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The original item was published from 9/26/2018 3:47:00 PM to 1/2/2019 12:00:12 AM.

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Community Spotlight

Posted on: September 26, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Recycling Needs Your Help!

Oops-Sticker-CVWMA final

Recycling Needs Your Help! 

      Did you know that nearly all of the paper and cardboard collected in Colonial Heights and central Virginia for recycling was marketed to paper mills in China?  Yes, “was” is the operative word.  China “was” the largest importer of recyclable material in the world until recently when they have stopped allowing certain commodities such as mixed paper into the country because of poor quality.  In other words, when non-recyclable items, like plastic bags, get mixed in bales of paper or cardboard, it contaminates the paper, and the Chinese are tired of buying poor quality feedstock for their mills.

      Why do we care? Well, the continued success of recycling programs is dependent on economically feasible end markets.  In the past, revenue generated from the sale of recyclables has covered the labor and equipment necessary to sort, bale and transport the commodities to market.  Now other buyers in other countries and in the U.S. are flooded with scrap paper and are becoming pickier than ever on accepting the material. 

      As a result, we must clean up the recycling to be able to be able to market it! The CVWMA and the City of Colonial Heights need your help to recycle right! The Green Recycling containers are for recyclable items ONLY. Placing items that are not accepted in our residential (curbside) recycling and drop-off recycling programs cause contamination issues and add additional processing and disposal costs. 

Whether your recyclables are picked up from your home or whether you drive them to a drop-off site, place LOOSE acceptable items ONLY in the container.  Do NOT bag your recycling in plastic bags. 

     CVWMA’s recycling vendors will no longer pick up unwanted items like plastic bags and other non-recyclables, including food contaminated containers.  If you find an “OOPS” tag on your recycling cart and your recycling was not collected, then you may have included items that are not acceptable.  To avoid this, visit and make sure you Recycle Right!   Then share this information with family, friends and neighbors!

Do NOT put the following in you recycling can (the bright green one):

  • Plastic bags , (Do NOT bag your recycling!),
  • Styrofoam, and food contaminated items.
  • Garbage or yard waste.
  • Bulky plastics such as kids toys, swimming pools, hoses, buckets, lawn furniture

Only Include these Items:

  • Aluminum and steel cans.
  • Glass bottles and jars.
  • Mixed paper and cardboard.
  • Cartons (rinse and replace cap).
  • Plastic bottles, jugs, containers, and tubs. 

For more information, please call CVWMA at (804) 340-0900 or visit can

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