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Recycling Program Assistance Available for Your Agency!

There are opportunities in each agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia to reduce waste and minimize trash disposal costs by reusing or recycling materials. And to use materials made with recycled content.

Recycling is one component of a comprehensive waste reduction program that includes:

  • source reduction
  • reuse and
  • recycling activities

Why Recycle?

Recycling waste materials conserves natural resources and energy, saves landfill space and results in disposal cost savings. Agency waste reduction programs demonstrate our environmental stewardship and commitment to operating our public institutions in an environmentally responsible manner.
Each agency has the responsibility to establish programs for the use of recyclable materials and for the collection of, at a minimum, used motor oil, glass, aluminum, office paper and corrugated cardboard (Code of Virginia Section 10.1-1425.6).

What Can Be Recycled?

List of Recyclable Items Generated By State Agencies:

You might also want to complete an assessment to determine what you through away and
an approximate quantity of these materials.  Click on the link for a Waste Assessment worksheet:


Summary: State Agency Recycling Directives & Code

Code of Virginia sections are cited, where applicable. Additionally, corresponding sections of the Agency Purchasing and Surplus Property Manual (APSPM) are also noted. See Attachment One for the complete Code section and web links.

(1) FY 2005-2006 Governor’s Management Objectives -- For Environmental and Historic Resource Stewardship:

Meets Expectations:                           Successfully practices waste reduction & recycling
Progress Toward Expectations:      Has begun waste reduction & recycling
Below Expectations:                          Does not practice waste reduction & recycling

Link to Objectives (scroll down to Env. & Hist. Res. objectives)

General Governor’s Scorecard Initiative info (site is developing):

(2) Recycling duties of state agencies: Code of Virginia § 10.1-1425.6; APSPM section 12.15

Each state agency of the Commonwealth shall establish programs for the use of recycled materials and for the collection, of recyclable materials used or generated by such entities.

Each agency shall implement procedures for the collection and storage of recyclable materials generated by such agency and the reduction of waste materials generated by such agency.

(3) Purchase programs for recycled goods; Code of Virginia § 2.2-4323; APSPM section 3.19
The Department of General Services shall: 

  1. Ensure procurement guidelines for state agencies promote the use of recycled goods.
  2. Promote the Commonwealth's interest in the use of recycled products to vendors.
  3. Make agencies aware of the availability of recycled goods, including those which use post-consumer and other recovered materials processed by Virginia-based companies.

All state agencies shall adhere to the procurement program guidelines for recycled products to be established by the Department of General Services.

The Department of Environmental Quality, shall advise the Department of General Services concerning the designation of recycled goods. In cooperation with the Department of General Services, the Department of Environmental Quality shall increase the awareness of state agencies as to the benefits of using such products.

(4) Preference for recycled paper and paper products used by state agencies: Code of Virginia §2.2-4326; APSPM Section 3.14c

The Department of General Services shall procure recycled paper and paper products so long as the bid price is not more than ten percent greater than the bid price of the low responsive and responsible bidder.
Summary: State Agency Recycling Directives & Code, continued

(5) Department of General Services to review and revise procurement for recycled goods and products; Code of Virginia § 2.2-4313

The Department of General Services and all agencies of the Commonwealth shall review and revise their procurement on a continuing basis to encourage the use of goods and products with recycled content.

Any person who believes that particular goods or products with recycled content are functionally equivalent to virgin materials may petition the Department of General Services or an agency of the Commonwealth to include the recycled goods or products in its procurement process.

(6) Tie bids go to products with highest recycled content; Code of Virginia §2.2-4324; APSPM Section 3.24b

In the case of a tie bid, preference shall be given to the bidder whose goods contain the greatest amount of recycled content, and existing price preferences have been taken into account.

(7) Virginia Recycling Markets Development Council; Code of Virginia § 2.2-2667 and 2.2-2668

The Virginia Recycling Markets Development Council (the Council) is established as an advisory council, in the executive branch of state government. The Council shall be composed of 20 members as follows: the Directors, or a policy-making designee, of the Departments of Business Assistance, Environmental Quality, General Services and Transportation, who shall serve ex officio with voting privileges; and 16 non-legislative members appointed by the Governor, representing municipal governments, urban and rural planning district commissions, and solid waste collection and disposal, recycling, glass, paper, aluminum, plastic, tire, oil, scrap metal, electronics, and organic waste.

(8) Department of Transportation: Authority and duty: Code of Virginia §10.1-1425.8

The Department of Transportation is authorized to conduct recycling research projects, including the demonstration projects which use recycled products in highway construction and maintenance.

The Department of Transportation shall review and revise its bid procedures and specifications to encourage the use of products and materials with recycled content.

(9) Environmentally Preferable Purchases; Code of Virginia § 2.2-4314; APSPM Section 3.13

Agencies should revise their procedures and specifications to encourage the use of less toxic goods and products.

Vendors may petition to include requirements for less toxic goods and products into procurement process.

Resources and Web Links to Recycling and Waste Reduction Assistance Resources:

Google "EPA and the type of info you want-- Recycling, Green Procurement, Waste Wise, etc.

Office of the Federal Environmental Executive:

Global Recycling Business Network:

Information on Silver Recovery and Waste Issues:

The 3 R’s:    Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

The Waste Reduction Hierarchy consists of four main components to help your business handle and minimize waste. The hierarchy encourages source reduction first, reuse, then recycling, and, as a last resort, disposal. By practicing these steps in order, a business can reduce waste, help the environment, and their bottom line. Below you will find more information about these basic principles used in reducing waste so that you can use this knowledge to implement a waste reduction program for your business.

  • Source Reduction
  • Reuse
  • Recycling
  • Disposal

Some of the many reasons for implementing a business waste reduction program include:

Help The Bottom Line
A business that practices source reduction, reuse and/or recycling can help reduce operating expenses. With less waste created and disposed of, and green purchasing practices in place, it is a win-win situation for businesses and the communities where they operate.

Conserve Energy
Energy conservation and efficiency go a long way in preserving our planet's rich natural resources and promoting a healthy environment. By recycling or reducing at the source, a business can indirectly conserve energy. For example, it is 98% more energy efficient to recycle aluminum can than to make a new can from virgin material. Just by recycling, a business can help save energy, money and natural resources.

Conserve Resources
Reusing materials reduces the need for mining or harvesting virgin materials. For example, plastics come from the non-renewable resource fossil fuels; by recycling plastics, there are more fossil fuel resources protected or available for other applications.

Conserve Landfill Space
Landfills are EXPENSIVE to build and no one wants one "in their backyard". Therefore, the more we reduce waste, the less need we have for building new landfills.

Prevent Litter
When we properly dispose of waste or recycle, we have less litter. Litter is unsightly, costly to clean up, and can harm wildlife in our environment.
Source: website

Setting Up Your Buy Recycled & Green Procurement Program

  1. Commit to buying recycled & buying green
  2. Create cross-functional teams
  3. Become educated about green products
  4. Evaluate current purchasing program
  5. Establish initiative and procedures
  6. Set goals
  7. Promote internally and externally
  8. Monitor the program; collect data

Green Procurement and Commonwealth of Virginia Contracts:

(This list will be revised and expanded in the near future)

1) Carpet, #3601000-60, (Dupont, Collins & Aikman)

2) Business Cards, #MA-E194-203-2, Thermographed

3) Fine Paper and Plain Envelopes, #64601-06VAPP
     Recycled-Content Printing Papers on State Contract:

  • 20# copy paper, white, colored, legal-size
  • 20# chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer , white, colored
  • 20# Premium, Watermarked
  • offset, white, colored, various sizes
  • Index stock
  • Envelopes
  • Roll Stock

4) Paper Palletized, 64602-06VAPP

5) Office Supplies, 6150402-50VAPP

Some recycled-content items are identified, but many office supplies have recycled content (paper, plastic) or have environmentally friendly characteristics (soy-based ink, less toxic fumes, etc.) 

6) Remanufactured Laser Toner Cartridge Contract, 9204301-60

7) VDC Catalog: Recycled-Content Items

  • Paper Bags (35% PC)
  • Paper Napkins (30% PC)
  • Toilet Tissue (40% PC)
  • Paper Towels (40 PC)
  • Foam cups listed as recyclable…

      PC = post-consumer

8)   Corrugated Boxes, #6402501-50

9)   File Storage Boxes, #6402502-40  

Pollution Prevention

Waste reduction and environmental management systems go hand-in-hand.   Please visit the Virginia Department of Environmental Qualities link to learn more about their pollution prevention program and the assistance they may be able to provide your agency.

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