Solid Waste Program Updates DEQ Releases Annual Report on Virginia’s Solid Waste Management

DEQ Releases Annual Report on Virginia's Solid Waste Management

Contact: Greg Bilyeu
July 3, 2018

RICHMOND, VA. - The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has released its annual report on solid waste management in Virginia. The report includes Virginia solid waste, as well as solid waste generated outside the commonwealth, in 2017. Solid waste includes municipal waste, construction/demolition debris, vegetative/yard waste, and more.

During 2017, the total amount of solid waste received at Virginia facilities decreased by more than 444,000 tons, roughly 2% from amounts reported in 2016. The total amount of solid waste from outside of Virginia decreased 16.28%, largely due to a decrease in out-of-state industrial waste, from more than a million tons in 2016 to less than 369,000 tons in 2017. Five jurisdictions accounted for 98.51% received from out-of-state sources: Maryland, Washington, D.C., New York, North Carolina and New Jersey.

For waste originating in Virginia during 2017, the total amount of solid waste increased by 3.45%. Municipal solid waste and construction/demolition/debris increased 2.43% and 11.18% respectively compared to 2016 amounts. Industrial waste decreased by 4.51% compared to 2016.

"Information about the origin and type of wastes received from Virginia's facilities is an important tool for comprehensive management," said DEQ Director David Paylor. "This report provides assistance to planning units and facilities for solid waste management throughout the commonwealth."

Other findings of the report include:
-Of the total 21.6 million tons of solid waste reported in 2017, about 13.02 million tons was municipal solid waste, which is trash from households and businesses (60%).
-Of the total amount of solid waste, about 76% (13.6 million tons) is disposed in landfills, and about 7% (1.2 million tons) is incinerated. The rest was managed by other means, including mulching and recycling.
-Solid waste management facilities reported that 2.1 million tons (almost 12%) was recycled or mulched. Most recycling occurs at facilities other than permitted waste management facilities. Virginia's recycling rate for 2016 was 42.6%. The annual recycling report for 2017 will be issued later this year.

The entire solid waste annual report is available on the DEQ website at at


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