CHESTER, Va. (WRIC) — At face value, it looks like a mountain of cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and newspapers. How the trash is handled, however, has become a treasured service throughout 13 cities and counties in Central Virginia.
“Thirteen localities coming together to agree and do the same things is challenging at times, but it has been very successful for us,” says Kim Hynes, Executive Director of Central Virginia Waste Management Authority.
CVWMA is a hub for recycling and environmental education.
“Just providing the access and the tools for folks to be able to do it has proven to be very successful,” Hynes explained.
CVWMA launched in 1990 at a time when recycling was still greatly unknown in the Richmond area.
“How to do it, how to get started, what was available? There were very few programs available,” she says about those early days.
Curbside recycling had humble beginnings with around 19,000 homes in 1991. As word and enthusiasm spread, the program evolved to the 275,000 households taking part today.
Waste ends up at a plant in Chester where it finds new life. CVWMA is one of the largest exporters at the Port of Virginia; newspaper, for instance, routinely ends up in Indonesia.
In 2011, the movement from small bins to larger carts began, helping the region’s recycling rate rise to 58 percent.
“Especially from an environmental standpoint, it definitely impacts everyone,” Hynes said
“Thirteen localities coming together to agree and do the same things is challenging at times, but it has been very successful for us.” — Kim Hynes, Executive Director of CVWMA.
CVWMA was recognized by The Valentine with a 2009 History Makers Award. Do you know an individual, company or organization that should be honored this year? 8News is a proud sponsor of The Valentine 2016 History Makers Awards. Nominations will be accepted through June 30 at this link.