March 2009

Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club March 8th 2009

Our thanks go out once again to the New Baltimore Fire House for the use of their great space and to JL Combemale for organizing this for us.  Ike and Julie Broaddus have generously donated their home for our April and May meetings so we all have another chance to visit the goats and chickens at “Tranquility Post.”

Five Minute Flash Reports:

Treasurer’s Report- No treasurer’s report this month.   Stay tuned for April.

Scribe Request- Andrea Martens expressed her gratitude to Patty Knight and Michael Rainger for kindly offering to scribe for our April and May meetings respectively.  Our minutes are sent out to over 300 email addresses and we receive many comments from those who appreciate keeping tabs on what we’re doing even when they’re unable to attend our meetings.  Thanks to you both for taking on this duty in my absence and also for volunteering and saving me, and all those present, from 5 minutes of pleading.

Fauquier Community Dinner- David Roos commented on the success of the first ever Fauquier Community Dinner.  Hosted by the Fauquier Community Action Committee the event provided tabling space for over thirty community groups including hospice, housing advocates, the Fauquier Democrats, local shelters, voter registration drive… More than 200 people came out to feast on a spaghetti dinner and to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with various service organizations.

Immigration Lobby Day- Donna Lipinski invited anyone interested to join her for the National Day of Action on immigration issues, March 19th in Washington, DC.  Donna will be joining members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association along with others concerned about the state of our immigration system.  Their mission is “to educate policy makers about the real and deepening crisis facing American businesses, communities, and families and to persuade members of Congress and their staff that immigration policies are failing America.” The AILA plans to have 300-400 lawyers, their clients, and others struggling with, or concerned about, immigration issues.  This is a great time for our elected officials to hear from us!  Please plan on attending.  For more information visit:  http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=28218  You may also contact Donna at donna@blueridgeimmigration.com or 540- 878- 5740.

“Peace Within Reach”- Filling in for Bill Day, Andrea provided the details on the upcoming Department of Peace Campaign’s 2009 National Conference to be held in Washington, D.C., March 20-23rd.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich will be the congressional host for the event.  Please visit www.thepeacealliance.org for more details.

“Retro Party Revival”- Andrea invited all to attend CASA of Greater Prince William’s spring fundraiser on Saturday April 25th from 7:30 to 11:30 at the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas.  If you’ve been waiting for your chance to break out the bell bottoms, tie die (or perhaps your “favorite” leisure suit) or simply to enjoy the sounds of the rock music of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, then this event is for you.  CASA is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping abused, neglected and abandoned children (for more information on the group see the Oct. 2007 SSC Minutes).   With the economic downturn, CASA is facing a potential funding shortage at the same time they are seeing an increase in their case load.  Please consider turning out to support this vital organization.  Ticket prices start at $45; sponsorship opportunities are also available.  Call 703-330-8145 to purchase tickets or visit www.casaofgpw.org for more information.

4th Annual Piedmont Alternative Energy and Electric Vehicle EXPO- Michael Rainger encouraged everyone to save Saturday, June 20 for a visit to the expo, sponsored by the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP) being held at Brumfield Elementary School (behind Wal-Mart and Home depot in Warrenton).

Over 50 exhibitors are expected including all new “educational” booths by Brumfield, Auburn, PTO – School Support Council (the other SSC organization), and other non-profits (free) etc.  Come and check out the latest technologies in bio-fuel, electric vehicles, construction, solar, wind, water, micro-hydro, off-grid homes, energy conservation…  For more information visit their website at http://rlep.org/  If you know of potential exhibitors / sponsors or non-profits (free) that might like to have an exhibit, Michael serves as the Fauquier County RLEP representative and can be contacted at michaelj@intragroups.com or 540-219-0445.

Landfill fee- Board of Supervisor Terry Nyhous was unable to join us this evening but he sent the following message:  “We are very proud and supportive of our recycling program. I want you to know that the Board of Supervisors has decided to continue our aggressive recycling program despite the fact that the market for recycled materials has fallen victim to the national economic downturn. We have proposed to supplement the lost revenue by levying a temporary household landfill fee. I hope that your members understand that the fee will permit us to continue recycling usable materials and keeping them out of the landfill.”

For the Good of the Community

Salem Community Montessori School Annual Auction and Wine Tasting Event-  Whitney Petrelli encouraged all to attend this event, to be held at Buchanan Hall (www.buchananhall.com), 8549 John Mosby Highway, Upperville, Saturday March 14th from 6:30 to 10:00 PM.  “Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and award winning wines while bidding on services, travel packages, gift baskets and other unique items.  Original artwork will also be available for sale.”  Admission is $15.00 per person in advance, $20 at the door, wine tasting is an additional $5.00.  Contact auction@scmschool.org or call 540-222-2600.

Green Drinks Event-  Michael Rainger invited everyone to the Green Drinks event to be held Wednesday, March 18th, 6:00-8:00 PM at the Black Horse Inn, 8393 Meetze Rd. Speakers will include our own David Roos  addressing the topic, “How to Keep Your Garden Green”  as well as Lynn Pirozzoli, “Black Horse History and Gardens, and Deborah Williamson, “The Importance of Heirloom Seeds.”  Visit http://greendrinks.org/index.php?country=USA&city=Warrenton for more details or contact Deborah Williamson at gallentina@aol.com

Spring Fling Craft Show and Flea Market- Fauquier County High School Students are hosting a fundraiser on Sat. March 21st from 8:00 to 3:00PM.  Proceeds will help cover the costs of their upcoming trip to Spain.

Latino Festival- Mark your calendars for the Latino Festival to be held at 111 Commerce St. in Culpeper on Friday May 1st from 6:00 to 10:00PM.  The organizers are hoping for a diverse crowd so please plan on attending.  More details to follow.

Guest Speaker

In keeping with the SSC’s continued mission to help us all “go green” we were pleased to welcome as our guest speaker, Trish Either, Recycling Education Coordinator for the Fauquier County Department of Environmental Services.   Trish gave a terrific presentation on the past, present and future of our recycling program.

Virginia’s Commitment to Recycling: In 2009 Senator Patsy Ticer introduced a bill that would require the Department of Environmental Quality to prepare a twenty year recycling plan for Virginia.  Unfortunately this bill was tabled in the house appropriations committee. The General Assembly killed HB2649, which would have removed the requirement that the Department of Environmental Quality include in its annual solid waste report an estimate of the amount of solid waste managed or disposed of through recycling.  For full details on these bills visit: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=091&typ=bil&val=SB930, http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=091&typ=bil&val=HB2649

Recycling Education in Fauquier County- Trish’s favorite part of the job.
In 2007 and 2008 Trish presented 110 educational programs, in schools and out.
Eddie Earth- the Nature Ranger Rabbit is a favorite amongst the kids.  His motto: “Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Help save our Earth.”
In 6th grade students participate in a program to learn about the landfill.
The Environmental Service Department also spreads the word at children’s festivals and street festivals throughout the county.

A Few Facts on Recycling in Fauquier County
In 2006 we recycled at 23%, in 2007 this went up to 28.9%, and in 2008 predictions are that we’ll be upwards of 30%.
In July of 2008 the county began a construction debris recycling program.
A new Recycling Processing Center (RPC) opened in September of 2008.  The system used at this center is extremely efficient.
The Fauquier Recycling Program has received state and national awards including first place awards from “Keep Virginia Beautiful” and the Virginia Recycling Association, as well as a second place award (second only to the Navy) from the “Keep America Beautiful program”.  Thanks go out to SSC member Sandy Alm for helping to put together their applications!
The recycling facility used to need thirty employees but due to increasing efficiency this number has been reduced to ten.
In the last three and a half to four years Fauquier has almost doubled the amount of items accepted for recycling.
The county does not accept trash from out of county or out of state though we do accept recyclables, as they can be sold.  Any out of state trucks you see at the landfill are there to pick up commodities they’ve purchased.
Fauquier is one of a handful of small landfills to have a methane gas program.  We collect all the methane gas extracted from the landfill and turn it into electricity which is put back into the power grid.  Dominion pays us for this electricity.  In 2006 and 2007 this gas produced enough electricity to power up 500 homes in Warrenton.  The numbers are not yet available for 2008 but estimates put the number of homes at 650 or more.
Fauquier is one of few jurisdictions in the state to offer electronics recycling every day of the week.  The county accepts everything electronic (some items require a fee): clocks, Ipods, cell phones, VHS/Beta machines, televisions, microwaves, printers…

How the Economy Hits Recycling: The downturn in the economy has caused commodity rates to drop dramatically.
Commodity rates are set by the commodities market.  A commodities sheet listing the current prices is released on the 6th of each month.  These prices are fixed and allow for no negotiation.
Since October paper has dropped from $85/ton to minus $25/ton.  Fauquier chose not to get rid of their paper at a loss so had to find ways to stockpile the paper until the price went up.  The price is now at $30/ton and Fauquier has begun selling once again.
Cardboard was selling at $105-115/ton in November, 2008 but dropped to $0 in December.  Previously there was a good market for cardboard as it was shipped to Richmond and then on to China, but the demand dried up due to the Olympics and the Chinese New Year.  Demand is increasing slowly and the price is back up to $25/ton.  Fauquier has looked at different ways to improve our income on commodity sales including selling directly abroad which raises price to $57-79/ton.
Scrap metal was selling for $400/ton in August then dropped to $45/ton.  The sale of scrap metal supports our entire recycling program.  All recycling sites in the county have a dumpster for scrap metal.
HDPE plastics, aka #2, dropped from 33cents/lb to zero cents.  #2 plastics include laundry detergent bottles, PVC piping and vinyl siding.
#1 plastics, soda bottles, water bottles, etc. dropped from 15 cents/lb to 0 cents.
Fauquier County had been ready to announce that the county would accept all plastics from 1-7 but with the collapse of the market they have had to postpone this expansion.
Textiles (old clothes, sheets, towels…) sell for $200/ton, $500/ton for shoes, belts, purses.  The county typically collects 40,000 lbs. per month.

The Board of Supervisors has implemented an annual fee of $15.00 per household to help offset the poor commodities market.  This fee will help the current recycling programs to continue to move forward and may even help bring back previously cut programs.

What happens to our recycled products?
Most of the paper is shipped to mills to be made into new paper products.
Water bottles are melted down to make synthetic fibers and carpets.
Textiles are sent to New Jersey where they are sorted into reusable (sold to thrift shops, vintage clothing stores etc.) and not reusable.  The not reusable fabrics are shredded and used for padding in decorative pillows, pet beds etc.)
Shredded tires are used around the landfill.
Ft. Lauderdale has developed a pilot program of crushing glass back to its natural state, aka sand, and using this to replenish their beaches. They have discovered this to be more efficient and less impacting on the environment than going offshore and dredging up sand.
Electronics are disassembled in the U.S.  Refurbished electronics go to non-profits and schools.   Parts are recycled.  The companies used by Fauquier for recycling electronics are 95% landfill free.
Fauquier County Landfill and Corral Farm Convenience Site: the landfill accepts commercial and residential waste and recyclables including anti-freeze, automobile batteries, scrap metal, glass, cans, used motor oil, mixed paper, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, office paper, magazines/catalogs, tires ($3.00/per tire), tree stumps (fee), units containing Freon (fee), yard waste, plastics, and textiles.  The landfill no longer accepts items containing creosote.
§         For details and fee schedules visit: http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments/environmental/index.cfm?action=landfill
§         The first and third Saturdays of the month are household hazardous waste collection days.  This includes paint, paint thinners, gasoline, garden products and many more.  For a complete list visit:  http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments/environmental/index.cfm?action=hazwaste.   Empty paint cans may be recycled seven days a week.
§         Crushed stone is available for sale by the truck load.
§         Mulch is also available: free for self-load, $10/pick up truck if loaded for you.
§         “Second Generation”- formerly the “Trash or Treasure” program.  Now items are taken by local charities and given out by them.

Fauquier County Convenience Sites

These sites are open Monday and Friday from 7:00AM to 3:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.
Due to budget cuts satellite convenience sites are now closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
On Thursdays the seasonal hours are currently 11:00AM to 7:00PM.
Convenience sites all have textile sheds for recycling of phone books, paperbacks, clothes, batteries and ink cartridges.
For more details visit, http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments/environmental/index.cfm?action=convsites

All you’ve ever wanted to know about recycling…
The UPS store in Warrenton will take shipping peanuts and some other packaging materials.
Plastics #’s 1 and 2 are now recycled together, no sorting necessary.  If possible please remove the lids as this makes for easier compression.
Glass no longer needs to be sorted by color.
Can you guess what represents the number one injury at the landfill?    Bee stings!  You can help reduce this by rinsing out bottles and cans.  They need not be spotless, just a quick rinse will do.
No need to remove labels as these burn off in processing.
Pizza boxes can go in the cardboard container.

What can’t be recycled at the recycling sites?
Aluminum foil
Metallic paper from frozen foods destined for the microwave.
Waxy paper from orange juice containers and the like.
Yogurt containers (though some companies will take these if you rinse and mail them back)
Landscaping pots should not go in with the plastics.  Some sites have a place to stack these for a second use.
Capri-sun or other juice pouch/box containers.  Some schools collect these and ship them back.
Dry cleaning bags, grocery bags, shrink wrap and baggies, including zip lock, can be recycled in the containers outside grocery stores.

What else can I do to help?
Fauquier County receives the highest possible prices for recyclables when they are of high quality.   We can help the centers by sorting and following instructions.
Do not put newspaper in with mixed paper as newspaper is considered a “contaminant” to high quality mixed paper.
Catalogs and newspaper fliers can go in with either newspaper or mixed paper but preferably go with mixed paper as the county receives a higher price for mixed paper.
Paper bags and strings should be removed from newspapers.
Shredded paper can be left in bags (even plastic ones) as otherwise on windy days it blows all over the landfill.
Don’t throw out those holey socks and stained t-shirts.  Wash and dry them and deposit in the textile bins at your local site.

When in doubt recycle as all items are sorted by employees.  Every little bit helps!

Thanks go out to Sandy Alm for arranging this month’s speaker and to Trish Either for providing us with so much valuable, and potentially planet saving, information!  Trish can be reached at Fauquier County Environmental Services at 540-347-6811 or trish.ethier@fauquiercounty.gov.

Save the Dates
You won’t want to miss the interesting meetings we have planned!

April 19th- Tom Benjamin, of the Fauquier Community Action Committee, will join us to talk about the many important duties of this group, including Head Start, the community food bank and the community garden.

May 17th- We’re joined by a speaker from the Government Accountability Project.  The GAP is a non-profit public interest group which “promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers and empowering citizen activists.”  Our speaker would love to know what topics you would like to hear covered.  Please contact Linda at linda@baldwinridge.com with your ideas.

June 14th- SSC member Donna Lipinski will speak with us about her work as an immigration attorney in Fauquier County.  She would also like feedback as to what topics are of most interest and concern to you.  Please send your ideas on to Linda.

Warmly,
Andrea