By Julia B. Hillegass
Public Information & Community Affairs Administrator
The numbers are in! This month, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality released its annual report on solid waste management in the Commonwealth. The total amount of solid waste generated by Virginians remained about the same—14.2 million tons. Some statistics of interest:
· 65.6% of our solid waste is generated by households and businesses
· 16.5% is construction and demolition debris
· 76.8 % of our solid waste is landfilled
· 12.6% is incinerated
· Total municipal solid waste received from out of state decreased by 5.95%
To view the report in its entirety, visit http://www.deq.virginia.gov/export/sites/default/waste/pdf/swreport2010.pdf
A report on statewide recycling rates will be issued by DEQ later this year. Increasing recycling rates is a key component of extending the life of existing landfills, which is estimated at approximately 20 years for existing landfills accepting municipal solid waste and construction/demolition debris. Do your part to extend their life by incorporating these simple steps into your green routine:
· Recycle whatever your locality accepts via curbside pickup
· Take plastic bags and similar recyclable plastics to special collection centers at area retailers
· Reduce the amount of packaging and bags you accept.
So make a Fiscal New Year’s Resolution: Trash less; recycle more!