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Two Tons of Plastic Bags Recovered from Hampton Schools

Posted on June 14, 2016 by | Comments Off

Congratulations to Hampton Christian Academy Elementary for winning the Trex Plastic Bag Challenge again! They collected 1,035 pounds of plastic bags and consumer films and achieved a pounds per student ratio of 7.238. They will receive a Trex plastic bench. They are ranked number 5 in all 550 participating  schools by student ratio.

Congratulations also to Phoebus High School! The students there collected the most pounds of plastics bags – 1,205 – which is an equivalent of approximately 93,000 plastic bags! Because of their higher student population, their ratio was 1.004. The students collected nearly a quarter of all the plastic bags collected in Hampton during the competition.

Congratulations to Armstrong School of the Arts – they had the highest public school ratio in the city – 2.507 pounds per student.

Altogether, 16 schools in Hampton participated this year and collected a combined total of 5,166 pounds of bags and consumer films! That’s more than 2 tons of plastic bags. Think about that the next time you hold a plastic bag in your hand! That’s nearly 400,000 plastic bags! Nearly all the schools were supported by volunteers who helped transport the bags and plastic film to Farm Fresh locations for recycling. Thank you Farm Fresh stores, for allowing the participants to bring their plastic bags to your store!

Congratulations to all the participants for facilitating the students’ participation in this contest! Because of staff and volunteer support, nearly 10,000 students had the opportunity to participate in a fun and meaningful activity. Many thanks for your efforts!

Trex-Hampton

Posted in: For educators, plastic bags, Reduce reuse and recycle, Uncategorized

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Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week

Posted on June 10, 2016 by | Comments Off

LMinner-GAC_2016_2We are wrapping up the first Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, a group effort between Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania to inspire citizens to care for this great natural resource.  So many people in Hampton Roads live within the Chesapeake Bay watershed (find your watershed here!)  Even those of us who don’t have all the same responsibilities for our respective watershed.  We hope this week has served as a reminder to why we care so much about the health of the Chesapeake Bay – and all bodies of water!

  • The Chesapeake Bay provides some delicious food – fish, oysters, crabs, YUM! Polluted waters mean no food for you.
  • In addition to the animals we eat, the Chesapeake Bay is home to a huge assortment of wildlife we want to preserve for future generations to come.
  • The Bay provides tourism dollars for our region which is always good for the locals. You clean up your house for visitors – we must do the same with our Chesapeake Bay.
  • We’re all part of the same picture. The Chesapeake Bay is a complex ecosystem made up of a huge network of rivers and streams. You might not live right on the water, but you’re connected to it in one way or another so its health directly affects your land.

Doing your part to clean the Chesapeake Bay is simply the right thing to do. Whether it’s picking up trash, reducing your fertilizer use (your lawn is connecting to a body of water even if you can’t see water) or scooping the poop, everyone is capable of doing several small things that add up to something very large.

What can you do to help the Chesapeake Bay?

Posted in: Don't litter!, Waterways

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Coworkers Pledge to Protect Waterways with Bay Star Homes

Posted on June 9, 2016 by | Comments Off

We recently learned that staff members from the Virginia Beach office of Brown and Caldwell, a water-environment engineering firm, had banded together to show their commitment to the health of local waterways by taking the Bay Star Homes pledge. The company’s water resources team is currently helping many cities and counties develop plans to implement a “pollution diet”  for the Chesapeake Bay. The current conditions in the Bay are not healthy because of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution. Rain, which leads to stormwater runoff, causes these pollutants to get into local streams, creeks, rivers and the Bay itself. The pollution diet is a plan for keeping these pollutants out of the waterways and Bay Star Homes is one piece of that plan. Our cities and counties cannot cleanup the Bay on their own. They need the support of each citizen making small changes in their daily routines to get the job done. The Brown and Caldwell water resources team understands the importance of their daily decisions firsthand and were eager to make a commitment to Bay-friendly practices and awareness building in their neighborhoods. 

Basically, they aren’t just talking the talk…they are walking the walk too.

Mira Micin, a water resources engineer with the company, learned about the askHRgreen.org Bay Star Homes program and encouraged her coworkers to take the pledge. As she says, “If we all pledge to do a little, it will add up to make a big difference in our watersheds.” Her efforts were also perfectly timed to help ramp up her coworkers’ excitement for Clean the Bay Day which was held last Saturday.

Your daily routines do have impacts on our local environment and small changes really do add up. We need your help to restore our defining coastal waterways! We hope the good work of Mira and the folks at Brown and Caldwell will encourage you and your coworkers to “walk the walk” and become Bay Star Homes today

New Bay Star Homes program participants waving their flags to commemorate their commitment to the health of the Bay! From left to right: Scott Smith, Hee Jea Hall, Heather Benson, Mira Micin, Stephanie Hanses, Candice Sizemore, Clifton Bell

New Bay Star Homes program participants waving their flags to commemorate their commitment to the health of the Bay! From left to right: Scott Smith, Hee Jea Hall, Heather Benson, Mira Micin, Stephanie Hanses, Candice Sizemore, Clifton Bell

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Going Green, Household tips

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Tackling Restoration Through Beautification in Newport News

Posted on June 7, 2016 by | Comments Off

 The City of Newport News has an integrated program of public awareness and action concerning stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Our programs employ cigarette litter awareness and other forms of litter as outreach and engagement opportunities. The program is a collaboration between various departments including Public Works Resource Recovery, Storm Water Management, Environmental Management System  and Engineering. Litter of any form is an active challenge for our city. We have engaged our citizens, civic and faith-based communities and local business groups in awareness of cigarette litter specifically and litter in general as a stormwater pollution issue. We currently have five separate target areas where Cigarette Litter Prevention Programs in partnership with Keep America Beautiful and askHRgreen.org are in place and several are set to expand this year. We enjoy great partners in our community who share our passion for stewardship and dedication to maintaining a beautiful and clean Newport News.

DBaxter-WawaAwardRecently, the Newport News Recovery Operations Center recognized the Wawa Convenience Store located at 12093 Jefferson Avenue with the Newport News Clean Business Award winner for the Second Quarter of 2016. This was largely in recognition of their exemplary efforts in litter management and specifically cigarette litter on their very busy property. Their management staff takes great strides to ensure that the facility and property are litter free as they understand how important this is to the businesses remaining viable and attractive for customers. Their diligence and commitment is a fine example of the commitment of the corporate leadership, store management and their dedicated staff to the preservation and protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

DBaxter-NNRainBarrelWorkshopFor the past seven years, Newport News Resource Recovery and Newport News Waterworks have been partnering with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, Newport News Master Gardeners to hold Rain Barrel Workshops for residents of Hampton Roads. These workshops empower participants to harness rain water with rain barrels for irrigation and to reduce stormwater runoff from their properties. Hundreds of these rain barrels have been made since the program’s inception saving thousands of gallons of polluted runoff from entering local waterways and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. These

The Newport News Resource Recovery, Recovery Operations Center (ROC) , located at 330 Atkinson Way in Newport News, has been a focal point for stewardship and recovery efforts for the residents of Newport News for many years. Recent improvements to the facility include: an integrated household hazardous waste and electronics collection system, white goods recovery and extraction system, tire  recovery program, larger bulk recovery containers for metals and co-mingled recyclables and an improved yard debris collection and management program. Our increase in size and convenience for our solid waste user fee customers has been very effective in reducing landfill costs while improving recycling opportunities for our residents.

The Resource Recovery Center, Recovery Operations Center,  also houses one of the largest compost and mulch production facilities on the Peninsula. Compost is created on-site from leaves and other compostable yard waste and is certified by the US Compost Council and routinely tested by Virginia Tech and Penn State Universities. The compost is a very effective soil amendment, allowing soil to let in more air and water for healthier plants and increased absorption of stormwater runoff. Leaf mulch provides a cost effective soil erosion protection for areas under trees that preserves top soil and helps to reduce soil degradation. The mulch products that are created provide a cost effective beautification product that provides moisture retention and soil erosion protection. All of these products are available to any resident of Hampton Roads at competitive prices, For more information, click here or call 757-886 7947.

Blog post contributed by Daniel A. Baxter, Business Recycling Coordinator, NIMS Public Works Blue Team Coordinator for City of Newport News Recovery Operations Center.

Posted in: Beautification, Don't litter!, Going Green, Keeping storm drains free, Lawn and landscape, Lawncare

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What Does the Chesapeake Bay Mean to You?

Posted on June 4, 2016 by | Comments Off

chesapeake-bay-1310538_960_720Today is Clean the Bay Day and volunteers all over Virginia, from Hampton Roads to Northern Virginia, from the Eastern Shore to the Shenandoah Valley, are working by land and boat to give the Bay a massive spring clean. The short 3 hour statewide cleanup has been held for 28 years and produces noticeable impacts each year. Because of the effort of over 100,000 volunteers, approximately 6.2 million pounds of debris has been removed from nearly 6,500 miles of shoreline since 1989. If you missed this year’s event, mark your calendars for next year but remember that the small choices you make each day are just as important as participating in these annual cleanups. Do your best not to litter and cleanup litter even when it’s not your own mess. If we all did our part, we’d have a much cleaner bay for future generations.

Today also marks the beginning of Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, June 4-12. This first annual celebration asks everyone in the Bay states of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania to recognize the massive historic, economic, scientific, and recreational importance of the Chesapeake Bay. Tourists and residents alike are asked to celebrate all that the Bay provides to our region. And the Bay is closer than you may think. No matter where you are in Hampton Roads, it would only take about 15 minutes to walk to a stream, river or body of water that flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

crab-896481_960_720Here at askHRgreen.org we’ll be celebrating the Chesapeake Bay by featuring photos of how the Bay gives back to our region and what’s being done in our communities to improve water quality. We welcome everyone to participate by simply sending in a photo with an accompanying message about what the Bay means to you. Photos will be accepted through July 9th.  Please include your  first name, the city/county where you live, and get them over to hrgreen@hrpdcva.gov today!

Posted in: Community events, Don't litter!, Waterways

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  • LOOKS LIKE FUN!