Learn more about the challenges facing recycling!
What is recycling?
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. The City of Manassas has a 48% recycling rate, and we could reach 50% with your help!
What plastics can I recycle?
Learn more about the numbers on your plastics and the plastics that you can recycle curbside by clicking this link Plastic Recycling Code Explained.
Why should I recycle?
Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it!
When we convert old and waste products into something new, we are saving resources and sending less trash to the landfills. When we recycle: It reduces the amount of trash sent to landfills and incinerators. We conserve our natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals. The levels of pollution are reduced because we don’t need to collect new raw materials for the things we need. It saves energy. The greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change are reduced. We are helping to protect the environment for future generations. New well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States are created by building a “green-collar” industry that protects the environment and sustains workers and their families.
When the average person looks at their recycling bins, they don’t see a $117 billion dollar industry or make the connection that the simple act of sorting plastic, cardboard, paper, and cans supports over 500,000 jobs in the US, which in turn sustains many other local businesses and services that communities rely on.
- Only recycle empty hard plastics, metal cans, paper, and cardboard.
- Rinse cans, jars, and bottles before you put them in your cart or bin.
- Do not put plastic trash or shopping bags in your recycling cart.
The City of Manassas is working to clean up household recycling because throwing it all away – just doesn’t make sense.
Where can I recycle my cardboard boxes?
The current sites for public cardboard recycling dumpsters are:
- 8500 Public Works Drive (in the back of the parking lot to the right of the Public Works building)
- 9412 Main Street (in the parking area behind Crossroads Tavern)
- Behind the Harris Pavilion
- 8305 Quarry Road (to the left of the weigh scale as you enter the Manassas Transfer Station)
See Recycling in Action
Why can't I put plastic bags in my recycling container?
Plastic bags, as common as they are, are still not as widely recycled as other forms of plastic. According to the EPA, only 12 percent of the category of plastics that includes bags, sacks, and wraps ended up getting recycled. That’s compared to 31 percent of PET bottles and jars (water bottles or peanut jars, for example). Typically made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE, number 2 plastic) or low-density polyethylene (LDPE, number 4 plastic), plastic bags and other soft plastics are difficult to recycle because of their form.
When plastic bags get mixed in with other recyclables, they are difficult to sort out, and often jam or damage the machines at materials recovery facilities and slow down the recycling process. The City of Manassas sends all of our recycling to the American Recycling Center in the City of Manassas. Their equipment is designed to separate rigid materials like cans, bottles, or paper products.
How Can I Tell What is Plastic Film?
That’s easy! If the plastic material in question can be wrapped around your finger, it doesn’t belong in your recycle bin.
Where Can I Recycle Plastic Bags?
While it is best to reduce the amount of plastic bags you use by reusing them or remembering to bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store, you can still recycle plastic bags and keep them out of landfills or the environment. Most large grocery chains, home improvement stores, and retailers, like Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Giant, Walmart, and Target, provide collection bins for clean and dry soft plastics such as:
- Grocery/carryout bags
- Newspaper delivery bags
- Dry cleaning wraps
- Bread and produce bags
- Zipper food storage bags
- Plastic cereal box liners
- Case wrap/shipping packaging (often found around diapers, snacks, water bottles, and paper towels)
All of the plastic bags and wraps are collected and then shipped to Trex in Winchester, where they are turned into backyard decking, fences and playground equipment. Trex also has a recycling program in local schools. If a school can collect more than 500 pounds of plastic refuse in a six-month span (about 40,500 plastic bags), Trex will donate a composite bench to the school.
What about glass?
The City of Manassas will continue to collect glass in curbside recycling collection for the foreseeable future.
When Prince William County announced that glass would change from curbside to drop-off collection, it caused confusion among City residents who want to make sure that they are recycling correctly.
The City is currently exploring the idea of working in partnership with the Glass Packaging Institute and other jurisdictions to establish glass transfer stations. This option would offer a better and more cost-effective way to put our recycled glass to good use.
Until a more economically viable and sustainable solution is found for recycling glass, all rinsed clean and dry glass can be put in your recycling container.