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VERIFY: Is your recycling being tossed into landfills?

The price of recycled materials is falling. Rumors are spreading that it's being collected and just thrown away.


Is Fauquier County in northern Virginia collecting recyclable materials from residents but then just tossing it all into county landfills?


False. While it is correct that the bulk price vendors pay for recyclables is down and some areas have scaled back recycling operations, Fauquier County is not throwing recyclable materials into the landfill.


Meredith Evans, recycling manager for the Fauquier County Department of Environmental Services.


WUSA9 spoke to Evans about the inquiry that came to our Verify team through Facebook to anchor Adam Longo.

Credit: WUSA9

Evans tells us that recyclable materials come from two places in the county.
People in the town of Warrenton put their recycling on the curb in a blue bag. Those bags get hauled to Corral Farm's Recycling Center and everything inside gets sorted into different areas for glass, plastic, tin cans, etc.

Everyone else in the county can take their recycling to one of 6 remote sites or the Corral Farm Collection Site.

When they show up, workers will tell them what type of material goes where.

Once all those recyclables are sorted out by category, they are compressed into bales and then sold by the ton to the highest bidder to a variety of vendors on the East Coast.

According to county documents, for the 2018 fiscal year, Fauquier County processed near 20,000 tons of recycling and made $67.44 per ton through the sale of various recyclable materials.

Credit: Fauquier County Environmental Services

When factoring in the expenses to process and transport recyclable materials to a vendor, Fauquier County ended up making $3.33 per ton during the most recent fiscal year that numbers are available. Fauquier made just over $66,000 from the sale of recycled materials in fiscal year 2018. 

The Department of Environmental Services offers free tours and educational field trips at the recycling facilities. To schedule call (540) 422-8840.

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