Virginia Recycling Association

About VRA

The Virginia Recycling Association (VRA) is a statewide coalition of more than 200 individuals, municipalities, recycling and green businesses, and organizations dedicated to promoting and realizing the economic, social and environmental benefits of waste reduction, reuse, recycling and diversion.

Formed in 1990 by a group of individuals committed to expanding state recycling opportunities, VRA has become the leading resource of recycling information for our members, the general public, the Virginia General Assembly, local government, business, and industry.

Mission

Advance recycling and waste reduction through the advocacy of sustainable practices to benefit Virginia's environment, communities, and economy.

Objectives

  • To develop policies pertinent to recycling and waste reduction in Virginia.
  • To foster communication among professionals, organizations and government agencies.
  • To provide educational opportunities through outreach and marketing.

Board of Directors

Committees

Learn More
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Letter From The President

Dear VRA Members,

As we kick off a new year, we have a lot to be thankful for. With over 130 members, our association remains strong. Our financial position is healthy for the first time in recent history. Our directors bring a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience. Together, we are committed to leading the association in a unified and positive direction toward waste reduction and recycling.

Looking back, 2022 was not without sorrow and heartbreak. Our dear friend and Director, Robert Waschler, passed away suddenly in August. Also, Director and association Vice President Christine McCoy accepted a position in Washington D.C. and as a result resigned from her VRA positions. We will miss both Robert and Christine dearly.

2022 also presented challenges and threats. Recession, inflation, and high fuel prices caused values for the mainstays of curbside recycling programs – OCC, mixed paper, PET, and HDPE – to plummet both domestically and globally. In the global market, U.S. recyclables exports fell for the sixth year-over-year decline in the past seven years. Reminiscent of other years when recycling values plummeted, recyclers closed their doors or stopped accepting material which left many localities and businesses with no outlets for recyclables. We also saw municipalities terminate curbside collection programs.

With every challenge there is opportunity, and for 2023 we are optimistic that recyclable values will begin to “tick up” again in late Q1 or early Q2. Localities and businesses have an opportunity to seek out and partner with a reliable recycler who collects or accepts and recycles a wider variety of material but is also obligated to accept material when the market is in decline. As advocates of waste reduction, we bear the responsibility to raise our voices in support of curbside recycling programs, or at minimum locality sponsored convenience locations in every city/county in Virginia.

We continue to monitor the Virginia General Assembly for upcoming legislation that may impact our mission. We strive to make lawmakers aware that the VRA is the only association in the Commonwealth devoted to waste reduction and recycling, and our extensive knowledge and experience is a valuable resource as laws are considered.

We have an exciting conference planned for May at the Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. At the 2023 conference, we will elect new Directors and new officers to lead our beloved association. This spring, be on the lookout for an announcement regarding educational scholarships that will be available for 2023/2024 academic year!

In conclusion, thank you for supporting the Virginia Recycling Association. Recalling the proverb “many hands make light work”, your active involvement is critical to achieving our mission of advancing recycling and waste reduction. Volunteer to serve on a committee, and/or apply to serve on the Board of Directors. Promote the benefits of the association to friends and peers and encourage them to join us. Lastly, please contact Julie at manager@vrarecycles.org or me at billybasham@rds-virginia.com with questions, comments, and suggestions. Your feedback is important to us.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2023,

Billy Basham – President