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New City Curbside Recycling to begin July 1

Post Date:06/12/2019 12:29 PM

Beginning July 1, the City of Williamsburg begins a five-year contract with a new vendor, TFC, for residential recycling collection in the City.

Recycling has become a challenge for the United States as the market for recyclables has been reduced, the ability for recycling companies to earn a profit has decreased and much of what is collected is usually contaminated by non-recyclable products making the recycling process difficult or impossible to carry out and the recycling material has to be thrown away. While some U.S. cities have opted to cancel their recycling programs, here on the Peninsula, four localities through the Virginia Peninsulas Public Service Authority (VPPSA), worked together to negotiate a contract that would keep a well-established recycling culture in place for the next five years.

As part of its recent FY2020 budget deliberations, City Council chose to have the City absorb the cost of the new, more expensive recycling program. The City will continue its policy of charging no separate fee for recycling or garbage collection.

The new contract calls for a few changes in the way recycling is handled:

  1. The residential recycle day will change. As of July 1, recycling will be picked up the same day as scheduled trash collection. This should be more convenient for City residents. If your trash is collected on Monday, your recycling will be picked up on Monday. If your trash is collected on Tuesday, your recycling will be picked up on Tuesday. It is important to note that while trash is picked up every week, recycling will remain every other week.
  2. The old recycling cart, gray with a green lid, is the property of the outgoing recycling company. They are scheduled to pick up their carts June 19 after they complete the scheduled recycling pick up that day. Please place your gray with green lid cart to the curb that day whether you have recycling materials to pick up or not. Leave your cart at the curb until it is taken away.
  3. Residents will receive a new cart from TFC between June 15-25. The new cart will be gray with a tan lid and an information packet will be attached.
  4. Plastic recycling will be limited to items stamped with #1 or #2. These plastics have a neck such as water bottles, milk jugs or detergent bottles. Newspapers, cardboard and cans will still be accepted.
  5. All recyclables must be placed inside the cart – items outside the cart will not be collected as the driver will not exit the truck.

The timeline for the new recycling program is as follows:

  • June 15 thru 25 - new recycling carts will be delivered to your home. It will be gray with a tan lid. Begin using the new recycling cart on July 1 or 2, depending on your trash/recycle day.
  • June 19 & 20 - the current recycling company will pick up their recycle cart from your curb. Roll your OLD recycling cart to the curb and the company will pick up either on the 19th or 20th.
  • July 1 – the new recycling program begins. For those with Monday, July 1 trash collection, this is also your recycling day. Those with Tuesday July 2 trash collection, this is also your recycling day.

“Recycling is always the best first choice when it comes to handling waste disposal,” says the City’s Public Works Director, Dan Clayton. “The City has been a leader in green initiatives and environmental stewardship, but recycling has become a challenge due to fluctuating markets. There is little to no market for plastics like yogurt and butter containers and that is why recycling companies are no longer collecting them. As consumers, we need to be diligent in only putting out acceptable items to reduce the amount of contamination in the recycling stream. We can also make a concerted effort to purchase items made of recyclable materials. We will continue to look for ways to bolster our recycling efforts.”

According to askHRGreen.org, a regional public service initiative, single-use plastic is plastic that’s intended to be used only once before it’s tossed. That includes plastic grocery bags, straws and coffee stirrers, most food packaging, styrofoam to-go containers and more. Refusing it or using renewable or recyclable options could make a big difference. Shop green – purchase one large container of yogurt rather than 8 individual cups to help reduce the amount of plastic in landfills; buy only plastic containers that are made of #1 or #2 plastic. Visit www.askhrgreen.org for more ideas.

Further details and additional information on the City’s new recycling program will be delivered with your new cart and residents are strongly encouraged to read the materials provided. A helpful webpage is also available at www.williamsburgva.gov/newrecycling with access to printable materials. For more information, contact the City’s Public Works Department at (757) 220-6140 or email them at publicworks@williamsburgva.gov.

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