CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County has announced that it will be transitioning to a curbside recycling collection model in which residents can work directly with private haulers for recycling collection the same way they do with trash services.
The change coincides with the expiration of the county’s current contract with the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority Program (CVWMA), a public service authority that has provided recycling services to thirteen local governments. A board of directors including representatives from each member locality governs the actions of CVWMA, according to its website.
Since 2010, CVWMA has been providing a biweekly recycling service to more than 94,000 homes in Chesterfield County. As of July 1, 2023, however, that will no longer be the case.
Instead, residents and businesses who wish to recycle will have to choose private haulers. According to the county, the transition to private haulers can begin at any time by contacting a recycling provider. The following companies have indicated they will provide curbside recycling and provide containers for their service:
“This service model best aligns with Chesterfield’s longstanding approach to curbside recycling and minimizes the need for local government to play a ‘middleman’ role,” a blog post from the county’s website reads.
According to the county, approximately 62,000 of the 110,000 Chesterfield households currently participate in curbside recycling.
The History of Recycling in Chesterfield
In 1991, Chesterfield participated in the CVWMA with 12 other localities in order to implement curbside program options following a then-new state law requiring 25% of household waste to be diverted from landfills.
For nearly 20 years the program was funded through the county’s general fund budget. However, in 2010, following the global recession, the Board of Supervisors approved a $25 annual fee per household — including an opt-out provision — in order to fully fund the project.
In 2019, rising costs prompted county leaders to increase the annual fee from $25 to $40 — a break-even cost approach, according to the county. The opt-out model was also changed to be opt-in.
With the CVWMA contract ending next year, Chesterfield conducted research to determine what the next steps would be.
“Based on this research, the county requested CVWMA procure a subscription service model program,” the county’s blog post reads. “After participating in the CVWMA-led procurement process, which included a request for a subscription service model, and careful consideration of the vendor response, Chesterfield has concluded that citizens can most cost-effectively access curbside recycling through a direct relationship with private haulers”
According to the county, the funding that is currently being used to subsidize curbside recycling will go towards “Reduce/Reuse/Recycle” public education and marketing efforts, following the change in July 2023.