CVWMA’s regional recycling rate surpasses 55 percent
More than 55 percent of the waste generated in the Metro Richmond region was recycled last year, according to estimates by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The figure was an increase from the estimate made by the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority (53.6 percent).
CVWMA, a cooperative government agency that coordinates recycling and other waste management programs with thirteen area local governments, compiles the annual regional recycling rate and submits the information to the Virginia DEQ. State law requires that the region recycle at least 25 percent of its waste each year.
Nearly 178,568 tons of paper-related material (newspaper, office paper and cardboard) was recycled in 2010. Yard waste and wood waste, which are chipped into compost or mulch, composed another 193,258 tons recycled. Metals, textiles, glass and plastic are also measured for the report. Auto bodies, appliances and assorted other metal items made up the nearly 36,538 tons of metal that were recycled in 2010. Clothing donations to organizations such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army contributed to the textiles total of about 5,286 tons.
The trash generation figure is an estimate based on national research. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that citizens create an average of 4.34 pounds of trash per person per day.
The recycling rate was computed by dividing the amount recycled in the region by the amount of trash generated. The amount recycled was gathered from local and national businesses providing recycling to the area. The total amount recycled and not land filled for the region in CY 2010 was 458,611 tons, compared to 425,910 tons in CY 2009.
CVWMA recycling programs include curbside collection and drop-off centers; yard waste, electronics, appliance, batteries, HHW and tires, among others. Curbside recycling collects approximately 34,000 tons annually, while drop-off recycling collects about 6,000 tons.
The regional rate has remained above 50 percent for the past several years, giving Central Virginia one of the highest recycling regions in the state. (It was 52.8 percent in both CY 2000 and 2010.) Variations in the rate are attributed to the number of businesses that provide information to CVWMA. Contributions are voluntary.
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