Solid Waste Report for Region Issued
Unprecedent Regional Cooperation Leads to Massive Increase in Glass Recycling
The Northern Virginia Waste Management Board released the 16th edition of the biennial “2019 Public Solid Waste Services in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The report includes program details on waste and recycling collection, generation, management, and diversion. A good news story for the region is the unprecedented cooperation among localities to come up with a solution with respect to recycled glass with an anticipated 5,526 tons of glass being recycled so far in 2020 which is an increase of more than 100% from the prior year.
Sources for the report include current and historic data reported by localities, demographic and household information, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality facility and jurisdiction reporting, and permitting capacity data from regional waste management facilities. The full report is available here: https://www.novaregion.org/204/Solid-Waste-and-Recycling.
Glass, trash and construction debris disposal and COVID are all highlighted in this report.
Purple Can Club: A Glass Solution Outside the Bin
Northern Virginia jurisdictions have piloted a successful and growing glass diversion drop off program. In 2017, 109 tons of glass were recycled so far this year that number has exceeded 5500 tons.
Per Capita Trash Generation Well Above National Average
Trash generation is a negative side effect of an affluent and growing community. Although, individual per capita waste generation rates have decreased from about 11 to 8 lbs. per person per day, the most recent national per capita waste generation rate reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency is 4.5 lbs. per person per day. Most disposal options in the region are almost 50% to 99% capacity.
Construction Debris Capacity Limited to Non-Existent
No new construction and demolition debris (CDD) disposal facilities have been built in the region for about 40 years. A CDD landfill in Fairfax County relied upon for years by the construction industry, in the region, closed at the beginning of 2018.
COVID-19 Pandemic Even Affects Waste Management
Measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 included the wholesale quarantine of residential populations, closure of most businesses, and the suspension of source-separated yard waste collections and most drop-off and specialty waste management programs. These changes are anticipated to have a significant impact on system metrics for the remainder of the year and may have impacted resident behavior throughout the region on a permanent or lasting basis.
About the Northern Virginia Waste Management Board
The Northern Virginia Waste Management Board represents 13 jurisdictions’ solid waste managers and public works directors in Northern Virginia. Established in 1989 with a mission to strive for regional communications and solutions to waste management problems in Northern Virginia and to facilitate regional cooperation wherever beneficial. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission (www.novaregion.org) staffs the Northern Virginia Waste Management board and creates the biennial report. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) is a regional council of thirteen-member local governments in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. According to Virginia’s Regional Cooperation Act, NVRC is a political subdivision (a government agency) within the Commonwealth.
NVRC Staff Contact: Debbie Spiliotopoulos