How Do I Recycle?

In the state of Virginia, the CVWMA’s curbside recycling program is the largest serving over 260,000 households.   Each day, nearly 120 tons of recyclables are collected by the curb-side service. Because our community is choosing to recycle, more than 36,000 tons of recyclable materials are diverted from Virginia landfills annually!

CVWMA also offers convenient drop-off recycling collection sites to residents in central Virginia. Collection containers are located at thirty-two locations in eleven counties.  All of the drop-off recycling sites accept the same materials that are collected through the curbside recycling program.

If you don’t already participate in a recycling program, Earth Day is a great day to start!  Here are a few helpful pointers:


Here is what you CAN recycle at the curb:

Corrugated cardboard boxes

Mixed Paper
Newspaper, magazines, catalogs, computer paper, junk mail, cereal and other paperboard boxes and paper bags

Steel & Aluminum Cans
Aluminum beverage cans
Metal cans, including food and beverage cans

Plastic Bottles with a 1 or 2
Only narrow-neck bottles with a PETE (or PET) 1or HDPE 2 on the bottom such Milk and juice jugs soda & water bottles, shampoo bottles; detergent bottles

Glass Bottles and Jars
Clear, blue, brown & green food & beverage containers

Foam Products and Carryout Packaging
Including cups, takeout boxes, and packaging materials (like peanuts). We can’t accept them because we don’t have a market for them in this area.

NOTE: Whole Foods Market located in Short Pump on W. Broad Street accepts #5 plastics for recycling. Please contact the store for information on their Gimme 5 program.

Here is what you can NOT recycle:

Plastic Bags of ANY kind
Do not recycle plastic bags in our bins or use them to hold extra materials. Plastic bags can cause equipment damage at the processing facility when they get wrapped around moving parts.

Food-contaminated items
Such as pizza boxes or aluminum foil. Any food left on your containers may attract pests to your recycling bin. Food residue also contaminates the materials and make them unrecyclable.

Juice Boxes or Milk Cartons
These are made of plastic-coated paper or cardboard, but can’t be recycled with regular paper or cardboard. If you thought these were included in the past, you’re right, however our market for them has declined and we can no longer accept them.

Plastics Other than Bottles marked with a 1 or 2
Including sour cream containers, yogurt cups, etc. Reuse them at home to hold small things or throw them away.

Lids or Caps
Remove and throw away plastic or metal caps/lids from accepted bottles or jars before putting them in the bin. The plastic lids are made from a different material than the plastic bottles we do accept and become a contamination when mixed with them. The metal lids often contain several additional layers, including plastics.

For more information about recycling, contact CVWMA .  Recycling Hotline 340-0900.

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