Good to Do:
Sign up for the Darling Stadium / Eason Park Cleanup, July 21, 9am. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org. For your calendar, the next cleanups will be August 18 and September 15, both at 9am.
Start recycling all your plastic food, beverage, and household containers!! Yay TFC Recycling for including all plastic household containers in their list of recyclables! Take advantage of the opportunity! Yogurt cups – check! Applesauce cups – check Syrup bottles - check! ! Just remember – NO foamed plastic (“styrofoam”)!
Here’s an idea – compare how many #1 and #2 bottles and jugs you recycle and how many other things you can recycle now, and let us know! We’ll share your stories on Facebook! Pictures are welcome! AND if you use the drop-off containers at Gosnold’s Hope Park, Briarfield Park, or the Yard Waste Transfer Site, let us know! We need to encourage people to use the containers by showing how YOU use them!
Just in case you need a little guidance, go to http://www.hampton.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14663. The graphic hasn’t been updated yet, but when you get to plastics, just picture all your household and food containers except foamed plastic containers (commonly called Styrofoam, which is actually a brand name). And please remember – NO PLASTIC BAGS in your recycling! Plastic bags go to retail stores that have collection points. As soon as the new graphic is ready, we’ll send it your way. By the way, here’s a link the exciting announcement about including our plastics! http://hampton.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2534
Want to know MORE about plastics recycling? Scroll down to Good to Know!
Fill out a beach management survey! Students and faculty of Old Dominion University are researching local dune and beach management in Hampton Roads and we need your help! We would appreciate you taking some time out of your day to assist us by taking this survey. It will take about 5 to 8 minutes and you will have the chance to enter a raffle to win one of five $25 Amazon gift cards. Please click the link to take the survey:
http://bit.ly/Beaches-Dunes-Survey. Questions about the research? Contact Dr. Michelle Covi (email@example.com).
Planning some fun summer outdoor expeditions? Remember to take trash bags with you! You want to keep Hampton’s (or anywhere’s) great outdoors great and clean! Use one bag for trash, one for recyclables, and make sure you leave no trace of the fun you had! We’ll all appreciate your efforts!
Are you eager for summer veggies and fruits, but you love your trees, too? There are still community garden plots – FREE – sign up before they’re all gone! They’re organic sites, so you can’t beat the price. http://www.hampton.gov/2798/Community-Gardens. AND it’s a good time to start a fall garden! That’s what our Community Gardens Coordinator, Wendy Iles, says!
Nominate a Yard for the YARDS Contest: The beautiful yards you know of can’t win Yard of the Month unless you nominate them! Judging occurs monthly. Nominate a yard today! http://hampton.gov/FormCenter/Hampton-Boards-Commissions--Committees-5/YARDS-Contest-Nomination-Form-53 What are you looking for? Beautiful yard, nice plants. The YARDS Judges take care of the rest.
LAST CHANCE to sign up to be a VCE Hampton Master Gardener! The application deadline is July 10, the course fee is $130 (but the education you receive is priceless). Fees associated with this course will cover handbook, other materials, and a background check. Master Gardeners are volunteers who assist their local Cooperative Extension Offices in educating the public in general gardening practices as well as the proper use of pesticides and fertilizers. To become a Master Gardener, an individual must complete 50 hours of horticulture instruction and return an equal number of hours (50) as a Master Gardener volunteer. The application is available at http://www.yorkcounty.gov/vce. To check out what the Hampton Master Gardeners are up to, check out their web page at https://www.hamptonmastergardeners.org/.
Take the kids in your life to Wonderful Wednesdays at Bluebird Gap Farm! Monthly, family friendly event where kids get the opportunity to get outdoors and build their own nature craft with the VCE Hampton Master Gardeners. Held every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10:00 am—12:00 pm at Bluebird Gap Farm.
Share information about our upcoming events!
Good to Know:
Hampton Waterways Restoration Project will be holding Oyster Gardening Demonstrations at two local marinas! Watch for upcoming announcements about dates and times. Dandy Haven and Sunset Marinas are participating – thanks Marinas!! And look below for volunteer opportunities!
Why Recycle Plastic? Plastics make up about 13 percent of garbage by weight – 33 million tons! Unfortunately, only about 9.5 percent of plastics get recycled. What a shame! Plastics are made from crude oil and natural gas, both of which are nonrenewable resources. When they’re gone, they’re gone. While there are many plastics that we as citizens don’t have the capability of recycling, there ARE many we CAN recycle. Since nearly every citizen in Hampton has access to either curbside or drop-off recycling containers, we really don’t have any excuses. So let’s see what we can do to recycle more plastics!
Need a little more motivation? According to MRC Polymers, “recycling one ton of plastic saves the equivalent of 1,000–2,000 gallons of gasoline; 66% of energy is saved when producing new plastic products from recycled materials instead of raw (virgin) materials; and for every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 months, and almost 2000 pounds of oil.” How much gas does it take to fill up your vehicle? Divide that into 1,500 gallons (splitting the difference of the 1,000 – 2,000 gallon range) and see how many full tanks you could get out of recycling a ton of plastics!
First, let’s figure out what plastics we here in Hampton can recycle. In our curbside and drop-off recycling containers, we can recycle all household bottles, jugs, and other containers, as long as they’re not (1) foamed polystyrene, otherwise as known as Styrofoam, and (2) didn’t contain poisons or other materials that need to be taken to a household chemical collection. So no foam egg cartons or meat trays and no weed killer bottles, for example. That leaves an awful lot of containers! Milk jugs, soda bottles, water bottles, household cleaner bottles, shampoo bottles, yogurt cups, syrup bottles, condiment squeeze bottles, and so much more!
NOTICE: No one said anything about plastic shopping bags or newspaper bags or dry cleaning bags or toilet paper wrappers. Those CAN be recycled, but ONLY at a retail store that collects them. You cannot put them in the recycling containers at home or the drop-off sites. You’ll see why in a few paragraphs.
One key thing to know – plastics are made with different formulas that result in products that have different properties. The numbers you see on the bottom or side of the plastic containers are actually indicators of the different kinds of plastics, not an indicator of whether the product can be recycled.
- The number 1 inside a recycling symbol means that product is made from polyethylene terephthalate, which has the virtues of being transparent and able to contain carbon dioxide.
- The number 2 indicates high-density polyethylene, an impact resistant, inexpensive plastic.
- The number 3 is strong, ultraviolet-light-resistant polyvinyl chloride.
- The number 4 is low-density polyethylene, a stretchy, flexible plastic.
- The number 5 is stable, heat-resistant polypropylene, good for storing foods that are packaged hot to avoid bacterial growth.
- Number 6 is polystyrene, which is brittle when hard and can be foamed to form an insulating layer (commonly known as styrofoam).
- Number 7 is the catchall category of all the rest of the types of plastic (millions, maybe).
Step 1: After you put plastic in your recycling container, it’s taken to a recycling center where it is fed onto a conveyor belt, where it is sorted by color and type of plastic.
Step 2: Each type of plastic, or a group of similar plastics, are compressed into large blocks called bales. They are transported to a plastics reclaimers.
Step 3: At the reclaimer, the plastics are washed, sorted, shredded or ground up, and then melted and turned into pellets.
Step 4: The reclaimer sells the pellets to a plastics manufacturer who then melts the pellets and forms the plastic into new products.
Step 5: The new products are sold to you through retailers!
Some critics say that recycling plastics isn’t worthwhile because, for example, soda bottles are not often recycled back into soda bottles. They call it downcycling. However, if recycled soda bottles are not made into other plastic products, including carpet, then we would be using oil and natural gas to make those products. Better to reserve our natural resources as much as possible!
Speaking of what becomes what, here’s a quick rundown on what your plastic recyclables may become (thanks Association for Plastic Recyclers):
Number 1 plastics: clothing, carpet, clamshells, soda & water bottles
Number 2: detergent bottles, flower pots, crates, pipe, decking
Number 3: pipe, siding, binders, carpet backing, flooring
Number 4: trash bags, decking, furniture, shipping envelopes, compost bins
Number 5: paint cans, speed bumps, auto parts, hangers, plant pots, toothbrush handles
Number 6: picture frames, crown molding, rulers, flower pots, hangers, toys, tape dispensers
Number 7: electronic housings, auto parts
This list is not comprehensive, but it does make you think about all the different kinds of plastics we use in our everyday lives!
If you have burning questions about plastics recycling, contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll try to get answers for you!
Drop-off Recycling Information – if you live in an apartment or condominium and don’t have recycling provided by your management, or if you have a lot of extra recyclables from your holiday celebrations, you can use one of Hampton’s three drop-off containers! They’re located at the Hampton Yard Waste Site, 100 North Park Lane (just off Big Bethel Road); Briarfield Park, 1540 Briarfield Road; and Gosnold’s Hope Park, 900 Little Back River Road. All these sites accept the same materials that are accepted in the curbside recycling program! Including the cartons!
Step 7: Water Your Landscape Conservatively & Save Our Local Water
- If you select drought-resistant plants and plant them properly, you can start counting your savings in time and lower water bills.
- When you DO water, water deeply. Light sprinkling will waste water and produce shallow roots.
- Set up rain barrels or water gardens to capture water for the dry season. One inch of rain on a 1000 sq ft roof results in about 600 gallons of rainwater.
- If your home is located on a waterway, make sure there is a plant barrier between your lawn and the waterway to keep chemicals out of our water.
- If you have pets, pick up their waste every day. The waste washes into our storm drains and into the Chesapeake Bay.
July 21: Community Cleanup, Darling Stadium / Eason Park, 9am, register at email@example.com - one-time commitment, unless you like participating in the community cleanups!
July 8 - 31: North Phoebus Community Garden Box Move, flexible times, register at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ground is finally leveled at NPCG! Any strong muscled folks want to help move garden boxes into place?
Throughout the year: Dandy Haven Oyster Gardening, Dandy Haven Marina, flexible times. The Dandy Haven Oyster Garden is one of two demonstration gardens the Hampton Waterways Restoration Project is hosting to encourage people to engage in oyster gardening and to allow those who don’t have access to water the opportunity to oyster garden. Volunteers will help tend the garden, cleaning, removing “critters”, and making sure the baby oysters are happy. Contact Cris at email@example.com for information and to sign up.
Nature Paddle, July 22, 9 a.m.- 11 a.m., Hampton River/Elizabeth Lake). To sign up, firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring your own human-powered boat (canoe, kayak, other) and life jacket (for each boater).
VCE Hampton Master Gardener Brown Bag Gardening Seminars:
Free, bi-monthly gardening classes with Lise Schioler. Classes are held from 11:30 am—12:30 pm at ViGYAN, 30 Research Dr., Hampton 23666.
- July 11—Trees and Shrubs
- July 25—Virginia Native Plants
Community Garden Classes:
You don’t have to be a community gardener to attend these classes!
July 16 (Sunday), 6pm, Challenges of Raised Bed and Container Gardens. Limited attendees, as it's at a private residence. Must preregister, link on the HCG FB page. http://hampton.gov/FormCenter/Hampton-Boards-Commissions-Committees-5/Community-Garden-Event-Registration-Form-132
July 29, 9am, About Biochar, Buckroe Community Garden, Hampton MG Rhonda Graves explains what biochar is, why you need it, and how you make it. BYO chair. http://hampton.gov/FormCenter/Hampton-Boards-Commissions-Committees-5/Community-Garden-Event-Registration-Form-132
August 17, 6pm, Growing your own Mushrooms, Buckroe Community Garden, with VCE Agent Gaylynn Johnson (make and take class, materials fee tbd). Must preregister! http://hampton.gov/FormCenter/Hampton-Boards-Commissions-Committees-5/Community-Garden-Event-Registration-Form-132
* * *
Remember to check Sandy Bottom Nature Park for the classes they hold as well! http://hampton.gov/calendar.aspx?CID=58,#nextToCurrentMonth
Looking for Recycling Feedback: What do you need to know to be the best recycler you can be? Email email@example.com
Looking for nominations for:
All HCCC meetings are open to the public, and we welcome your participation!
July 10: YARDS Judging, HCCC Office, 1296 Thomas Street, 8:30am, information at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 11: HCCC Full Commission Meeting, Hampton City Hall, 5th Floor, Community Development Conference Room, 3:30pm, information at email@example.com
July 13: HWRP Summer Social, Ft Monroe Community Center Picnic area (community room if raining), 6:30pm, information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 18: Fundraising Committee Meeting, HCCC Office, 1296 Thomas Street, 4pm, information at email@example.com
August 1: Clean & Green Businesses Committee Meeting, HCCC Office, 1296 Thomas Street, 3:30pm, information at firstname.lastname@example.org
August 3: Litter & Recycling Awareness Committee Meeting, Mama Rosa’s Restaurant, 617 E Mercury Blvd, 11:30am, information at email@example.com
Looking for Committee Members!
- Hampton Clean City Commission Board – oversees the programs and projects of the Hampton Clean City Commission and focuses on recognizing volunteers, board members are appointed by City Council. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Fill out a Board Bank application at https://hampton.granicus.com/boards/forms/239/apply/623877?code=34def5d9-e341-4ae1-9448-a571250065f4
- Beautification Committee – works on a variety of projects including the YARDS Contest, tree tours, beautification projects, and education. Contact email@example.com
- Clean & Green Business Committee – works on the quarterly Clean & Green Business Awards, the Virginia Peninsula Clean Business Awards breakfast, and other workplace related projects. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hampton Waterways Restoration Project – works on a variety of clean waterway projects, including shoreline cleanups, water monitoring, and education. Contact email@example.com
- Litter & Recycling Awareness Committee – works on cleaning up Hampton through special cleanups and the Adopt-A-Spot program, as well as encouraging litter-free events, solid waste education efforts, and trash tours. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- School Pride In Action Committee – educators (formal and informal) who encourage environmental lessons and activities in the classroom and on the school grounds, as well as emphasizing teacher education. Contact email@example.com