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July 14, 2017
Virginia issues solid waste report for 2016

The Department of Environmental Quality recently released its annual report on solid waste management in Virginia. The report includes the amounts of solid waste managed in Virginia in 2016 and the amounts and sources of solid waste generated outside the state.

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The total amount of solid waste received at Virginia facilities during 2016 increased by about 1.3 million tons from 2015. Solid waste includes municipal solid waste (MSW), construction and demolition debris (CDD), vegetative and yard waste, and other types of waste. The total amount of solid waste from outside Virginia rose about 700,000 tons to 6.1 million tons. The total amount from within Virginia rose slightly to 15.9 million tons. Other findings of the report include:

  • Of the 22.04 million tons of solid waste reported in 2016, about 12.8 million tons were MSW, which is trash from households and businesses.
  • The total amount of MSW generated outside Virginia was about 3.5 million tons, slightly less than in 2015. Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., accounted for 98.8 percent of all waste received from out-of-state sources.
  • Of the total solid waste managed in Virginia in 2016, about 13.3 million tons were disposed of in landfills, and about 2 million tons were incinerated. The rest was managed by other means, including mulching and recycling.

Permitted facilities are required to report on their available capacity and the expected life of the facilities based on current disposal rates. This information shows that at current rates, the remaining available landfill capacity is as follows:

  • MSW—24.1 years,
  • CDD—15.0 years, and
  • Noncaptive industrial—15.6 years.

These projections do not account for population increases, changes in waste generation, or the closing of older MSW disposal units pursuant to statute.

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