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Help Your Christmas Tree Give Back

Posted on December 18, 2014 by | Comments (0)

Hampton Roads Christmas Tree RecyclingThe fresh smell of pine during the holiday season is tough to turn down. So if you are among the many residents in Hampton Roads who will be enjoying a real-deal Christmas tree this year, make sure you dispose of it properly when you are finished with it. Many cities and counties in Hampton Roads offer free Christmas tree recycling after the holidays. Christmas trees are great for making mulch which is then used to improve community parks and green spaces come springtime. Some localities are even able to sell this mulch, made from locally recycled yard waste, to the public.

Recycling your Christmas tree is really a win-win situation. And Christmas trees aren’t the only recyclable byproduct of the holidays! Review the holiday recycling guide to make sure all your holiday waste ends up in the proper container. Come on Hampton Roads, get your 2015 off to a great, green start!

*All Christmas trees turned in for recycling must be free of any ornaments, tinsel and tree stands. As of this date, the following cities and counties have announced their Christmas tree recycling schedules.

ChesapeakeGloucester | Hampton | Isle of Wight | James City County | Newport News | Norfolk | Poquoson | Portsmouth | SmithfieldSuffolk | Surry County | Virginia Beach | Williamsburg | York County

 

Chesapeake

When: Dec. 26–Jan. 8

Where: Trees will be picked up on the regular trash collection day. Trees placed at the curb between January 2 and 8 will be recycled.

What to know: Remove all ornaments, tinsel and the stand. Place it separately from bulk waste and regular trash so it can be easily collected. Please do not put in a bag or put netting around it.

 

Gloucester

When: Ongoing

Where: Residents may bring their Christmas trees to any Gloucester County Convenience Center during regular hours. See the list below for locations. Trees should be placed in the brush container and trees will be mulched along with other brush.

  • Middle Peninsula Landfill and Recycling Center – 3714 Waste Management Way (Entrance on Route 17). The Convenience Center at the Landfill operates on the same schedule as the other County Convenience Centers: Monday – Friday 8 AM to 7 PM and Saturday 7 AM to 7 PM.
  • Belroi – 5122 Hickory Ford Road
  • Dutton – 10430 Burke’s Pond Road
  • Court House – 6550 Beehive Drive
  • Hayes – 7599 Guinea Road

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

 

Hampton

When: Ongoing

Where: Trees will be picked up at curbside on regular trash collection day. Residents can also bring naturally grown trees to be recycled at the Yard Waste Transfer Site, 100 N. Park Lane (off Big Bethel Road at entrance to Bethel Landfill) from 8 AM to 3 PM. Monday – Saturday (closed city holidays).

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Place natural trees separate from bulk waste and regular trash. Do not put in a bag or put netting around it. Artificial trees can be disposed of at curbside as part of the bulk waste. Artificial trees should not be placed with leaves, grass or tree branches.

 

Isle of Wight

When: Ongoing

Where: Natural Christmas trees can be recycled at any of Isle of Wight’s eight convenience centers.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

 

James City County

When: Dec. 26–Jan. 31

Where: James City County’s three convenience centers (listed below).

  • Jolly Pond Road – 1204 Jolly Pond Road – Open every day 7 AM to 5 PM.
  • Tewning Road – 117 Tewning Road – Sunday – Closed, Monday 8 AM – 12 PM, Tuesday – Saturday 8 AM – 4 PM.
  • Toano – 185 Industrial Boulevard (Hankins Industrial Park) – Open every day 8 AM – 4 PM.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

 

Newport News

When: Ongoing

Where: Natural trees are recyclable as regular brush, and may be placed on the curb as brush collection.

What to know: Please remove the root ball and any non-natural decorations including tinsel and lights. Place tree in a brush pile separate from any bulk being set out. Christmas trees (live or artificial) may also be brought to the Recovery Operations Center located at 550 Atkinson Way.

 

Norfolk

When: Ongoing

Where: Natural trees are collected for composting on regular trash day as part of Norfolk’s yard waste collection service. In addition, residents can bring natural trees, holiday lights and artificial trees to the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center – 1176 Pineridge Road, Monday through Saturday, 10 AM – 2 PM. Artificial trees may also be scheduled for bulk waste collection by calling the Norfolk Cares IMPACT Center at (757) 441-5813, or by completing a request online at www.norfolk.gov/BulkWasteForm. For more information, contact Norfolk’s Department of Public Works Division of Waste Management at 757-441-5813 or email pworks@norfolk.gov.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

 

Poquoson

When: Dec. 26–Jan. 20

Where: Residents can drop off natural trees to be recycled at the Municipal Pool Parking Lot (16 Municipal Drive, Poquoson)

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Christmas trees and yard waste are accepted year-round at the VPPSA Compost Facility (located at 145 Goodwin Neck Road, York County), Monday – Saturday, 8 AM – 4 PM.

 

Portsmouth

When: Ongoing

Where: Curbside; residents may place their tree at the curb for pickup on their normal trash collection day.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel, garland and lights.

 

Smithfield

When: Through Jan. 15

Where: Curbside

What to know: You must contact the Town Receptionist at 365-4200 and provide your address if you have a Christmas tree to be picked up. Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel, garland and lights.

 

Suffolk

When: Dec. 27-Jan. 9

Where: Curbside

What to know: Tree are not recycled, but residents can put them out for disposal for two weeks after Christmas with their regular trash and the collection will not be deducted from their (12) annual free bulk collections.

 

Surry County

When: Jan. 1-Jan. 31

Where: Surry County Collection Centers (listed below)

  • Goodson Path Solid Waste Station – 409 Goodson Path, Dendron
  • Pineview Solid Waste Station – 101 Pineview Road, Waverly
  • Mantura Road Solid Waste Station – 60 Mantura Road, Surry

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Please ask attendants for assistance to ensure that your tree is placed in the designated container.

 

Virginia Beach

When: Normal trash collection day

Where: Curbside or the Virginia Beach Landfill and Resource Recovery Center at 1989 Jake Sears Road with proof of residency.

What to know: Christmas trees will be handled as normal yard debris and need to be free of any decorations or tinsel. Trees collected curbside will be processed into compost. Trees dropped off at the Virginia Beach Landfill and Resource Recovery Center will be ground into mulch.

 

Williamsburg

When: Jan. 5 and Jan. 12

Where: Curbside

What to know: The City Crews will be collecting Christmas trees on Monday, January 5 and Monday, January 12. Trees must be placed at the curb before 7 AM and should be free of the stand, ornaments and lights. Please place separately from bulk waste and regular trash.

 

York County

When: Jan. 5-Jan. 9

Where: Curbside – tree must be at curb by 7 AM on January 5 for collection that week

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel, lights and should be no bigger than seven feet in length. Christmas trees and yard waste are accepted year-round at the VPPSA Compost Facility (located at 145 Goodwin Neck Road, York County), Monday – Saturday, 8 AM – 4 PM.

Posted in: Holidays

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Recycling Guide for the Holidays

Posted on December 16, 2014 by | Comments (0)

Virginia Beach Recycling

Virginia Beach Recycling Team Mascot, RC, at the 2013 TowneBank Holiday at the Beach Parade.

Cooking oil is the latest addition to items now accepted at the Virginia Beach Landfill and Resource Recovery Center. The new addition comes just in time to accept the grease from all of those fried turkeys this holiday season. It is important to dispose of cooking oil properly because when it is put down the drain or into the garbage disposal, it will eventually harden and cause many problems in the sewer pipes. Instead, Virginia Beach residents can bring cooking oil in disposable containers, and staff will ensure that the oil is recycled for use in diesel fuel and heating oil. For information on grease recycling and disposal in other cities and counties in Hampton Roads, visit the askHRgreen.org Fryer Oil Collection page.

 

In addition to recycling your cooking oil in Virginia Beach, you can also recycle your plain wrapping paper no matter where you live in Hampton Roads. For example, in addition to glass bottles and jars, clean aluminum foil and cans, tin cans and paper, remember to put the following holiday waste in your recycling container:

  • Gift Boxes
  • Tissue Paper
  • Shoe Boxes
  • Holiday Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Paper Gift Bags
  • Cardboard
  • Plain Wrapping Paper

TFCRecyclingHolidayListPlease DO NOT place the following items in the recycling container:  bubble wrap, ribbons, tape and bows, tree decorations, Christmas Trees, sticky gift labels, laminated or coated gift bags, foam peanuts, cellophane,  and Christmas lights.

Information on recycling your naturally-grown Christmas tree is coming up later this week!  And for more information on recycling in your Hampton Roads city, please visit askHRgreen.org Recycling at Home.

 

This blog post submitted by Linda S. Minner, APR, City of Virginia Beach Recycling Coordinator, Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission Liaison and Executive Director of Keeping Virginia Beach Beautiful.

Posted in: Holidays, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Winterize Your Home Before Winter Rolls In

Posted on December 12, 2014 by | Comments Off

thermostatDecember started out with a gorgeous 74 degree day and the temps have been pretty mild ever since. Hovering near the 50s in December isn’t too shabby. Just think, we could be in upstate New York with more than SEVEN FEET of white stuff already this year! While the weather is still bearable, take advantage and get your home winterized. Our share of cold weather is surely coming!

These easy winterizing tasks for your home and yard are easy to do and will keep you out of the elements once winter really comes through.

  • Protect your pipes. Check for and fix leaks, replace any wet insulation, eliminate drafts near pipes and wrap or cover outside faucets. This is especially important for unheated areas of your home such as the garage or crawl space. Keeping your water pipes dry and warm will prevent pipes from bursting and a bill from the plumber!
  • Find your shut off valve. In the event of a burst water pipe, you do not want to be scrambling to locate the master water shut off valve! Find it now and save yourself the hassle.
  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.Time to hang up those hoses until spring! Packing away your garden hose will prevent damage from freezing temperatures and may decrease your chances of bursting a water pipe.
  • Trim back dead plants. After the first few frosts, cutting back the dead growth on your plants will improve your curb appeal. But don’t yank plants out by the roots. Most perennials (and even some annuals) will survive the winter and grow again next season.
  • Disconnect and store rain barrels. Freezing weather can damage rain barrels. Protect them by removing the plug, opening the valve and draining all the water out. Clean dirt and debris from the bottom and store it inside a shed or garage. If no indoor storage is available, simply flip the rain barrel upside down to keep water out of the barrel.
  • Stock up on eco-friendly deicer. When it comes to deicing, there’s the good, the bad and the just plain ugly! Pick deicers that are less harmful on the environment and stock up now so you aren’t left with only ‘ugly’ options.
  • Seal in the warmth. Keeping cold air out and warm air in is the best way to have an efficient household heating system this year. Simply seal air leaks around windows and doors with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping to improve your comfort and reduce your household heating bill.
  • Program your thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature while you’re out or asleep. You’ll save about 10 percent on your heating and cooling bill each year if you turn your thermostat down by 10 to 15 degrees for the eight hours while you sleep. The recommended temperature setting is 68 degrees while you are home and 58 degrees while you are out or asleep.
  • Put ceiling fans to use. Set your ceiling fan to move clockwise so hot air is pushed towards the floor and closer to you.
  • Pack an emergency kit. Hurricane season isn’t the only time you need an emergency kit. Snow and ice can knock out power or make it too dangerous to travel on secondary roads. Make sure you have supplies on hand at all times including batteries, flashlights, food, water and activities for the kids. For more winter preparedness tips before, during, and after extreme cold, check out ReadyHamptonRoads.org.

Stay warm, Hampton Roads!

Posted in: Household tips, Outdoor tips

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Recycling Solutions for A Cause

Posted on December 9, 2014 by | Comments Off

Recycling Pet Food MachineEvery once in a while you come across an idea or invention that makes you slap your forehead and go, “Duh!”  That’s what happened when I read about this.  Istanbul apparently has a big issue with stray dogs and cats.  And of course the entire world has issues with trash.  So, inventor/genius Engin Girgin, decided to solve one problem with a solution for another problem.  He created a vending machine that accepts plastic bottles for recycling and dispenses food for the strays.  The pet food is paid for by the money collected from recycling the bottles!  Recycle a bottle and more food will drop into a bowl down below to feed hungry, homeless puppies and kitties!  Oh, and it runs off solar energy so it’s eco-friendly.  Amazing!

What if we filled the machine with shelf-stable food for humans and we slap one of these babies in the middle of Time Square?  Recycle a bottle, provide a meal for the homeless!  Or how about we replace the same old office vending machine we get our sodas from with one that requires a bottle deposit for a few cents off your purchase?  Give a bottle, get a bottle!

There are so many ways we can encourage people to recycle and you just can’t beat an idea that helps solve another problem at the same time!    

How else do you think we can encourage others to recycle?

Posted in: Reduce reuse and recycle

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Reduce Your Heating Bill this Winter

Posted on December 5, 2014 by | Comments Off

Winter landscapeOur energy consumption has a tremendous effect on the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 39% of the energy consumed in this country is used to generate electricity. You might be surprised by the fact that approximately 45 percent of your electrical bill is attributed to your HVAC equipment. 

So, what exactly does HVAC mean? HVAC is an acronym for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” RSI points out that despite their increasing efficiency, HVAC systems still use more energy than any other system in your home. Now that the weather has turned cold, here are some things you can do to reduce the energy use of you HVAC system.

  • When it comes to cutting down your energy bill in the winter, you should turn down the thermostat. Even setting your thermostat down one degree less will save you money during those cold fall and winter months. Energy.gov reports that you’ll save about 10 percent on your heating and cooling bill each year if turn your thermostat down by 10 to 15 degrees for the eight hours while you sleep.
  • To make the process of regulating your home’s temperature easier, opt for a programmable thermostat, which  makes saving on your energy bills effortless.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows or glass doors that feel drafty.

 Audrey Clark is a skilled freelance blogger covering a range of topics from careers and finance to travel and leisure, along with everything in-between. Connect with Audrey on Twitter and Google+.

Posted in: Going Green, Household tips

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