STEPHENS CITY — Stephens City is ceasing its curbside recycling services, effective today.

“With the changes in the recycling market there was no way we could afford the increased fees for recycling service without a tax increase,” Town Manager Mike Majher said.

The town’s three-year trash and recycling contract with Manassas-based American Disposal Services, which included glass, expired Tuesday. The firm was paid $8,855.48 per month by the town to pick up trash at 501 locations and recycling at 301 locations.

American Disposal Services, which was acquired by Waste Connections in December 2018, is now prioritizing its trash and recycling efforts in Northern Virginia, according to Majher.

“They chose not to submit a proposal when we requested bids this past year for new services,” he said. “They are moving out of the Shenandoah Valley.”

After receiving two bids for trash services, the town recently     entered into a three-year contract with Martinsburg, West Virginia-based Waste Management at a cost of $113,000 annually for trash disposal. The contract does not include recycling.

A second bid from another firm included recycling services, but for an additional $115,000 per year.

As part of the new contract, Waste Management is providing free trash cans to town residents.

Majher said residents who want to recycle can take items to the Middletown citizens convenience center at 6671 Valley Pike (U.S. 11). The site does not accept glass for recycling, however.

Stephens City and other localities are currently working with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission to explore long-term, alternative recycling solutions in the wake of changes in the worldwide recycling market. In 2017, China announced it would stop accepting 24 kinds of recyclables including unsorted paper, plastics and cardboard. Since then, the United States and other countries have encountered difficulty getting rid of certain materials.

SCS Engineers, which has a Winchester location, is working on a study for the commission that will propose possible solutions for recycling issues being faced by Winchester and the counties of Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Page and Warren, including the creation of a centralized recycling location for the localities.

— Contact Josh Janney at jjanney@winchesterstar.com

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