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Arlington County May Upgrade Recycling Progam. Price?

At the October 1, 2013 meeting of Arlington County Civic Federation, delegates were briefed on potential changes in Arlington County's recycling program. According to the Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey in a story posted last Thursday:

"The current two-bin solid-waste collection in Arlington’s single-family neighborhoods could expand to three if county staff move forward on a plan to implement recycling of organic material, including yard waste and food.

"The result would almost inevitably bring  higher rates of recycling – and an increased cost for residents.

“It’ll go up,” acknowledged Erik Grabowsky, chief of the solid-waste bureau of the county government’s Department of Environmental Services, discussing how costs would change if the proposal makes its way into practice."

The upgrades would allow County Board members to pat each other's backs, however. According to McCaffrey:

"On the plus side, adding recycling of food and yard waste would bump up the residential-recycling rate in Arlington’s neighborhoods, which in 2012 stood at about 47 percent. Just adding yard waste alone would push the recycling rate into the 65-percent area, and adding food recycling would send it even higher, Grabowsky said."

On the other hand, Board members would argue "that charges to homeowners have come down about $50 per year in recent years, and remain below those of nearby jurisdictions."

Civic Federation delegates asked Mr. Grabowsky a number of questions. Consequently, Mr. McCaffrey's article is worth reading in its entirety. In addition, in this story today, McCaffrey explains why the "county recylcing rate comes with an explanation attached."

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