facility. Otherwise, residents have the option of putting their glass recyclables in the trash. Condominium and apartment tenants should consult their property management group about their own disposal methods.