My View / Councilman Rob Krupicka – Eco-City Charter is Changing Alexandria

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Alexandria recently received third place in the Virginia Municipal Leagues Green Government Challenge for Cities and Counties (with population over 90,000) throughout the state of Virginia.  The VML initiative recognizes communities that take innovative steps to reduce energy usage and promote environmental sustainability.  While Alexandrias environmental efforts have come a long way in the last few years, we need your help to make a real difference.

At the end of the Eco-City summit held earlier this year, the Alexandria government pledged to start making environmental changes immediately.  Some of the most visible changes so far are in the area of recycling and hazardous waste collection.  You can do your part for a greener Alexandria by taking advantage of these new services.

The city has dramatically increased those items eligible for curbside recycling.  In addition to what you normally put in your yellow bin, please add:

Plastic tubs and jars with lids (i.e. yogurt and cream cheese tubs and peanut butter jars)

Empty prescription bottles

Plastic flowerpots, buckets and pails

Bagged plastic film (grocery bags, shrink wrap, dry-cleaner bags, bubble wrap and other flexible plastic packaging) all contained within one tied-closed grocery bag

Gable-top milk and juice cartons

Empty non-hazardous aerosol cans

Clean aluminum foil and trays

All books

All plastic lids and caps

We hear from people who live in condos and apartments that they cant recycle.  We are working to change that. The city has been working to create commercial and multi-family recycling programs.  Businesses are now required to recycle at least the two materials they generate in the largest quantities.  Multifamily units are required to recycle mixed papers and commingled containers such as glass, aluminum and plastic bottles.  If you would like more information on either commercial or residential recycling, please visit http://alexrecycles.org/ or call 703-519-3486.

Between increasing the types of materials that are recyclable curbside and getting the business and multi-family home community engaged, Alexandria can move closer to its goal of a 35% recycling rate (our current rate is 22%).  You have a critical role to play; please take a moment to learn what can now be recycled and encourage others to do the same. We cant meet our recycling goals without your help.

In direct response to citizen requests, I asked the city to open the Household Waste Facility at 3600 Wheeler Ave. two, instead of one, days a week: Mondays and Saturdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  This is the place to bring computers, compact fluorescent lights and other hazardous waste. Residents must bring photo ID for proof of residency.  More information on what can be brought can be found online at http://alexandriava.gov/tes/default.aspx.

If you are interested in issues affecting the environment, I encourage you to get involved.  You can learn more about the citys other Eco-City efforts at www.alexandriava.gov/eco-city or by calling 703-838-4966.  The Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) (the City Council appointed volunteer body tasked with advising City Council on environmental issues) is working to create a comprehensive action plan of projects and policies that will help Alexandria become a more environmentally sustainable city.   EPC is hosting an Open House on Monday, November 17 from 6:30-9:30 at Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street to solicit input.  Please help us green Alexandria.

Councilman Rob Krupicka

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