(Delmarvanow.com) -- Accomack County recycled more than half its trash last year, according to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Accomack recycled 52.4 percent of its trash in 2016, according to a recent report.
"We've come a long way, and I think (the Department of) Public Works should be congratulated," said Mike Mason, Accomack County administrator.
Mason reported the rate to the Accomack County Board of Supervisors on July 19.
Mason said the cooperation of large employers in the county, including Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods among others, helped boost the rate.
Organizations like Waste Watchers also are "very active" and play a role in getting the recycling rate up, Supervisor Paul Muhly said.
Virginia Butler of DEQ's Office of Land Protection and Revitalization in a July 7 letter to the county said the department had completed its review of Accomack's 2016 recycling report and accepted the data as submitted.
State law requires localities to maintain a minimum recycling rate and to report recycling statistics to DEQ by April 30 each year.
The mandated recycling rate is 15 percent.
Accomack's recycling rate has been rising over the years — in 2011, the rate was around 30 percent.
Accomack last year recycled 1,680 tons of paper, 1,300 tons of metal, 1,100 tons of plastic, 1,800 tons of glass 1,396 tons of yard waste, 1,620 tons of waste wood,1,828 tons of waste tires, 2,976 tons of used oil and 1,600 tons of batteries, according to the report.
Items that can be recycled at the county's convenience centers with no sorting required are: #1 and #2 plastic drink bottles, milk jugs, food and beverage cartons, detergent bottles, newspapers and their inserts, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, office paper, brown cardboard boxes, brown paper bags, aluminum cans, steel/tin cans, glass bottles, telephone books, and cereal boxes.
All these items go into one bin.
Electronics may be recycled at the Fisher's Corner convenience center only.
Also recyclable in separate containers are:
- Tires (small truck/car, no rims, 4/visit, 32” max-not currently available at Chincoteague)
- Used oil (any petroleum-based product, but the county still cannot accept cooking oils. Please see attendant for assistance)
- Motor oil
- Lead acid batteries
- Rechargeable batteries
- Textiles, shoes, books
- Plastic bags
- Plastic grocery and shopping bags
- Case overwraps such as beverage case, toilet paper and paper towel overwraps
- Dry cleaning bags
- Newspaper sleeves
- Scrap metal including appliances is accepted at Fisher's Corner, Horntown, Chincoteague, Makemie Park, Painter, Grangeville and Tasley.
All centers except Chincoteague also have a "put and take" area where reusable items in good condition may be dropped off with the attendant's permission.
Information about what can be recycled and locations and hours of the county's seven convenience centers can be found HERE.