Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in The Journal’s multi-part series where we talked to experts about a few of the more popular New Year’s Resolutions on tips for maintaining goals in 2022.
MARTINSBURG — The beautiful mountains and natural landscape, the ever-growing population, a booming economy: reducing waste provides a positive benefit on many aspects of life, especially in the Eastern Panhandle.
In Berkeley County specifically, there are three recycling centers that offer the perfect first steps in beginning to reduce waste in the new year. Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority chair Clint Hogbin said two of the three facilities are very comprehensive for those just starting out in the recycling game as he offered good advice for beginners.
“For the person who’s maybe just starting for the first time, we often encourage them to just visit one of the sites, find one of our employees, maybe get a little 10-minute tour, see how things are collected and the rules and just start with one item and build from there,” Hogbin said. “I often encourage paper. Paper seems to be a good starting point for everyone because we all know what paper is.”
He laughed as he added the rule for recycling paper: “There’s really one kind of two rules with paper: is it paper or is it not paper?”
From there, Hogbin said individuals can learn more about recycling and move on to additional areas such as cans, glass, yard waste and brush, plastic, oil and antifreeze among other items taken by the centers. However, that paper starting point is particularly relevant this time of year as the holiday season is in full force.
“With the advent of ordering things on the Internet and having it shipped to you, we all have a lot more paper, a lot more cardboard in our waste stream,” Hogbin said. “Believe it or not, people who manufacture cardboard are having a difficult time getting enough old cardboard to make new cardboard. It helps the economy. It helps employment. It helps our processes we’ve become used to. It helps them work better if you’re helping by recycling.”
Where to recycle
|Center Name||Location||Hours of Operation|
|Grapevine Road Recycling CenterHedgesville Recycling Center||111 Landfill Dr., MaritnsburgEagle Plaza||9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday|
|South Berkeley Recycling Center||637 Pilgrim St., Inwood||9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday|
|Charles R. Biggs Recycling Center||2990 Valley Rd., Berkeley Springs||11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday and||Friday; 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday|
|Jefferson Co. Solid Waste Authoirity||332 Jefferson Orchard Rd., Kearneysville||8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday|
Hogbin shared that recycling has a major impact on economy around the nation as well as locally with millions being employed in the field across the country. Reducing waste also plays a key factor in the geography and natural beauty found in the Eastern Panhandle as it prevents expansion of landfills.
“We’re in the Eastern Panhandle where siting and expanding landfills is difficult not only from a geology concern but also who wants to live around a landfill?” Hogbin said. “You can save by recycling items that can be easily recycled today, we can extend the life of current landfills in our region, and you can extend them so the need to site a new one is further down the road.”
By preventing any need for new landfills or expansions, it helps provide a better quality of life for the area as residents come into the Panhandle and find ways to manage waste differently than decades ago.
Hogbin recommended composting as another way to reduce waster, whether that be in one’s own backyard or through a county center, as well as capitalizing on Entsorga facility to offset waste production.
“We’re fortune and blessed to have the Entsorga West Virginia facility here in Martinsburg, which is a private facility that takes everyday trash and makes a fuel,” Hogbin said. “Things that cannot be recycled, many of those things can be used to make a fuel. We’re blessed to have that as an option.”
Every third Wednesday of each month from 1-4 p.m., Entsorga takes most household trash items, with a few exceptions, for free and will make fuel from those items.
With the holiday season in full sing, Hogbin also recommended a clean way to recycle natural Christmas trees as the local recycling centers will take the trees for free. Individuals are just asked to bring the tree to a center and have it in as natural of a state as possible, with lights and decorations removed.
Or residents of Jefferson, Berkeley and Washington counties can connect with Apple Valley Waste to have their trees picked up for $25 per tree, and half of those proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle.
“They’ve done this for many years as just a community partnership,” Hogbin said.