RICHMOND, VA. -- Virginia's commitment to recycling is steady at 38.5 percent for municipal and other solid wastes, according to the Department of Environmental Quality's annual recycling rate report for the Commonwealth.
The recycling rate is derived from recycling rate reports submitted by the 71 solid waste planning regions in Virginia representing 324 cities, counties and towns. The percentage represents 3,661,027 tons of material recycled or reused.
"Virginians are committed to conserving natural resources, and recycling offers each citizen an opportunity to make a difference," DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. "Our localities continue to provide their citizens with accessible recycling options, and as a result, Virginia's recycling rate is strong, exceeding the national recycling goal."
The Virginia annual recycling report provides an overview of the materials recycled, the amount of waste disposed, and a list of the recycling rate reported by each solid waste planning region in 2008. The report is available on DEQ's website at www.deq.virginia.gov/recycle/.
The recycling rate of 38.5 percent exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national goal of 35 percent by 2010 and is above the 2007 national rate of 33.4 percent. The state's 2008 recycling rate matched the recycling rate reported for 2007.
DEQ's recycling program works closely with recycling program managers, as well as with local governments and solid waste planning regions to ensure that their recycling programs are able to meet or exceed the state's mandated recycling rates. Virginia has a two-tiered recycling mandate. Individual localities or solid waste planning regions with low population densities or high unemployment rates qualify for the 15 percent recycling level. All others must meet the 25 percent recycling rate. Based upon this year's report, only two solid waste planning units fell short of their recycling goal.