A newly issued report shows that recycling increased in Virginia during 2020. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued its Commonwealth’s Annual Recycling Summary Report on Tuesday. According to a release, information from all of the state’s Solid Waste Planning Units shows a calculated recycling rate of 45.5 percent, up from 43.2 percent in 2019.
This is despite recycling challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of recycling markets in certain regions. The Commonwealth’s recycling target rate for local governments is 25 percent and 15 percent for smaller localities. The release says the recycling target rate submitted to the DEQ this year represents 324 localities, and a breakdown of the data shows that 3.9 million tons of principal recyclable materials were recycled.
These materials include paper, metal, plastic, glass, commingled materials, yard waste, waste wood, textiles, waste tires, used oil, used oil filters, used antifreeze, inoperative automobiles, batteries and electronics. “Since 2000, DEQ has been working with localities on recycling best practices that have resulted in Virginia meeting or exceeding our mandated rates,” said DEQ Director of Land Protection and Revitalization Division Kathryn Perszyk. “We continue to encourage Virginians to adopt the three ‘Rs,’ reduce, reuse and recycle, to divert waste from landfills and keep our recycling rates high.”