Recycling - Where does it go?

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The Town of Leesburg provides curbside recycling collection to many residents and businesses within the corporate limits of the Town. Recycling collection falls under Chapter 28 of the Town Code. Many residents have questioned whether or not their recycling actually gets to recycling centers or if it is just being disposed of in a landfill. The following information explains the process for the town’s recycling program:

Where does the recycling process start? Recycling Bin

  • Recycling starts with you – right at the curb!
  • Recycling is placed co-mingled in the recycling containers provided by the Town or in trash cans with a “recycling” sticker once per week.
  • The day of week depends on the location. Northwest and Northeast areas are collected on Fridays; Southwest and Southeast are collected on Thursdays.
  • The co-mingled recyclables are part of a “single-stream” recycling process – this means the items are mixed at the curb, and then are taken to another location to be sorted and separated into like groups.

Trash TruckHow is the material collected?

  • The Town of Leesburg contracts with CSI (ConServ Industries) to collect recyclables from residents and business receiving curbside service
  • Recyclables are placed in a collection truck, co-mingled. The recyclables are then taken to CSI's Reclamation Facility located in Sterling, Virginia.

What happens Next?

  • CSI takes the recyclable materials to its facility in Sterling whereRecycling Sorting they are hand-sorted by workers at the facility.
  • Materials are sorted into several categories, including paper, cardboard, glass and plastics, aluminum, steel and even copper and wiring.
  • Trash or non-recyclable materials that get mixed in with recyclables is separated and put into another vehicle for disposal.  



Compacted Trash

What happens to the material then?

  • Sorted recyclables are then bundled   and taken to businesses to be used in the creation of new products, or they are sold to vendors to be turned into  new materials.



Why is recycling important?

  • Recycling greatly reduces the amount of material being put into landfills and decreases the need for additional landfill spaces.
  • Making new products from recyclable materials reduces production costs because of reduced energy consumption and raw material use.
  • Using recyclable materials to create new products reduces greenhouse emissions and helps conserve natural resources and the environment.
  • The State of Virginia requires the Town of Leesburg to maintain a 25% recycling rate – the current rate of recycling is 28%!
  • By recycling, you can reduce the waste going to the landfill significantly – most trash is made up of:
    • 38% Paper
    • 18% Yard Waste
    • 8% Metals
    • 8% Plastic
    • 7% Glass
    • 7% Food waste
    • 14% Other

If these items were recycled instead of being disposed in the trash to be taken to a landfill, think of how much land would be saved!

Please contact the Department of Public Works with any questions or if you need additional information.