What is Solid Waste?

Solid waste is any discarded material that is identified by the Solid Waste Management Regulations under 9VAC20-81-95. It includes solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material. Types of solid waste are garbage, refuse, household hazardous waste, industrial waste, demolition waste, construction waste, debris, municipal waste, yard waste, and other discarded materials. Solid waste is generated by residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and many other operations.  Requirements for solid waste management, including storage, treatment, and disposal, are provided in regulations adopted by the Virginia Waste Management Board.

Links & Information

Solid Waste Management Information

  • Hurricane Preparedness and Response: In Virginia, hurricane season typically runs from June 1 through November 30. Hurricanes and tropical storms may result in large amounts of debris and other solid wastes during recovery.  Preparations before hurricanes by citizens, businesses, localities, and solid waste management facilities will assist recovery efforts and restoration of normal services. DEQ has developed a Severe Weather Preparedness & Emergency Debris Management webpage to assist both citizens and regulated facilities with solid waste issues associated with hurricanes and storm events. The Virginia Department of Emergency (VDEM) wants everyone to stay vigilant about changing weather conditions. If you encounter flooded roads turn around. Flooding could result from the heavy rain predicted and  may cause creeks and streams to overflow (see flood map). Roads and bridges could be washed out, and emergency services may have difficulty reaching some areas. Update are available on the web, Twitter  (@VDEM) or on Facebook  (@vaemergency).

Homeowners and permit holders can find information about fuel oil tanks and other environmental info on our hurricane page. If your locality does not have a debris management plan, DEQ has developed a debris management planning job aid to help localities answer some key questions in order to initiate debris removal activities. This job aid is not intended to replace the more thorough planning process behind a debris management plan but is for real-time disaster response/recovery situations. The job aid also contains a couple of attachments provided by FEMA and VDEM related to Public Assistance and cost tracking.  There is also information about Emergency Debris Wastepile Permitting.

Solid Waste Permitting

A permit is required by all public and private facilities that operate a waste management facility. These permits follow federal and state standards to protect the land, water and air from pollutants. Virginia also has regulations for the development and implementation of local and regional solid waste management plans. The applicant should forward the permit application fee directly to the fiscal office of DEQ, Accounts Receivable, PO Box 1104, Richmond, VA 23218. When the permit application is submitted, the applicant should submit a copy of the check and transmittal letter to the appropriate Regional Land Protection and Revitalization Program Manager.

Waste Management Facility Operators

Each permitted solid waste management facility in Virginia is required to have a licensed operator onsite to oversee the activities at the facility. Although DEQ has oversight over waste management activities in Virginia, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) oversees programs for the licensing of Waste Management Facility Operators.

For information on operator licensing, please contact the Board for Waste Management Facility Operators.

The Board of Waste Management Facility Operators approves training courses for licensing. They maintain a list of approved training providers (PDF).

For details on the requirements for licensing and the required training please refer to 18 VAC 155-20.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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