E-Cycling in Arlington Keeps Waste Out of Landfill

E-Cycling in Arlington Keeps Waste Out of Landfill

From fishbowls to giant staple guns.

E-cycling day in Arlington attracts a large volume of material turned in by residents.

E-cycling day in Arlington attracts a large volume of material turned in by residents. Photo by Eden Brown.


Brian Potter of MXI Environmental Services, located in Abingdon, Va., left, oversaw much of the e-cycling, because his company recycles the hazardous household waste. He is standing with Emmanuel Nocon, Arlington County’s Hazardous Household Waste coordinator (right).


Bikes for the World received a truck full of bikes donated during e-cycling. Here, Ellen Berty, left, who together with her husband Pete has volunteered with Bikes for the World since 2005 and Keith Oberg, right, stand next to a truck destined for Sierra Leone. The group has recycled over 120,000 bikes which serve as the main source of transportation for many in the countries where they are sent.

There was a lot of paint, poisons (pesticides), cooking oil, batteries, light bulbs, metal, ink, and car fluids getting dropped off by an endless stream of cars at the e-cycling event on Saturday, May 4.

Where was it all going to go? “The people taking this waste are vendors,” said Emmanuel Nocon, Household Hazardous Material coordinator for Arlington. “They take it, process it, and resell it. ”

Brian Potter of MXI industries, based in Abingdon, Va. said everything brought to the event is recycled or burned; none of it ends up in the landfill. Latex paint, for instance, is reprocessed, batteries are recycled, paints that can’t be recycled are used in cement kiln fuel. Reprocessing paint involves separating the paint by color, filtering out any solids, mixing with new paint and adding any pigment to get a desired color. It is then sold as recycled-content paint.

In 2001, MXI built a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) which enabled the company to provide services for universal and industrial waste disposal management and reuse exempt hazardous waste. The MRF has a Distilled Spirits Plant onsite, enabling MXI to recycle and reclaim fuel grade ethanol from recycling containing alcohol. It started its Household Hazardous Waste program the same year.

“Bikes for the World” is always the most enthusiastic of the recyclers: they take bikes for countries that need them for basic transportation. They had filled a truck donated by Buck and Associates Real Estate, a local firm, which would now take the bikes to the next shipper where they would be headed for Sierra Leone.

For the next e-cycling event, see: https://recycling.arlingtonva.us/household-hazmat/e-care/.