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Recycling saves more than $100,000 for county

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Recycling efforts have amped up in Grayson over the past several years, with recycling centers made available in all areas of the county

By Shaina Stockton

INDEPENDENCE — Recycling efforts over the past several years have added up in savings for Grayson County, with a positive impact to the county budget, as well as the environment.
Steve Delp addressed the effects with the Grayson County Board of Supervisors during their March 9 meeting, before highlighting a series of events that are scheduled to assist the in safe disposal efforts.
“Before 2011, Grayson County had dabbled in recycling; but in 2011, we put a business plan together. It was estimated that if we could grow by at least five percent per year, we would consider it a success,” Delp began.
It turned out that the plan was even more effective than they’d imagined. “In our first year, there was a 22 percent increase. The second year saw a 21 percent increase. In the third, there was a 34 percent increase. And as of last year, there was a 14.5 percent increase,” Delp said.
From a financial perspective, this has resulted in a savings of more than $100,000. These monies go directly back into the county’s general fund, meaning that the savings will positively impact the entire county.
“And that is aside from the positive environmental aspects, which I’m sure all of us are well aware of at this point,” said Delp. “It has paid for itself over and over again. It’s a wonderful thing to have.”
To encourage more citizens to recycle, recycling centers have been set up in several spots throughout the county. To increase visibility to the public, Delp added that they have added signage to those areas. Recycling centers are open 24 hours a day, with the exception of Water Plant Road in Fries which is open from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The full list of recycling centers in Grayson County include:
• The Grayson County Public Works Department,
• Grayson County High School
• Grayson Highlands General Store
• Grayson Highlands School
• Elk Creek Fire Department/Old Elk Creek School
• Fries/Water Plant Road
• White Top Community Center
• Troutdale Fire Department
• Old Providence School
• Fairview School
• Baywood School
• Old Bridle Creek School
Items acceptable for recycling include cardboard, office paper, newspaper, shredded paper, magazines, plastic containers and bottles with recycle logo, aluminum cans and containers, and steel of all types.
Items not accepted include plastic grocery bags, shrink wrap, glass, PVC, and ABS plastic pipe, Styrofoam, wax coated cardboard boxes, hazardous or biological materials and or containers of any kind. Customers are also asked not to mix different types of recyclables.

Delp also took a moment to highlight two upcoming events, beginning with this year’s large item pick-up schedule.
The large-item pickup, scheduled for the benefit of Grayson County residents (including Independence and Fries) will collect the following items: items such as appliances, furniture, mattresses, and couches. Customers may also put out up to 10 tires (automobile only - no tractor, etc.) for collection per household (tires must be off rims). A limit of no more than 10 items may be placed out per household for collection.
Items not acceptable for collection are: hazardous materials, land clearing debris, old fence posts, wire fencing, satellite dishes, wood, any type of building materials such as roofing shingles, vinyl siding, plywood, sheetrock, etc.
The schedule for the large item pick-up is as follows:
• March 20 - Monday’s regular collection route
• April 3 - Tuesday’s regular collection route
• April 24 - Wednesday’s regular collection route
• May 8 - Thursday’s regular collection route
• May 22 - Friday’s regular collection route
(All large item collections begin on Monday of the scheduled week.)
• June 5 - Town of Independence - curbside
• June 12 - Town of Fries - curbside
(All items must be placed at curbside by beginning date listed above.)
Customers may call or register online one week prior to their collection times, providing their name, telephone number, 911 address, and description of items for collection. They must call the public works department at (276) 773-3181 or visit www.graysoncountyva.gov and follow the government website link to register items online.

Grayson County Public Works and the City of Galax will also host a Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Personal Document Shredding on April 1. Event hours are 8 a.m. - noon at the Galax Public Works Department (300 Fair Street, Galax); and 1-4 p.m. at the Grayson County Public Works Department (1216 N. Independence Ave.).
Acceptable items include paint, polishes and varnishes, gasoline, paint-related materials, batteries, turpentine, mercury, aerosol cans, pesticides, adhesives, transmission fluid, motor oil, pool chemicals, antifreeze, fluorescent light bulbs, fuel additives, automotive batteries, household cleaners, small batteries, and herbicides/insecticides. New items for recycling include hearing aids, eye glasses, and metal.
Items that will not be accepted include commercial/industrial waste, 55-gallon drums of material, radioactive material, explosives, and bullets.
These locations are for Grayson, Galax, and Carroll residents only. Please label unmarked containers if contents are known. For more information, call Charles Joyce (Galax) at (276) 236-3691; or Jonathan Luper (Grayson) at (276) 773-3181.

For more information about the county’s recycling program, contact the Grayson County Public Works Department at (276) 773-3181 or email gcpw@graysoncountyva.gov.