The joys of life often come in small and unexpected ways.
For us, living near a recycling drop-off site is pure pleasure.
Sounds a bit weird I know, but given my robust Amazon and Costco online purchases in the past 18 months, that recycling site is a godsend.
When we first moved in, we took moving boxes there. Once I discovered how easy it was to have house renovation materials, storage cabinets and small furniture pieces shipped, Ken and endless boxes made almost daily trips to the drop-off site on West Neck Road, between Nimmo Parkway and North Landing Road.
There, 18 green dumpsters are lined up to accept paper, chipboard, flattened cardboard, plastic bottles, cartons, glass bottles and jars and metals. Thankfully, our recycling trips have greatly slowed down, but I still rely on the drop-off site when our curbside recycling container gets too full.
Since the holidays produce extra recyclable paper and boxes, I asked Kristi Rines, spokeswoman for Waste Management, to share information on the city’s four drop-off recycling centers – Municipal Center, Oceana at 229 First Colonial Road, 2500 Shore Drive at First Landing State Park and the City Landfill Resource Recovery Center at 1989 Jake Sears Road.
“I joke that you can tell how good or bad the economy is by looking at the recycling,” said Rines.
“The economy must be very good because our sites are very full.”
Normally, sites are serviced three times a week, but that frequency is ramped up to daily during the holidays.
As we enter the holidays, Rines hopes everyone will think about how they plan to dispose of an item before they even purchase it.
Look for items with minimal packaging. If you order online, have items shipped together rather than separately to eliminate extra boxes.
“Reuse, reuse, reuse,” she said.
For example, shop thrift stores for decorations. Have a decoration swap – get with your neighbors and friends and swap out your unused decorations for items they may not use.
Having a party? Use your dishes instead of buying plastic or paper dinnerware. Shop a thrift store for silverware or rent those place settings.
When you have burned-out Christmas lights, search the internet for ways to recycle them.
Wrapping paper and bows, as well as holiday cards, can be reused for craft projects. Ornaments, tinsel and garland can be donated to thrift stores for reuse.
Once your fresh-cut Christmas tree is dried and done, place it curbside for collection on your normal waste pickup day.
“They cannot have any decorations or lights on it because the trees will be mulched and well, lights and tinsel just don’t mulch well,” said Rines.
She also hopes residents will stop dropping off unwanted items at the sites – things like mattresses, plastic window treatments, glass windows, aluminum siding, lumber, construction debris, trampolines, automotive parts, tires, TVs, all of which should go to the landfill at 1989 Jake Sears Road or the Landstown Transfer Station on Concert Drive.
“Just because it’s plastic or metal doesn’t make it recyclable,” she said.
“For those that use it for illegal dumping, we are watching you. We have noticed a marked increase in illegal dumping at these sites and have installed cameras that are monitored by both Waste Management and the police department.”
Learn more about Virginia Beach drop-off recycling centers at http://tinyurl.com/vbdropoff.
An added note about batteries. They are collected from the drop-off recycling center’s household battery boxes – also located at libraries – and taken to the City Landfill Resource Recovery Center, where they are sorted by type and recycled through a contracted vendor.
No automotive or marine batteries are taken at these sites – they should be returned to the store where they were purchased or taken to the landfill’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) for recycling.
Alkaline batteries (A, AA, AAA, B, C, D) can be tossed in the household trash – tape the ends and toss – there’s not the harmful metals in them as there once was. Never throw away NiCd or lithium ions batteries – they pose a serious fire hazard even when they remain in the product, according to Kristi Rines, spokeswoman for Waste Management.