Prince William County and Manassas have exceeded their recycling goals.
According to a release, Prince William County’s Solid Waste Division Recycling Office reported a recycling rate of 36.8% and Manassas reported 47.2%.
The recycling rates are calculated annually, and goals are given to localities by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
More on Prince William’s recycle rate, from a release:
This was an increase from the 2015 rate of 33.7%.
Recycling laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia are somewhat complicated. The state is comprised of approximately 41 solid waste planning units (SWPU) and these SWPU are required to achieve and maintain a minimum 25% annual recycling rate, unless the population density of the SWPU is less than 100 persons per square mile, or the civilian unemployment rate is 50% or more above the state unemployment average. SWPUs which have a population density less than 100 persons per square mile or a civilian unemployment rate 50% or more above the state unemployment average are required to achieve and maintain a minimum 15% recycling rate and are only required to report on recycling activities every 4 years. Prince William County’s SWPU includes only Prince William County and is subject to the 25% recycling rate. Prince William County exceeded the mandated recycling rate for calendar year 2016, as and it has done every year since mandatory recycling rates took effect in the early 1990’s. Prince William County also exceed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 national goal of 35%.
Although the recycling rate appears to be moving in the right direction, Scott MacDonald, the County’s recycling manager, cautions against becoming too complacent. There is still work to do because currently, 62% of the County’s waste goes into the landfill. Likewise, Prince William County’s recycling rate is below both the Northern Virginia average of 47.4% and the statewide average of 44.2% for calendar year 2016 (the most recent year for which statewide results are available).
More on Manassas’ recycle rate, from a release:
This is up from 2015’s rate of 45% and 2014’s rate of 42%.
This 5.2% increase in three years is due, in large part, to the introduction of the City of Manassas RecycleFest held twice a year. Last year, residents dropped off more than 143 tons of recyclable materials. With more information available to residents on how to recycle, they have been working to reduce the amount of “contaminated” materials by washing out their plastic and metal containers and not putting plastic carrier bags in with recycling.
The City’s goal for recycling is a recycling rate of 50%. To attain this goal, the City asks residents to follow these three simple steps:
Recycle cardboard, paper, plastic containers and metal cans
Rinse out food containers before putting them in the cart or bin
When in doubt – leave it out! If the resident is unsure about recyclable materials, leave it out of recycling until more information is available, so as not to contaminate the recycling stream.
All City recycling goes to the American Recycling Center. They recycle cardboard, paper, plastic containers and metal cans. Clothing, books, sports equipment and furniture can be recycled through donation to a local charity. These donations are tax deductible.