RVA recyclers rejoice! Central VA Waste expands accepted recyclables to #1-7

by | Jul 8, 2016 | POLITICS

You’ve probably been throwing your many plastic containers in the recycling bin without much care but it turns out our system sucked for a while but now it’s getting better.

You’ve probably been throwing your many plastic containers in the recycling bin without much care but it turns out our system sucked for a while but now it’s getting better.

In a statement sent out by Central Virginia’s Waste Management Authority (CVWMA) has announced they can now accept recyclables that bare numbers 1-7 as opposed to the 1-2 that were accepted until this month.

“CVWMA is always looking for cost effective ways for its member local governments to be able to implement programs or to enhance existing programs to make recycling easier in the region, to reduce the amount of waste going to local landfills, and to protect and conserve natural resources,” said the Executive Director of the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, Kim Hynes, in a release published late last month. “With these additional items being added to its programs, the Authority will be part of recycling programs nationwide that accept all plastic bottles and containers and the waxy cartons.”

The expanded service will support the 1.1 million residents living within the CVWMA service area and includes containers like the ones listed below via NaturalSociety.com:

Plastic #3 – V or PVC (Vinyl)

Plastic #3 is used to make food wrap, plumbing pipes, and detergent bottles, and is seldom accepted by curbside recycling programs. These plastics used to, and still may, contain phthalates, which are linked to numerous health issues ranging from developmental problems to miscarriages. They also contain DEHA, which can be carcinogenic with long-term exposure. DEHA has also been linked to loss of bone mass and liver problems. Don’t cook with or burn this plastic.

This plastic is recycled into paneling, flooring, speed bumps, decks, and roadway gutters.

Plastic #4 – LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)

Low density polyethylene is most found in squeezable bottles, shopping bags, clothing, carpet, frozen food, bread bags, and some food wraps. Curbside recycling programs haven’t been known to pick up this plastic, but more are starting to accept it. Plastic #4 rests among the recycling symbols considered to be safe.

This plastic is recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes.

Plastic #5 – PP (Polypropylene)

Increasingly becoming accepted by curbside recycle programs, plastic #5 is also one of the safer plastics to look for. It is typically found in yogurt containers, ketchup bottles, syrup bottles, and medicine bottles.

Polypropylene is recycled into brooms, auto battery cases, bins, pallets, signal lights, ice scrapers, and bicycle racks.

Plastic #6 – PS (Polystyrene)

Polystyrene is Styrofoam, which is notorious for being difficult to recycle, and thus, bad for the environment. This kind of plastic also poses a health risk, leaching potentially toxic chemicals, especially when heated. Most recycling programs won’t accept it. Plastic #6 is found in compact disc cases, egg cartons, meat trays, and disposable plates and cups.

It is recycled into egg cartons, vents, foam packing, and insulation.

Plastic #7 – Other, Miscellaneous

All of the plastic resins that don’t fit into the other categories are placed in the number 7 category. It’s a mix bag of plastics that includes polycarbonate, which contains the toxic bisphenol-A (BPA). These plastics should be avoided due to possibly containing hormone disruptors like BPA, which has been linked to infertility, hyperactivity, reproductive problems, and other health issues.

Plastic #7 is found in sunglasses, iPod cases, computer cases, nylon, 3- and 5-gallon water bottles, and bullet-proof materials.

It is recycled into plastic lumber and other custom-made products.

So get out there and help the environment by putting your recyclables in the damn bin!

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at BradKutnerNPR@gmail.com




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