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Update: Arlington officials approve ambitious recycling goals

Proposal adopted 5-0 calls for diversion of 90% of waste by 2038

[Update, 6/16/24:]

County Board members on June 15 voted 5-0 to adopt the Solid Waste Management Plan.

"We are making some real progress – it's really, really taking hold," County Board Chairman Libby Garvey said of recycling efforts.

[Original coverage, 6/12/24:]

Call it aspirational: Arlington government leaders on June 15 are slated to affirm a proposal to, by the year 2038, divert 90 percent of locally generated waste before it gets into a landfill or is incinerated.

The goal is part of the government’s new Solid Waste Management Plan, set for adoption following a public hearing.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality requires localities to update their solid-waste plans on a 20-year basis. Arlington officials adopted their latest plan in 2004.

State law requires plans to meet a minimum recycling rate of 25 percent, but Arlington officials have hopes of going far beyond that. County staff have proposed 19 areas where changes in government policies can be made to help meet its goals.