DEQ Completes Recycling Rate Study

DEQ Completes Recycling Rate Study

SD7 – Recycling in Virginia: An Evaluation of Recycling Rates and Recommendations (Chapter 615, 2018 Acts of Assembly)

Executive Summary:

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was directed to conduct an evaluation of recycling rates in Virginia and to provide a set of recommendations for improving the reliability of the supply of recycled materials during the next 10 years in order to provide for beneficial use pursuant to Chapter 615 of the 2018 Acts of Assembly (herein referred to as “Senate Bill 218″).

SB 218 provides that the assessment include:

(i) an evaluation of Virginia’s recycling rates

(ii) a set of recommendations for improving the reliability of the supply of recycled materials during the next 10 years in order to provide for beneficial use

(iii) incentive-based strategies, including the granting of economic development incentives for the construction of recycling centers and beneficiation facilities that have the potential to increase beneficial use of glass, plastic, metal, and fiber, and

(iv) the effect of the operation of mixed-waste material recycling facilities on the quality and quantity of recyclable materials available for beneficial use.

To develop this report, DEQ engaged in outreach with localities, solid waste planning units, industry, and other stakeholders, including utilizing a written survey as well as conducting follow-up meetings. DEQ staff researched the current status of recycling nationally as well as recycling programs in other states.

The following provides an overview of recycling nationally and in Virginia as well as recommendations based on the research gathered and stakeholder feedback provided throughout this process, including economic incentives, additional opportunities for engagement and other opportunities.