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Berkeley, Jefferson counties to test curbside yard waste pickup

April 02, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A curbside yard waste collection service made available Tuesday for the first time to most residents in Berkeley and Jefferson counties is expected to attract plenty of customers, but the recycling program's future beyond Dec. 31, 2008, remains to be seen.

A nine-month pilot program was jointly announced on Monday by the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority and Apple Valley Waste Services, which are testing the economics of the service.

Should the program conclude on a "positive note," it could expand to include the municipalities of Martinsburg, Shepherdstown and Ranson, W.Va., which individually facilitate their own waste disposal service, Solid Waste Authority chairman Clint Hogbin said Tuesday.

The initial fee for the yard waste (leaves, grass, weeds, garden debris, sawdust, flowers, sod and other forms) service will be $12 for up to the first three 30-gallon bags, Hogbin said. Each additional bag will cost $3.50.

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Brush, stumps, food waste, sticks, limbs, ashes and other wood material are not acceptable for pickup. To qualify for acceptance, each bag can only contain the approved yard waste material and be free of all forms of non-organic material, Hogbin said. Each pickup will be inspected by Apple Valley prior to acceptance.

Residents who would like the service, even those who are not current Apple Valley customers, must contact the waste hauler at 304-724-1834 or 877-267-1280 during business hours to schedule the pickup.

Ending the pilot program on a positive note would include the Solid Waste Authority being able to "break even" with the additional service and not have an impact on the agency's budget, Hogbin said.

"We want to make sure Apple Valley makes money," Hogbin said.

Once collected, the yard waste will be processed at the Solid Waste Authority's facilities off Grapevine Road east of Martinsburg and in southern Berkeley County in Inwood, where free drop-off yard waste service will still be available, Hogbin said.

From the Authority's facilities, the material will be taken to a compost facility in Leetown, Hogbin said.

The launch of the pilot was pushed by a number of a residents who contacted Apple Valley about offering curbside service and Hogbin said Solid Waste Authority officials also took note of the City of Hagerstown's high percentage of yard waste collection in their recycling program.

Questions about the Berkeley County Recycling Program can be directed to the Solid Waste Authority at 304-267-9370, the Berkeley County Recycling Hotline at 671-2925 or e-mail

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