CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Millions - yes, millions - of single-use water bottles have been brought to the Kanawha Valley over the last few days, and now a developing issue is what to do with those bottles.
For example, the Charleston Fire Department alone had distributed more than 800,000 bottles of water by Sunday night - a figure that doesn't even include the other shipments of bottled water into Kanawha County by the National Guard and private entities.
In Kanawha County, only one public location regularly accepts No. 1 and No. 2 plastics - West Virginia Recycling Services on Slack Street in Charleston.
A handful of municipalities also will take plastic as part of their curbside recycling programs, including Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar, Belle and Marmet.
But for those who can't make it to Slack Street, a Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew based in Cross Lanes has set up recycling collection points at Cross Lanes United Methodist Church and the BSA Buckskin Council Headquarters, 2829 Kanawha Blvd. E. in Charleston, with plans to add another this week.
"Today, it was awesome," said Emily Harrell, 15, a member of Venture Crew 68 who is organizing the collection points. "We have collected what we estimate is 7,000 bottles."
Harrell said the locations will be open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and Venture Crew 68 plans to operate the drop-off sites until the "do not use" ban is lifted throughout the region and possibly a few days after.
The Venture Crew is taking the bottles to the West Virginia Recycling Services facility.
Harrell is a Capital High School student and the daughter of a National Guard member. She said she has been able to work with the Guard to identify additional bottle recycling dropoff locations in the coming weeks.
"One of the big things with Venture Crew is to find things that help the community," Harrell said. "Cross Lanes doesn't have curbside recycling, and we're based here . . . so we thought it would be a good place to start."