MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Cars lined up on Spruce St. waiting for their chance to drop off electronics for recycling on Sunday morning at the Morgantown MarketPlace.
The event was supposed to start at 10 a.m., but Vanessa Reaves, the city’s recycling manager, said when she got there at 9 a.m. there was already a line of cars waiting to drop their printers, computers and televisions, among other things. Reaves said part of this could be due to the fact that the event was opened up to the county, which has a great need.
“This event is taking place with Recycle Right Morgantown, which is a city-wide initiative,” Reaves said. “There hasn’t been an electronic recycling event in the county for at least five years, so we opened up this event countywide. And as you can see, there’s been a huge stockpile of electronics, so we are happy to be able to help people recycle electronics today.”
The event was sponsored by Republic Services, a waste management company, which provided a vendor that will take the items to Pennsylvania. Once at the facility in Pennsylvania, all sensitive information will be destroyed and then they will be broken down for parts and sent to various manufacturers, Reaves said.
Reaves described helping her community recycle as “hugely rewarding”. She said she started her position in Feb. 2020 and she can already tell there is a great need for education and access to recycling in the city and county.
That is why the event was put on. That and to honor America Recycles Day.
“It’s the 23rd annual America Recycles today, which actually happens to be today and that’s why we’re hosting this event to honor that,” Reaves said. “I really hope we can have more events like this and other recycling events in the future. And I know the Monongalia Co. Solid Waste Authority, which handles education countywide is planning on having another of these events next year and we are working to collaborate on future events to really increase recycling accessibility to all residents.”
In the meantime, Reaves said, the public does not have to wait for big events like Sunday’s to properly recycle their electronics and other recyclables. She said Recycle Right Morgantown has a website that breaks down items that can be recycled such as electronics, textiles, light bulbs and batteries.
In addition, Reaves said, anyone who lives within the Morgantown city limits and has curbside recycling services can contact Republic’s customer service to schedule a special electronics pickup. She said those happen on the fourth Friday of every month.
As mentioned earlier, the recycling event is part of a public education effort. Reaves said another effort of hers is tackling tanglers in recycling bins.
“That’s like plastic bags, plastic packaging, any flexible packaging like the plastic wrap that goes around a water case,” Reaves said. “None of that should go in the recycling bin because that tangles up the big gears in the sorting machine that sorts the recyclables. And then the workers have to stop the machine, take it all out and then restart it again. It wastes time for them and it poses a health risk to the workers. So huge push, please keep anything that can wrap around a gear out of the recycling bin.”