May 18, 2023 - News

Henrico's mega recycling bin upgrade

CVWM is rolling out thousands of new recycling carts. Image: Courtesy of CVWM

Nearly 100,000 households in the Richmond area are getting bigger recycling bins.

Why it matters: The changes could both make people's efforts to recycle easier and decrease the amount of trash that ends up in landfills.

Yes, but: Chesterfield — the area's largest county — is bowing out of the regional recycling collective altogether.

What's happening: The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority just began distributing 95,000 recycling carts to single family homes in Henrico, plus those in Hanover and Goochland who use CVWMA, Julie Buchanan, spokesperson for the organization, tells Axios.

  • At 95 gallons apiece, the new mega-bins are quadruple the size of the old ones.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield is ending its contract with CVWMA next month and moving to a private model.

What they're saying: Cost and participation were the driving factors in the decision to go private, John Neal, Chesterfield's director of general services, told WTVR last year.

  • Neal said 8,000 homes in Chesterfield already switched to private companies, and a renewed contract with CVWMA could have cost residents $200 a year — a hike from the current $41 annual price tag.
  • Plus, fewer than 60% of county households had opted to participate in recycling.

Pro tip: This fall, the county plans to add six large recycling bins at public parks that will be free to use.

Be smart: CVWMA was created in 1990 to help local jurisdictions meet a state requirement to recycle at least 25% of their solid waste.

  • Each jurisdiction negotiates its own contract with CVWMA and decides how much cost it passes onto residents.
  • Henrico covers the full cost. Richmonders pay $2.99 a month.

Worth noting: The region has consistently exceeded the mandate, recycling at least 57% of waste for the past decade, per CVWMA data.

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