- Why should I participate?
Currently, recycling is complicated and ineffective. Resource Recovery is easy and effective. All you need to remember is clean & dry and fits in a closed BgB. We take care of the rest, and your recycling efforts will now be impactful.
- What does "resource recovery" mean?
For too long, we have called items we are discarding "waste, trash, and garbage." In truth, these items are resources that can be reused, repurposed, rehomed, or recycled. An important step is to see these items for what they are, valuable resources. When we change our mindset, we will change our world.
- Why should I sign up when I already have recycling with my trash pickup?
Current recycling programs are inefficient, ineffective, and don't deliver what they promise. According to The Recycling Partnership, "Curbside recycling in the U.S. currently recovers only 32% of available recyclables." Of that abysmal number, nearly 40% still ends up in the landfill. What does this mean? If there are ten recoverable resources, only three make it to a recycling facility. Once at the facility, only 1 may actually be recycled.
- How are you able to recycle items my waste management company cannot?
By using existing systems and embracing new technologies. Big waste management companies use large machines that only accept specific items and cannot finely sort material. A good example is grocery bags. Grocery bags and other plastic films can be recycled into clothing and outdoor decking. However, grocery bags and other plastic film can damage the waste management company's machines. So plastic film is not accepted. By taking the time to properly sort the resources and use existing systems or embracing new technologies, we can recycle most anything.
- What exactly is currently included in the program?
It is easier to say what is not included:
Anything that is not clean & dry
Anything that is not in a properly closed BgB
No GLOP - grease, liquids, oils, or pastes
No organics & food including soiled napkins, paper, and paper towels
No used medical supplies or resources
Individual items heavier than 40 lbs and/or larger than the Big Green Bag will hold (appliances, mowers, TVs, etc.) We reserve the right not to pick up any resources outside of the BgB.
Additional services (e.g., removal of large items, household hazardous waste) can be accommodated for a fee
This is not a trash service or a waste management service. This is Resource Recovery. Please participate accordingly
Cardboard & Mixed Paper
Food Storage Containers (plastic and glass)
Glass Jars & Bottles
Ink and Toner Cartridges
Metal (cans, power cords, steel, aluminum)
Plastic Film (grocery, bread, dry cleaning bags, and similar items)
Most anything that is not liquid, food waste, or GLOP (grease, liquids, oils, pastes)
-What happens to the resources?
All resources are hand sorted and evaluated for highest and best use. Some are placed into existing commercial and municipal programs. Others are held until a resource recovery stream becomes available. When no resource recovery stream exists, items may be sent to waste-to-energy facilities or landfills. We do collect the data, so we can provide justification for development of future resource recovery streams.
- How does the Big Green Bag work?
Seventy-two-gallon, reusable, durable, water-resistant bags will be provided. The filled bag, which you will place curbside, will be picked-up and an empty replacement will be left for you. This bag exchange program allows for the control of the amount of material picked-up, weather protection, and for handling with minimal damage to glass.
- Should we sort resources?
Sorting would be helpful and appreciated but the goal of the program is to make recycling as easy as possible. If you choose to sort, use plastic bags, plastic containers, or glass jars to consolidate like and / or small resources.
- Do resources need to be dishwasher clean?
No. All resources should be generally clean, free from food residue, and dry. Food residue and liquids will smell, attract pests, and may contaminate other resources which would then be thrown out. We sort all resources by hand so nothing yucky, please.
- Can I use the same tote that I use for my waste management company?
No. Please use the Big Green Bag provided.
- What if it is raining on the day of pick up?
The Big Green Bag is water-resistant. When the bag is filled and placed at the curb, please fold it over and clip it using the attached clip.
- When will bagged resources be picked up?
Usually Fridays. Please place items out by 8 am. Specific day and time will be confirmed when you sign up.
- My neighbor wants to participate. Can they sign up?
Yes, they can sign up here.
- I do not live in the greater Clifton, VA area. Will service be provided in my area?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do you do trash pickup, too?
No. There is no plan to accept regular trash. However, if you have a resource, you are not sure what to do with, get in touch with us. We will find a solution.
- Why are you doing this?
The current system of recycling is not working. Everyone is pointing fingers – manufacturers blame packagers, packagers blame municipalities, municipalities blame waste haulers, waste haulers blame consumers, and everyone says more education and technology is the answer. There is no silver bullet, no one answer, but knowing that what today we call trash is in fact, a resource and handling it accordingly is a good start. And, it is going to take all of us.