History of Litter Legislation

Sen. Petersen and Sen. Ebbin introduce various bag bills. Skip to 1hr 26min to see the legislative process in action: https://virginia-senate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=2394

Virginia has struggled with litter for the better part of a century. Over the past decade, there have been dozens of litter bills introduced to the general assembly, with little to no success.

Click here for a full history, in spreadsheet form, of recent litter legislation in Virginia.

Unfortunately, like the years before it, 2019 was not kind to litter legislation. There were about a dozen bills introduced that were focused on litter prevention, but none made it through committee. But there is hope! 100+ environmental organizations supported litter legislation, as did the Virginia Municipal League and various other organizations. Even the Virginia Farm Bureau spoke in general support of litter legislation. And the fact that so many industry lobbyists showed up means this has truly become an issue of interest. 2020 will be the year of litter legislation!


2019 Legislation Tracker

HJ 597 (Delegate Paul Krizek of Mt Vernon) – Proposed study on the economic impacts of litter on fishing, farming, and water quality in urban streams. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

SJ 265 (Senator L. Louise Lucas of District 18) – Proposed study on the reduction of the minimum recycling rate for municipal solid waste generated within a solid waste planning unit. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

HJ 620 (Delegate Matthew James of District 80) – Proposed study on the reduction of the minimum recycling rate for municipal solid waste generated within a solid waste planning unit. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

SB 1155 (Senator Richard Black of District 13) – Proposed bill would authorize a locality, by ordinance, to require that trash, garbage, refuse, litter, and other debris at any business or multi-family residential property that has a central collection receptacle be shielded or screened from view of a person standing at ground level from outside of the property on which the central collection receptacle is located. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

HB 2095 (Delegate Elizabeth Guzman of District 31) – Proposed local prohibition on single use plastic and expanded polystyrene products; local tax. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

HB 2159 (Delegate Ken Plum of District 36) – Proposed bill would establish in the executive branch of state government the Plastic Pollution Prevention Advisory Council to study and make recommendations regarding plastic pollution problems in the Commonwealth, with the mission of eliminating plastic waste. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

SB 1305 (Senator John Edwards of District 21) – Proposed bill would authorize a locality to recover unpaid charges, including interest for recycling and waste disposal services. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

HB 2391 (Delegate Alfonso Lopez of District 49) – Proposed bill would require any person owning or operating a permitted solid waste management facility to collect from each person disposing waste at such facility a fee of $1 for every 500 pounds of waste, or fraction thereof in excess of 500 pounds, that is accepted. The bill allows the facility’s owner or operator to retain 10 percent of the fees collected for administrative expenses and requires the facility’s owner or operator to remit the remainder on a quarterly basis to the Department of Environmental Quality (the Department) for deposition in the Greenhouse Gas Fund (the Fund), created by the bill. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

SB 1635 (Senate Jennifer Boysko of District 33) – Proposed bill will provide localities with option to provide for removal or disposal of trash, cutting of grass, weeds, and running bamboo, as well as option to issue civil penalties for failing to dispose said items properly. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

SB 1070 (Senator Adam Ebbin of District 30) – Proposed local disposable paper and plastic bag tax. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

SB 1116 (Senator Chap Petersen of District 34) – Proposed local plastic bag tax for Chesapeake Bay Watershed. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

HB 1669 (Delegate Betsy Carr of Richmond) – Proposed local disposable paper and plastic bag tax. UPDATE: DID NOT PASS.

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