- Report Published -
|Waste Reduction Efforts in Virginia|
|Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission|
|SJR 361 (Regular Session, 2007)|
|Senate Joint Resolution 361 (2007) directed JLARC to evaluate Virginia’s waste minimization, reuse, and recycling efforts.|
State and local waste reduction efforts are characterized by strengths and weaknesses. Virginia has adopted a waste management hierarchy prioritizing source reduction, reuse, and recycling above disposal. The State also requires local solid waste planning and has established minimum mandatory recycling rates for solid waste planning units (SWPUs). However, limited resources hinder compliance with State laws and assistance to localities in finding and developing recycling markets. Long-term waste reduction goals have not been identified. Verification of reported recycling rates is also affected by limited resources.
At the local level, most SWPUs report meeting their mandated rates, but some have struggled to do so. Efforts to increase household participation in curbside collection could prove helpful.
Additional resources could be used to provide greater coordination of State and local waste reduction activities, enhance public outreach, and assist with recycling market development. Besides the mandated recycling rates, the State may also wish to consider a statewide goal of lowering per-capita waste disposal.