Beware of Recyclops, a new local recycling service

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Jul 16, 2021, 12:56:01 PM7/16/21
to Harrisonburg Ecominds
Hi friends, I’m not usually one to write rant-y reviews of businesses. But I just got semi-scammed by a new local recycling service, and I want to make sure people don’t make the same mistake I do. So here it is, my rather epic rant against Recyclops:

Thinking of signing up for Recyclops, our new curbside recycling service? Let me tell you how a bunch of my recycling (including cardboard boxes with my personal address on them) ended up abandoned in an empty storage unit outside of town. 

P.s. if you’ve already signed up for Recyclops and you had your first pick up this week, your stuff is probably there too.

I saw an announcement for Recyclops, a new recycling service coming to Harrisonburg, in on of our things-happening-around-town newsletters, and it sounded interesting. Their website was sort of light on information, so I looked them up on Facebook and noticed overall they had a good star rating, but there were a lot of reviews that complained about their customer service, but I figured, it’s just $12 a month and I like recycling, I’ll give it a shot and see what happens.

So weird incident 1: My pick up day rolls around, but I haven’t gotten any of the big bags we’re supposed to put our recycling in (not my favorite feature). Eventually, I see a man on my porch messing around with my recycling, so I go out and ask what he’s doing. He says he’s here from Recyclops, and starts breaking down my boxes and loading them into the back of his car. I think, OK, this guy has a new job, he’s just really into getting it done…I’ll just give recyclops a call later and see when I can get those bags.

Weird incident 2: It slips my mind for a day or two, but today I get a call from the man who runs Valley Storage down on South 11, asking me if I’ve dumped some trash in his storage facility. I say, definitely not, and ask if he can give me more information. Turns out there’s a bunch of broken down cardboard and bags of trash in one of his unused storage units, and he says he’s guessing it was dropped there in the last couple of days. My partner Steve heads over there to check it out, because frankly the whole thing smells really fishy, and there is all of our cardboard (which we do recognize, and much of which has our address on it), alongside bags filled with bottles and other recycling that definitely isn’t ours. 

It’s a mystery how the man got into the unit. The facility is protected by a pass key, but maybe he had a friend with a storage unit who let him in. In any case, we paid a company money to pick up our recycling and dump it in the trash. Thank goodness he wasn’t smart enough to put it in a dumpster, where no one would have found it, and let us know. 

A few more details in case you’re wondering, like I did at first, whether this could be an isolated incident, and maybe it’s still worth considering Recyclops: 1) I specifically asked Recyclops if they had a system of accountability for their drivers (they use an Uber-type model where they pay people to pick up the recycling in their cars and drive it to a facility). They said they have a tracking system their drivers use to ensure the recycling gets where it is supposed to go. Clearly, this isn’t working, or they weren’t telling the truth. 2) They take any recycling they pick up in Harrisonburg to a facility in Northern Virginia, which is a lot of unnecessarily driving and car emissions, considering both the landfill and convenience center take it locally. 3) they make you put recycling in a plastic bag, which seems wasteful 4) even worse, they don’t accept plastic film for some reason (despite the fact that both of our local facilities do), meaning that plastic bag is going to end up in the trash. And of course, 5) apparently, there’s no guarantee that all the recycling won’t just end up in the trash at the end of the day.
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