Plastics Recycling Now at Ivy MUC

New recycling bins for plastic containers and films are ready for use at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center on Dick Woods Road. Photo: Lisa Martin.

The recycling convenience center at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center (MUC), also known as the former landfill on Dick Woods Road, has been recently expanded to include bins for several types of plastic containers and films. The upgrades include separate bins for #1 and #2 plastics such as milk jugs and water bottles, and another for #2 and #4 films such as grocery bags and newspaper sleeves. The changes are part of an overhaul of the convenience center that was budgeted by the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority (RSWA) and the Albemarle Board of Supervisors in August of 2019.

“We’re doing a soft start, putting things up as soon as they come in,” said Phil McKalips, Director of Solid Waste for the RSWA. “We’ve had all the signs made and put up as well, and we’re going to see how the layout works best for us and for residents.” A new cardboard compactor, similar to the one at the McIntire Recycling Center in Charlottesville, was also installed in July, and the RSWA is preparing to hire a full-time attendant for the Ivy center to manage the machine and aid citizens.

“At this point the Ivy MUC is offering the exact same options as McIntire, except I don’t think we’ll get to the point where we have an oyster bin [at Ivy],” said McKalips. “Also, there’s a used cooking oil collection drum at McIntire, but it’s not getting much use, and we don’t want to put one out here and have it take a year to fill up, which would just be a habitat for fly larvae.” Black Bear Compost also provides a green and yellow collection bin at the Ivy MUC, which stands alone to the left of the aluminum can bin, and McKalips said if demand increases he will put more compost bins out.

The recycling expansion also includes a reconfiguration of truck traffic patterns to protect residents in the convenience center, and the MUC has paved a new road to reroute the big rigs. “Our haul trucks that take waste from the transfer station used to drive right down the middle of the recycling area through the back lot, and when the recycling center was small it was no problem,” said McKalips. “Now we’re blocking off that road to make the convenience center into a cul-de-sac so truck drivers don’t have worry about mixing it up with people, dogs, whatever, and it will be safer.”

New recycling bins for plastic containers and films are ready for use at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center on Dick Woods Road. Photo: Lisa Martin.

Painted parking spaces, possibly on new asphalt, will be added in the fall next to the recycling bins for more orderly drop-off (similar to the McIntire center), and an automatic gate will be installed at the entrance to the truck route so recycling patrons don’t get lost. The MUC will also erect fencing on the loading dock behind the bins for safety and a nicer appearance. 

“We hope to do a kind of grand opening in August or September when it’s all done,” said McKalips, “but we definitely want people to know it’s mostly ready to go now.”  

Mulch and Compost for Sale at Ivy MUC

Mulch for home and landscaping needs is now available at the Ivy Material Utilization Center for $30 per ton. The MUC is now offering compost for sale by the ton at $75 per ton. There are approximately two cubic yards in a ton of compost. Supplies are expected to last through remainder of the year.

The mulch is ground from yard waste at the Ivy MUC and the SoilBuilder compost material is hauled from the McGill Environment facility in Waverly. SoilBuilder is made of 100 percent recycled content including the compostable food waste collected at RSWA’s McIntire Recycling Center. Compost provides long-term nutrient and water retention benefits for lawn and garden applications. SoilBuilder is certified under the U.S. Composting Council’s “Seal of Testing Assurance” program. 

For more information on McGill’s compost, please visit: compost-products/mcgill-soilbuilder-compost. 

The Ivy MUC is located at 4576 Dick Woods Road. 


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