Dear Ace: What’s with those recycling boxes at Central Place? Some City project or what? And how can we be sure the plastics and glass bottles get to the recycling place, anyway?—Sierra Klubb
Oh, my fine Sierra! Ace detects a sliver of skepticism in your query. Could it be that the one and only Sierra Klubb doubts the public’s talents for distinguishing trash from recyclable glass and plastic? Set your fears aside, my earthy friend. We’re going nowhere if we lose the faith…and Ace is not exactly what you’d call religious!
True, last time Charlottesville tried to get its Downtownies to recycle, the Downtownies let us down. They heedlessly threw trash in with the recyclables and it became “logistically difficult to get stuff where it needed to be,” according to Mike Svetz, director of parks and recreation for the City and the man with the plan for Downtown recycling efforts. Thus the original Downtown recycling station failed. Miserably.
But, as Ace always says, try, try again. Prompted by the clamorings of Earth Day activists, Svetz agreed to give recycling another shot on the Downtown Mall since, he says, it’s “the highest concentration [in town] of people to dump recyclables.” He therefore set up the new recycling station at Central Place on April 20.
Svetz is optimistic that things will work out this time because the Central Place recycling station also has a repository for good old-fashioned trash. Since people don’t usually walk around with just recyclables, but rather with trash and recyclables, this new station is one-stop tossing.
The station is going to be up and running at least through the end of the summer. During this time, Svetz and his cronies are going to keep an eye on how it’s working out. If people figure out the difference between glass, plastic and trash in a timely fashion, the station will remain and Svetz will consider others. If recycling proves too taxing for our deductive powers, then it’s back to regular old trash cans.
As for Ace, he likes the new recycling station because it’s right across from the C-VILLE office. So, when that pile of San Pellegrino bottles and outdated story lists has piled too high, all Ace needs to do is drag the precious recyclables over to Central Place and let the City work its waste magic. Some may call it abuse of the system; Ace calls it convenient.