Central Virginia Recycled 57.9% of its Solid Waste in 2021

January 24, 2023 | Published by Julie Buchanan

The residents and businesses of Central Virginia recycled 57.9% of their solid waste in 2021, according to data compiled by the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority.

The regional recycling rate was the highest among the 17 agencies required to report on a yearly basis, according to the Virginia Annual Recycling Summary Report.

The region recycled 699,618 tons in 2021.

“We are proud to report that CVWMA’s member jurisdictions achieved the extraordinary regional recycling rate of 57.9% in 2021,” authority Executive Director Kimberly A. Hynes said. “The region has consistently exceeded a rate of 55% for more than a decade. We are excited to continue offering new and enhanced ways for people to recycle in the years to come.”

CVWMA coordinates recycling and other solid waste management programs in partnership with 13 local governments. The authority compiles the annual regional recycling rate and submits it to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for approval.

State law requires the region to recycle at least 25% of its waste each year.

The statewide recycling rate in 2021 was 43.3%, according to the summary report.

CVWMA offers curbside collection and drop-off centers for household recyclables. Other recycling programs include those for yard waste, electronics, appliances, batteries, household hazardous waste and tires.

Yard and wood waste, which is composted or chipped into mulch, was the top recycled item in 2021, with 294,911 tons. Metal made up 145,123 tons. Paper, including cardboard, office paper and newspaper, accounted for 115,858 tons.

The recycling rate is calculated by dividing the amount recycled in the region by the amount of trash generated. CVWMA uses a national estimate of 4.9 pounds of trash per person per day, multiplied by the region’s population of 1.2 million, to estimate the total amount of trash.

The amount recycled is gathered voluntarily from local and national businesses that provide recycling service to the area.

For more information, visit www.cvwma.com/cvwma-data-center/.

CVWMA serves the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, the town of Ashland, and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan and Prince George.

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