August 13, 2022

Alexandria City Council Adopts WasteSmart Strategic Plan

ALEXANDRIA, VA – At its regular meeting on January 12, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted WasteSmart, a comprehensive 20-year strategic plan that will ensure the city’s sustainable resource recovery program remains safe, effective, efficient and environmentally friendly in the years to come. decades.

“The adoption of the WasteSmart strategic plan confirms the City’s commitment to protecting the environment and creating a strong and resilient eco-city,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “Achieving our WasteSmart vision will require help from all corners of our community – not just our residents, but also our business sector partners.”

The global recycling market has come under enormous pressure, mainly due to a series of recycling policies implemented by China, the largest importer of waste. To determine how Alexandria should adapt to this changing market, City staff launched an extensive public engagement process in 2017 and 2018 to better understand and integrate customer needs, values ​​and priorities.

More than 1,500 residents, businesses, visitors and employees participated in the process of writing the WasteSmart Strategic Plan and provided feedback on solid waste priorities in Alexandria. Many core action items were developed alongside the solid waste-related action items in the city’s Phase 1 Environmental Action Plan, which was adopted by City Council in 2018.

The plan is based on a series of short, medium and long-term actions. For example, a planned route optimization study will help make solid waste vehicle travel more efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Recycling glass currently presents a particular challenge based on China’s strict standards regarding the degree to which glass must be free of contamination from other materials. Single-stream (mixed) recycling collection increases the chances that the glass will not be accepted by foreign buyers. During the first years of the implementation of the WasteSmart plan, the City will install special containers for the collection of glass only in all recycling collection centers in Alexandria and launch a “Recycle Right” education campaign, while continuing to collect glass as part of a unique program. – selective collection in continuous flow.

The public will be able to follow the progress of the plan on the WasteSmart webpage. As the solid waste industry continues to evolve, the City will also aim to review and update goals and actions to be taken every three to five years, or if a sea change occurs in the industry. .

For more information, including the full WasteSmart strategic plan and accompanying technical documents, visit

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