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What’s Inside that Singing Valentine?

Posted on February 10, 2015 by | Comments Off

shutterstock_19062064_WEBWhoa! Have you checked out the Valentine’s Day cards this year? 

There are rows and rows of singing and musical cards. Those magical cards that bring a smile as soon as you open them are full of sweet sayings and happy songs… and batteries and circuit boards.

Did you know that they should not be recycled with other paper products in your curbside recycling?

Batteries and circuit boards are classified as household hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly to keep them from hindering recycling processes and contaminating landfills.

So if you receive a musical card from your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day make sure you dispose of it at your local household hazard waste location.

Posted in: Holidays, Household Hazardous Waste, Reduce reuse and recycle

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From Toilet to Tap – Extreme Water Reuse

Posted on February 5, 2015 by | Comments Off

Tap Water DripWe challenge everyone to choose tap over bottled water. But did you see Bill Gates challenge Jimmy Fallon to taste test drinking water that was formerly sewage? As you can probably imagine, it was pretty entertaining.

Jimmy Fallon’s toilet vs. tap taste test was made possible by the Bill Gates backed Omniprocessor. This revolutionary wastewater treatment technology can take our dirty water and clean it so thoroughly that it meets safe drinking water standards. And with no after taste! This revolutionary wastewater treatment system is a perfect go green trifecta – it cleans up sewage, produces safe drinking water, AND produces a small amount of electricity too. Now that’s a green solution!

Toilet to tap water might seem like a novelty here in the U.S. but the fact is that millions of people in the world live without access to safe and dependable public water systems. A solution like the Omniprocessor could significantly improve living conditions across the globe by decreasing waterborne illnesses and improving overall sanitation.

In Hampton Roads, we have three public water systems hard at work, day and night to keep us safe and comfortable. It’s a blessing that’s easily taken for granted. But we face our own challenges with water safety and dependability here in Hampton Roads. Learn about our aging water infrastructure and what you can do to help. If we don’t maintain our public water systems, we just might be taking the toilet vs. tap water taste test ourselves.

Watch the taste test now!


Posted in: Clean and safe tap water, Using water wisely

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Turning Trash to Treasure

Posted on February 2, 2015 by | Comments Off

Most of my life I have lived in a house, but recently I moved to an apartment. I soon noticed that recycling would be different. What happened to the blue bin? I walked around my development and learned that they did have a recycling dumpster, but it was not within close walking distance to my apartment. I realized recycling had just gotten a lot less convenient for me. But it did get me thinking…

I am very motivated, when it comes to crafts and I am always looking for something new to create. I wondered how I could use my gift and help the environment. I asked myself what is one item in my trash, that I could make beautiful. I decided to make a lamp out of a bottle.

My sister makes beautiful stained glass. After she makes her original piece she has scraps of glass.  I took her scarps of glass and arranged them on the bottle. Once it dried I grouted, sealed, glossed, attached the base, hooked up the electric, attached the harp and top. Once I made the first bottle lamp I went to work and asked the employees to bring me their bottles. Before I knew it I created 23 beautiful lamps out of trash.

I read that the United States throws away enough bottles in one week to fill a 1,350 foot building and glass never wears out. When recycling isn’t convenient, sometimes we have to get creative.

The funny thing is I don’t need 23 lamps. So I started a project on If you would like to learn more about my project, please visit my Kickstarter project page.

In closing I ask, “What do you have in your trash that you can make beautiful”?

This guest blog submitted by Adele Langkil- Crafter, local artist and upcycling professional. She can be reached at


Posted in: Reduce reuse and recycle

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How to Avoid a Deflated Super Bowl Party

Posted on January 30, 2015 by | Comments Off

FootballThe “deflate-gate” news got me thinking recently and I came up with three surefire ways to deflate a good Super Bowl party: a clogged sink, an overflowing toilet, and a trashy house. Allow me to explain and help you avoid these common pitfalls so you can host a pressure-free party on Sunday:

Clogged Sink
Wings…check! Sausage balls…check! Plumber…wait, what? That’s right, football snacks are notoriously greasy. Whatever you choose to indulge in, make sure the fats, oils, and grease from preparing and serving these snacks end up in the trash and not down the drain. When poured or washed down the drain, fats, oils, and grease from cooking can clog sink drains and pipes, causing backups in a home’s plumbing. Avoid inviting the plumber to the party and keep your drains fat-free!

Overflowing Toilet
Think about it, your guest dashes in during a timeout to do his or her business only to flush and…uh oh. That’s not supposed to happen. You don’t want the plunger to make an appearance at your party so always remember to only flush your “personal contributions.” No trash, no paper towels, no feminine hygiene products, no disposable wipes (even the kind that market themselves as “flushable’). Only flush the three Ps – pee, poo, and (toilet) paper.

Trashy House
To avoid the trashy house scenario there’s one easy play to have in your game book: recycling! Lots of bottles and cans are consumed during the big game so make sure they end up in the recycling bin, not the trash can. Think about it this way, that aluminum can or glass bottle has the potential to be recycled into a new can or bottle that you could possibly consume again at next year’s Super Bowl. Don’t ruin the aspirations of that poor bottle or can to be a part of Super Bowl 50 and beyond! Put your recycling containers in an accessible location and encourage all of your guests to recycle and keep the dream alive!

Posted in: Fats, oils and grease disposal, Going Green, Household tips, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Can We Become a Zero Waste Planet?

Posted on January 28, 2015 by | Comments (2)

Imag Credit:

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Becoming a planet with zero waste is a dream of many environmentalists around the world. Yet, the dream of becoming a zero waste planet is far from reality. There are many things that can be done to achieve a part of this dream. Generally, accumulation of waste happens when people do not have the slightest idea about how to manage their waste. The following tips are a great start to living waste free.

Tips for Going Zero Waste:

  • Replace Plastics: There are certain materials that can be avoided altogether. You can easily replace plastic bags with reusable cloth bags. You can also create reusable bags at home from leftover t-shirts. It’s also easy to buy foods  in glass jars rather than plastic ones. Empty glass bottles can later be recycled or reused for different storage purposes around the house.
  • Use Less Paper, Then Recycle: The main culprits or contributors in paper misuse are different offices and corporations. It is best to print on both sides of a paper when you have to print hard copies. Also, it is better to check the print layout and other details before giving the print command. Office papers, newspapers, and other mixed papers are accepted in every curbside recycling program in Hampton Roads. Introduce your office to paper recycling and use paper with a high percentage of recycled content to help manage the paper waste situation in your office.
  • Landfill Last: Believe in your recycling container! Review the Curbside Recycling Guide so you can “know before you throw.” And items not accepted in your curbside recycling may still be recyclable at drop off centers – like plastic bags, motor oil, metals and more! You can also divert food waste and biodegradable materials into a compost bin. Landfills should be a last resort.
  • Recycle Electronics: Electronic waste should be taken to an approved recycler not tossed out with the trash. The accumulation of electronic waste in different dumping grounds is thought to contribute to various diseases and soil disorders. The recovered materials like metal, glass and plastic can also be reused to make new electronics.
  • Get to Composting: It is a great idea to use a compost bin for disposing of food waste and biodegradable materials. As these can decompose easily, they create natural fertilizer that can be used in lawns and gardens. You can even add worms into compost to speed up the decomposition process – it’s called vermicomposting!

 Whether it is your home, office, or city, it is important to take advantage of proper waste management and reduction techniques as part of our dream of a zero waste planet.

Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on behalf of Northern California Compactors, educating others on how modern recycling equipment can be used to reduce garbage bills and increase recycling revenue.

Posted in: Going Green, plastic bags, Reduce reuse and recycle

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