Virginia Tech tracks a wide variety of waste streams every year, which fall into one of two categories: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) or Principal Recyclable Material (PRM). MSW is considered any material that ends up at a landfill at the end of its lifetime. This includes anything thrown away in trash cans, materials that cannot be recycled, and other items. Virginia Tech strives to reduce this waste stream as much as possible. PRM is anything that can be diverted from landfills and repurposed into something else. This includes plastics, metals, glass, and organic wastes that are recycled or composted. While Virginia Tech works to reduce waste generation in general, we hope to shift as much disposable items into this category, to enable a second life as recycled materials.
Virginia Tech has set a goal to reach a 55 percent recycling rate (as measured by weight) by 2025. This means that 55 percent of the waste generated on campus is diverted away from landfills and recycled or composted instead.
Calendar Year Recycling Rate Reports
In compliance with Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Tech completes an annual calendar year recycling rate report. These reports provide details on what specific materials make up the recyclable materials collected on campus, what types of materials were diverted from the landfill (for reuse purposes), and the details of special materials collected on campus (for example, waste oil, asphalt, or window glass).