How to recycle properly in Richmond, Virginia

You’re probably making your entire recycling load unusable. GREAT JOB, EARTHLING. Here’s how to do it right!

Update #1 — May 26, 2016; 11:07 AM

Huge news!

According to the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, as of July 1st, we will now be able to recycle plastics 1-7 of all sizes AND plastic-coated milk/juice containers!


We’ve updated the below information accordingly. Just imagine a big huge thumbs up on a pile of all of your plastic.

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Original — April 22, 2016

What we can recycle municipally

According to the CVWMA website, Richmonders can recycle:

Corrugated cardboard boxes (break them down, please!)

corrugated cardboard

Paper, like newspapers, magazines, catalogs, computer paper, junk mail, cereal boxes and other paperboard packaging, and paper bags


Steel and aluminum cans

Crush ’em if you can!

aluminum cans

#1-#7 plastic of all shapes and sizes

This is a big change from our previous “only #1 and #2 plastics of the narrow-neck bottle variety” limitations! Throw it all in there, folks!

plastic bottle

Glass bottles and jars of the clear, blue, brown, and green varieties

glass bottles

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What we can’t recycle

If you throw these in with your regular recycling, you run the risk of having a bunch of legit things rejected, too!

Plastic bags


A nice day, indeed! I’ve been doing an experiment this year and have successfully avoided bringing any plastic bags into my house. Zero! All you have to say is “I don’t need the bag,” and everyone is fine.



Food-contaminated items


Paper products like towels and tissues

Their quality of paper is too low, and also, gross. I was not about to pick those out of our trash.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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