Public Affairs Story

Recycling changes are affecting some Morgantown residents

By: James Scott

(The following story was produced for a video journalism class at WVU)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority is making some changes to their recycling program and financial burden is to blame.

As of June 28, 2013, glass recycling was no longer being accepted at the solid waste authority’s collection sites.  This change in policy left many Morgantown residents wondering what to do with their glass, like Sunny Meyers, who shared her feelings on the matter.

“I was pretty bummed out. I’ve been a big recycler pretty much my whole life,” Meyers said.

Meyers went on to stress the importance of recycling stating, “I think it’s important for helping the environment, and helping to sustain the Earth.”

Click here to learn more about the impact of recycling.

The Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority (MCSWA) chose to end the collection of glass recycling due to budgetary restraints. The commodity’s low yield and the high costs associated with transporting the recycled material are at fault.

Last year, the organization lost over $48,000 servicing only glass recycling.

Jessica Maple Executive Director of MCSWA explained why the organization could no longer sustain the glass program.

“We worked with our vendor to get more out of the commodity, but when the commodity is not valuable, there is no money in it,” Maple said. “We were going out and picking it up and losing money every time,” concluded Maple.

The organization was no longer earning a profit from glass recyclables. While the decision was tough, it was either cut the glass or shutdown the whole operation.

As a private entity, MCSWA relies on the money made from selling recycled material to their vendors. Despite having the word “county” in their title, the organization does not benefit from government funding as a municipal recycling service would.

Maple did hear a large outcry from the community stressing the need for glass recycling. As a compromise, glass recycling will again be accepted, but only at the organization’s main collection center.

Located at 255 S. Plant St., the change went into affect on Dec. 23, 2013.

Click here to view a PDF of this story’s transcript.

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