On November 5, 2013, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released the Commonwealth’s annual report on recycling at solid-waste facilities in 2012. For that year, 71 “solid waste planning units” (which are either a local government or a regional authority; these units represented 324 cities, counties, and towns) recycled 41.5 percent of municipal and other solid wastes, or about 3.9 million tons recycled or reused out of about 9.4 million tons of solid waste generated. The main recycled materials in 2012, in order from highest to lowest amounts, were paper, metals, yard waste, commingled waste, waste wood, tires, used oil, plastics, glass, batteries, textiles, electronics, used oil filters, and used antifreeze. The 2012 percentage compares to 43.5 percent in 2011, 40.5 percent in 2010 rate, and between 38.4 and 38.6 percent from 2006 to 2009. 2010 was the first time that the statewide rate had exceeded 40 percent since Virginia set minimum recycling rates for localities and authorities in 1989. Virginia Code Sec. 10.1-1411.D sets the minimum rates as follows: 25 percent for each planning unit, but 15 percent for planning units where the population density is less than 100 people per square mile or the unemployment rate is 50 percent or more above the statewide unemployment average. The report for 2012, along with more information on state recycling programs and reports from previous years, is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/LandProtectionRevitalization/RecyclingandLitterPreventionPrograms/Recycling.aspx. For the Water Central News Grouper’s item on the 2011 report, please see Virginia Recycling Report for 2011 Released by Dept. of Environmental Quality on 10/16/12, posted 10/16/12.
Additional source: Virginia issues 2012 recycling report, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality News Release, 11/5/13.