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Trash or Treat?

Posted on October 28, 2016 by | Comments Off

halloween-candy-1014629_960_720Every year we have a big Halloween party at our house. We really get into the spirit covering our home in spooky decorations right down to the animated creatures. We have carloads of trick-or-treaters come by the house and enjoy taking our own daughter door-to-door to collect tasty treats. Halloween is such a simple, yet magical holiday.

But the day after Halloween is when things really get scary…

When I wake up on November 1st I feel like I’ve been transported to the Twilight Zone! I look out my window to find candy wrappers littering the sidewalks and streets of my normally tidy neighborhood. It’s a hard truth to admit, but admit it we must: 

Our kids are litter bugs.

Yep, I said it. Those darling pumpkins, spooky monsters and sweet storybook characters are responsible for this post-Halloween litter fest. I totally understand the need to power up with a miniature Snickers bar so that you can make it down just one more street. Who doesn’t sample their treasures before they get home? But what’s not cool is letting that little candy wrapper flutter out of your hands and onto the ground. Sure it’s dark and crowded, no one will ever know it was you. And it’s just a tiny thing, surely it won’t matter, right? Wrong! Come morning, the neighborhoods everywhere will be trashy and that’s not a good look, Hampton Roads!

So before your little tykes head out for a night of screeching scares and tasty treats, please have “the talk” with them. Let them know that a candy wrapper does not magically disappear when dropped on the ground. In fact, it could take up to FIVE YEARS for a plastic-coated paper wrapper to decompose. Littered candy wrappers will be washed into a storm drain and out into our local waterways. The fish, crabs and wildlife really don’t appreciate our misplaced trash.

Here are a few tips for a litter-free Halloween:

  • Consider wrapper-free treats. Gone are the days when you could hand out homemade goodies, but you’d be surprised how excited kids can be over non-candy treats like bracelets, stickers or vampire fangs.
  • Give a helpful reminder. Help your child and his crew make the right choice by reminding them that trash on the ground means trash in our waterways for up to 5 years.
  • Give some specific directions. Tell your child to put candy wrappers in his pocket, back into the candy bucket or in a neighborhood trash can.
  • Hold a post-Halloween cleanup. Make another trip around the neighborhood with your little ones when dawn breaks to collect littered candy wrappers. Make a game out of it and see who can find the most! 

A very Happy (but not trashy) Halloween to you all!

Posted in: Beautification, Don't litter!, Holidays, Household tips

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America Recycles Day 2016

Posted on October 25, 2016 by | Comments Off

askHRgreen---America-Recycles-Day---v01November 15th is America Recycles Day and it is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. It’s our hope that celebrating recycling and all the wonderful things it does for our region will inspire residents to recycle more, trash less all year long. In honor of America Recycles Day, there are a variety of outreach and recycling collection events across Hampton Roads in the month of November. 

For more details about the America Recycles Day event nearest you, please check out the listing below.


Chesapeake

Who: Open to the public
What: 
Chesapeake Recycles Day
Where: Tidewater Community College
Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 9am-noon 
What to bring: Electronics (no TVs, please), clothing, household items, household hazardous waste, paper & sensitive documents, plastic bags as well as general recyclables - for complete details click here

Hampton

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: Hampton Public Works Operations Complex - 419 N. Armistead Ave
Date: November 19, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

Isle of Wight County

Who: Open to the public
What: America Recycles Day Plastic Bag Exchange Event

Where: Farm Fresh Supermarket, 1282 Smithfield Plaza, Smithfield, VA
Date: November 16, 2016
Time: 9am-noon 
What to bring: Bring 20 plastic bags or films and get a reusable bag in exchange. 

James City County

Who: Open to the public
What:
3rd Annual Litter & Recycling Expo 
Where: Warhill Sports Complex
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: County Drive, Yorktown (off Goodwin Neck Rd)
Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

Newport News

Who: Newport News residents only
What: 
Bulk Recycling of Cardboard & Residential Recyclables
Where:  Denbigh Resource Recovery Center – 330 Atkinson Way
Date: Monday through Saturday (excluding city observed holidays)
Time: 8am-4pm
What to bring: Residential recyclables and bulk cardboard. For more information, call 886-7947

Norfolk

Who: Open to the public (Proof of Norfolk residency needed only for televisions and household hazardous waste)
What: 
America Recycles Day
Where: 
Norfolk Waste Management Facility – 1176 Pineridge Road
Date: 
November 19, 2016
Time: 
9am-2pm 
What to bring: 
unwanted clothing and décor, electronics, general recyclables, documents for shredding, and household hazardous waste and more. The first 150 residents to bring a milk or juice carton to be recycled will receive a free reusable tote! For complete details view the event flyer

Poquoson

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: County Drive, Yorktown (off Goodwin Neck Rd)
Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: Hampton Public Works Operations Complex - 419 N. Armistead Ave
Date: November 19, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

Portsmouth

Who: Open to the public (No commercial vehicles please)
What: 
Portsmouth Recycles Day
Where: Monumental United Methodist Church - 450 Dinwiddie Street
Date: November 5, 2016
Time: 9am-noon 
What to bring:
electronics, household hazardous waste, documents for shredding, Goodwill items (clothing, kitchenware, household items) Please bring a non-perishable food item in exchange for this free recycling event. Download the event flyer for complete details.

Suffolk

Check back later for details!

Virginia Beach

Who: Open to the public
What: 
America Recycles Day Celebration – At this educational event, TCC students and the public will have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with Virginia Beach recycling specialists who can answer their questions about sustainable living practices like recycling and donation. Attendees can enjoy refreshments donated by the TCC Student Activities Office. (Please note, this is not a drop-off event; however, drop-off locations are available at other City locations www.vbgov.com/wastemgt.)
Where: Tidewater Community College/Joint Use Library - Michael Labouve Dr. off of South Rosemont Road
Date: November 17, 2015
Time: 11am-1pm 

Who: Virginia Beach residents only
What: 
Virginia Beach Residential Recycling Program
Where: Virginia Beach Landfill and Resource Recovery Center - 1989 Jake Sears Road
Date: Tuesday through Saturday (excluding city observed holidays)
Time: 7am-4:30pm 
What to bring: 
electronics, metals, household hazardous waste, small household items, clothing/shoes, oyster/clam shells and more - for complete details visit www.vbgov.com/landfill

Williamsburg

Who: Open to the public
What: 
3rd Annual Litter & Recycling Expo 
Where: Warhill Sports Complex
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: County Drive, Yorktown (off Goodwin Neck Rd)
Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

York County

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: County Drive, Yorktown (off Goodwin Neck Rd)
Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

Who: Open to residents only of Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County; proof of residency may be required
What: 
VPPSA Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling
Where: Hampton Public Works Operations Complex - 419 N. Armistead Ave
Date: November 19, 2016
Time: 8am-noon 
What to bring: 
Electronics (no TVs, please) and household hazardous waste - view complete event information at VPPSA online

Posted in: Community events, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Simple Tips for Greening Your Office

Posted on October 12, 2016 by | Comments Off

workDid you know that as much as 85% of waste generated in offices is recyclable? Recycling is the norm in city and county offices across Hampton Roads. Please consider following suit and starting a recycling program in your business or office. By recycling we reduce our environmental impact on the community, create lower cost raw materials for manufacturing and increase the life of existing landfills.

The City of Newport News is constantly researching new handling and recycling methods for our city and the region so that we can all recycle more, trash less.

Here’s some quick tips for proper waste disposal at the office:

  • Place recycling bins in each office, near each printer/copier and in each conference room.
  • Recycle your paper, aluminum cans, plastic/glass bottles and cardboard. Additional items may be accepted depending on your recycling provider.
  • Toss into the trash all dirty takeout containers and cups, paper towels/napkins/tissues, and waxed cardboard milk or juice cartons.
  • Set up a plastic film recycling station in your break room where coworkers can bring plastic grocery bags, newspaper bags, and clean Ziplock bags for recycling. When the station is full, simply drop off the plastic film at the plastic bag return at the nearest grocery or big box store.
  • Ditch bottled water and use tap.
  • Scrape food scraps into the trash, not the sink, when you clean up your meal.

This is a guest post by Dan Baxter, Business Recycling Coordinator, with the City of Newport News Public Works, Solid Waste Resource Recovery Unit.

 

Posted in: Going Green, Plastic Bag Recycling, plastic bags, Reduce reuse and recycle, Reducing Paper Use, Tap vs. Bottled Water

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Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted on October 11, 2016 by | Comments Off

Medication DisposalMark your calendars because Saturday, October 22, 2016 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day!

In order to prevent prescription drug abuse and protect our waterways, we must dispose of medications responsibly. As part of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 22nd, law enforcement agencies across Hampton Roads will accept all prescription and over-the-counter medications from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Find the collection site nearest you by entering your zip code into the National Take Back Initiative Collection Site locator

If you can’t make it out to one of the prescription drug collection sites on the 22nd, please visit our medication disposal page for information on how to dispose of your expired, unused, or unwanted medications the proper way.

Posted in: Clean and safe tap water, Community events, Going Green, Household tips, Uncategorized, Waterways

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Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

Posted on October 4, 2016 by | Comments Off

floodingWell, it’s looking like we might not miss out on the 2016 Hurricane season. Hurricane Matthew has ripped through Haiti and now has its sights set on the eastern coast of the U.S. Add to that the fact that we’ve already experienced huge amounts of rainfall recently and it could shape up to be a rough weekend. If Hurricane Matthew decides to make landfall in eastern North Carolina, Hampton Roads is likely to experience strong winds, high storm surges and huge rainfall totals in a short window of time.

Your city or county Public Works Department has already started working to clear ditches and clean storm drains so that rain won’t back up into streets and cause flooding. But for those in low-lying tidal areas or in the event of flash floods, no amount of storm prep will stop the water from rising. It’s still important to take the proper steps to secure your possessions so they don’t become litter and storm debris further clogging our already overburdened storm drain systems.

Please do your part and take action now to secure your home and help prevent street flooding in your neighborhood. Flood waters and storm damage know no property lines – help your neighbors prepare as well.

  • Check Your Emergency Supplies – Make sure you have the following items on hand in the event of prolonged outages of utility services: batteries, bottled water, flashlights/lanterns, easy to prepare meals, ice, activities for the kids, food for the “furry” kids and any medical care items you or your family may require. A battery operated radio is also essential for latest emergency information and updates during the storm. And gas for your generator if you happen to be so lucky!
  • Clear Gutters and Ditches – Clear away vegetation, litter, tree branches and yard debris from any ditch, channel, storm drain, etc. on your property. This will help the flood waters flow freely into the stormwater system.
  • Secure Loose Items – Look around your yard for any item that may fly or float away and move it to a secure location. Loose items that float off into flood waters will worsen flooding by clogging drainage systems and flooding your street or yard. In the event that we receive high winds from Hurricane Matthew, loose items may also be dangerous projectiles that can endanger people and property.
  • Trim Your Trees – Cut back trees and remove any weak or dead branches that could pose a threat to your (or your neighbor’s) home.
  • Shelter Your Waste/Recycling Containers – Secure your trash/recycling containers indoors (i.e. garage, shed, etc.) to prevent trash from entering the stormwater system. If you are unable to secure the containers inside, attempt to weight the bottom of the receptacle and secure the top with a bungee or duct tape.
  • Prepare for Rising Flood Waters – If you live in a low-lying area, it’s not too early to think about moving important belongings off the ground in flood-prone areas of your home or garage. In addition to your personal belongs, move hazardous household chemicals off the ground to prevent them from spilling into flood waters. Examples include motor oil, gasoline and lawn chemicals typically stored in your garage or shed.
  • Tune Into Local Emergency Communications – Your city or county will be providing a lot of information regarding city services during the storm. For important updates and news regarding closures, suspension of municipal services, shelter locations or evacuation requirements, please check in with your locality often. To find emergency information where you live, visit Ready Hampton Roads.

You may also consider mentioning these tasks to your neighbors or better yet, pitch in and help them prepare their homes and yards. Debris knows no property lines. Stay safe Hampton Roads!

Posted in: Outdoor tips, Waterways

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