News Flash

Clean City

Posted on: November 20, 2020

Clean City Things to Know and Do! November 20

HCCC KAB Affiliate Logo Square

Clean City Things to Know and Do! Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup, Community Gardens Hoop Houses, Bee Habitat, Tour de Trash Express, Tree Planting News, Virtual Litter Index, Big HCCC News, Videography Volunteer Needed!

 

 

FEATURED EVENTS

 

ILLEGAL DUMPSITE CLEANUP—BARRACK STREET

December 4, 9am – Noon, between Pine Chapel and Convention Center Blvd

 

Did we scare you with detailing the work to be done on Barrack Street? We didn’t mean to! But there is a lot of trash and it needs to be picked up! Will you help bag up littered trash? If you’re strong and can help drag larger debris, that would be very helpful, too. It all needs to be placed for collection by Hampton Public Works. 

 

Project includes picking up litter, lifting and dragging heavier loads (but we don’t want you to do something that would hurt you!), some exposure to wet ground and woods. 

 

Wear work clothes appropriate for the weather & conditions, including closed-toed shoes; heavy work gloves if you have them (HCCC will provide lighter weight work and nitrile gloves); a mask for signing in and when working closely with others (disposable masks will be available); water;  restrooms  in vicinity, but not nearby

 

YOU MUST REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE

Sign up at hccc@hampton.gov or 727-1199

Important point: if fewer than five people sign up for any cleanup, we’ll cancel, so be sure to register so we’ll know you’re coming!

 

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LAST CALL FOR TOUR DE TRASH EXPRESS TO GOODWILL!

We’re visiting the Hampton Goodwill Store for a behind-the-scenes tour on December 2, 9am-11am. Maximum signup is 10 people, so sign up today!

 

To sign up for Tour de Trash Express to Goodwill! go to http://bit.ly/TourdeTrash, where there’s a full list of upcoming tours – you can sign up for all of them if you want to! For information, contact hccc@hampton.gov or call 727-1130.

 

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KEEP HAMPTON GREEN FUNDED 108 TREES & SHRUBS FOR HAMPTON!

Thanks to the Hampton Clean City Commission's Keep Hampton Green Fund, 108 native trees and shrubs were planted at Bluebird Gap Farm and Armistead Pointe on October 24 and November 7 by a total of 65 volunteers. They contributed $2,388 worth of volunteer time to the efforts by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality volunteer hour standard.

 

On October 24, 38 volunteers of all ages gathered at Bluebird Gap Farm to plant wax myrtles, blackberries, blueberries, persimmons, and a white oak.   

 

On November 7, 27 volunteers came to the Armistead Pointe storm pond to plant loblolly pines, blueberries, blackberries, and a variety of native pollinator shrubs. 

 

These plantings are important to Hampton's local environment for a number of reasons. The trees and shrubs help absorb rainwater and control runoff, which is critical for our coastal city. They're also native plants, which means they provide food and shelter for a variety of pollinators and other wildlife.   Also, they will enhance the beauty of our city! What's not to love!

 

The Keep Hampton Green Fund is dedicated to receiving donations for trees and shrubs to be planted on public land in the city. For more information about this fund, contact the Hampton Clean City Commission at 727-1130 or cfharris@hampton.gov.

 

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THE NEW VIRTUAL LITTER INDEX!

Wednesday November 18 HCCC staff drove the Litter Index route and videoed the evaluation sites so we can evaluate the sites safely from the comfort of our homes. We’re in the process of preparing the videos for evaluation, but we would love your help in the index.

 

Here’s how we plan for it to work, assuming we don’t run into glitches. We will produce one video for each of the ten districts. Each video will have 10 sites to be evaluated. The District 1 video is almost complete, and it looks like it’s going to be about 15 minutes in length. If the other districts come out about the same, we’re looking at about a 2.5 – 3 hour commitment if you volunteer. We will give volunteers links to the videos after Thanksgiving, along with index forms and training information. You’ll have a couple of weeks to complete the evaluations, and then we’ll report the results to you and to everyone else who needs and wants to know. 

 

One limitation to this method is that we will only be evaluating litter. Those who have volunteered for the index before know that we usually look at abandoned vehicles, graffiti, illegal signs, and outdoor storage, but we found that swinging the camera from side to side only made us (and maybe you) feel carsick. So this year, we’re focusing once again only on litter. And sadly, we won’t be providing lunch for you since you won’t be on a bus all day! J But we will be very grateful to you for your help, and you will be invited to the Volunteer Recognition Event, which we hope will take place in April. 

 

As a reminder, this index is one of the requirements of our affiliation with Keep America Beautiful, so we really need your help to fulfill the index. We must have at least five evaluators, but more are welcome!

 

To sign up for The Virtual Litter Index or for more informationgo to hccc@hampton.gov or call 727-1130.

 

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE!

 

CHANGES ARE COMING TO HCCC!

We have big news! Cynthia Harris, who many of you have met already and love, is going to be the Interim Clean City Coordinator starting January 1, 2021! Her knowledge of HCCC and her management abilities will serve us well in the coming year!

 

Why? Because Debbie Blanton is retiring. As of January 1, she’ll become a Clean City volunteer once again!

 

Cris Ausink and Wendy Iles will help with the continuity of HCCC, but we’ll be asking all of you for your help and encouragement as we go through these changes. 

 

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YOU CAN HELP OUR BEES AND OTHER POLLINATORS THIS WINTER!

One of the habitat supports that native bees and other pollinators need is a cozy natural place to overwinter. Xerces Society has published information about how to help. Check it out at this link: 

 

https://xerces.org/sites/default/files/publications/18-014.pdf

 

Our local native bees and other pollinators will welcome your kindness and support. 

 

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LOOKING FOR A VOLUNTEER WHO IS HANDY WITH A VIDEOCAM, PHONE CAM, OR OTHER VIDEO EQUIPMENT!

HCCC has tons of ideas for educational videos, but we’re not confident of our videography skills! Are you? We could sure use your help. Contact Debbie at hccc@hampton.gov or 727-1199 to discuss. 

 

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HOOP GREENHOUSES ADDED TO TWO COMMUNITY GARDENS

Volunteers and staff for Hampton Community Gardens have built two hoop houses, which are low-tech greenhouses that allow gardeners to extend their growing season and grow more food. Approximately 10 volunteers put in more than 72 hours of work, valued at $1,763 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality volunteer hour standard.

 

For more information, contact Wendy Iles at wendy.iles@hampton.gov or 757-690-6113.

 

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KEEP YOUR DRAINS FAT FREE FOR THANKSGIVING!

Nobody likes backed-up drains, especially during the holidays. Here are some tips for keeping yours running clean and clear!

 

Can the Grease

Pour used cooking grease into an empty, heat safe container, such as a soup can, and store it in the freezer. Once solidified, toss the can into the garbage.

 

Scrape Your Plate

Wipe all pots, pans, dishes, and cooking utensils with a paper towel prior to washing to absorb the grease.

 

Catch the Scraps

Eliminate using the garbage disposal. Catch food scraps in your sink with a basket or strainer and toss them into the trash or compost bin.

 

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BALLOONS ARE LITTER TOO!

From Clean Virginia Waterways webpage: “More than 11,400 balloons, balloon pieces and attachments were found on Virginia’s most remote beaches by Clean VA Waterways' researchers as part of a five-year study of balloon litter in coastal environments of Virginia. Balloon litter was the #1 most frequently found type of marine debris on these beaches.

 

This report is a companion to the 2017 report: "Balloon Release Research in Virginia & Reducing Balloon Debris through Community-Based Social Marketing"” 

 

When they are released (littered), as far too many are, they float up and either float down because the helium escapes or they burst. In either case, they fall to earth and onto land or into our waterways. From land they wash into our waterways and then into the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, where sea turtles think they’re jellyfish, other marine animals get tangled up in them, and birds eat them and the strings wreak havoc in their digestive systems. DO NOT RELEASE BALLOONS! And if you can’t avoid the possibility of releasing them, just don’t get them or give them. Never give them to little kids. They can’t help letting them go oftentimes. 

 

For more information, contact the Hampton Clean City Commission at hccc@hampton.gov or 757-727-1199.

 

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PET WASTE IS LITTER TOO!

Some people say that pet waste is natural. Tell that to my shoe! There are just too many pets and too many people stepping in pet waste to make it natural. 

Pet waste left on the ground (or sidewalk, or parking lot, or street) washes into our storm drains carrying with it all the bacteria, parasites, and other nasties that are in there. We get increased water pollution and too many days we can’t swim or fish in our waterways when that happens. Before it washes into the storm drains, it becomes a breeding ground for flies and food for roaches and rats. Then there’s the smell. If you’ve ever lived next door to someone who isn’t conscientious about picking up their pet’s waste, you know how the smell can amplify. Or if you step on it unaware, the smell is what cues you in to the situation. 

When walking your pet, take along a plastic bag. You can buy them from the pet store or reuse lunch or grocery bags. When your pet “goes”, pick up the poop with the bag, enclose it, and take it to the nearest trash can, or back to your trash can.

Don’t be fooled by the “biodegradable” label some bag manufacturers use. That doesn’t mean you can pick up the waste and leave it in a bag under a bush. See paragraph two above. Please put your bagged pet waste into a trash can. 

So be a good pet person, a good neighbor, and a good citizen and pick up your pet’s waste, whether it happens in public areas during walks or in your back yard. Your efforts will keep our local environment cleaner and fresher smelling. And all of us will be grateful to you. 

 

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SIX IMPORTANT RECYCLING TIPS:

  1. Place unbagged recyclables in your container. No plastic bags at all, please. None. Not one.

 

  1. The only plastics that can be recycled are bottles and jugs.

 

  1. Flatten cardboard and corrugated boxes to make more room for your other recyclables.

 

  1. Rinse or wipe cans, bottles, and jugs before putting them in your bin.

 

  1. Remember aluminum foil and foil pans (pie pans, baking pans, cookie sheets) can be recycled, just rinse or wipe.

 

  1. ONLY the recyclables listed in the most recent recycling chart can be recycled. Check here to make sure you’re recycling right: https://hampton.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14663/Acceptable-Recyclables-Information?bidId=

 

EXTRA RECYCLABLES? LIVE IN AN APARTMENT OR CONDO?

Take them to the Yard Waste Transfer Site, 98 North Park Lane. As you enter the site, the recycling containers are on the right. 

 

The same rules apply for drop-off recycling as for curbside recyclables: paper (boxes, newspapers, mail, food boxes, clean and dry), household-food-beverage plastic bottles and jugs only; glass bottles and jars only; metal cans, foil, and disposable aluminum baking sheets and pans; and milk and food cartons. NO PLASTIC BAGS, dirty diapers, garden hoses, or other trash. 

 

Questions? Call 311 (727-8311) or visit this link: https://hampton.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14663/Acceptable-Recyclables-Information?bidId=. Please don’t put anything else in either your home recycling container or the drop-off recycling container. Thanks!

 

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RECYCLE YOUR PLASTIC BAGS & OTHER FILM PLASTICS – DON’T LET THEM BECOME TURTLE FOOD!

Plastic bags and plastic wraps of different kinds ARE recyclable, but they’re not recyclable in your household recycling container. They have to be taken to drop-off sites, most of which are retail locations that you might already be visiting. For more information and a list of plastic bag recycling sites: https://hampton.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4565.

 

When they are littered, as far too many are, they blow or wash into our waterways and then into the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, where sea turtles think they’re jellyfish and other marine animals get tangled up in them. And then, of course, they also get tangled around boat propellers as well, we hear. DO NOT LITTER anything, especially plastic bags!

 

For more information, contact the Hampton Clean City Commission at hccc@hampton.gov or 757-727-1199.

 

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ILLEGAL SIGNS ARE UGLY EYE LITTER!

Those yard-size signs that say “We’ll buy your house” and “Free Week When You Sign Up” that mysterious people put on our easements along our roadways are illegal. The people who are putting them there are violating the law and littering our roadways. The problem is that they sneak to put them up (because they know it’s wrong) and it’s hard for the Hampton Codes Office to find and prosecute them. We need your help!

 

Would you watch for people putting those signs out, get a license plate, and report it through 311 to the Codes office? That would help them a lot, and help our city, as well. If you can snap a few photos while you’re at it, all the better.

 

Another way to help is to pull them out and throw them in the trash when you see them. Make sure you’re not pulling up yard sale signs – permit holders are allowed a couple of signs to advertise their sales. But if it’s one of those “We’ll Buy Your…” signs, feel free to pull it up and throw it away.

 

If you see election signs still out, they can be yanked up – they were supposed to have been removed by November 13. 

 

For more information, contact the Hampton Clean City Commission at hccc@hampton.gov or 757-727-1130.

 

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WE’RE SO THANKFUL FOR YOU!

We’re so thankful for each and every one of you who reads this newsletter, joins our social media effort, passes along our messages, volunteers for our events, participates in our tours, and just gives us a much needed “Good Job” now and then. We love our city and we do everything we can to keep it clean and beautiful, and we couldn’t do it without you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and know that we are thinking of you when we count our blessings! From all of us at HCCC!

 

 

FOR REFERENCE

 

CONNECT WITH HCCC IN 2020:

HCCC’s Facebook page serves as an information source for all things “clean city” – beautification, community environment improvement, litter prevention, recycling, the 3Rs, and general environmental education. We share reputable information about these topics and provide information about our programs, activities, and volunteers. If you want a good overview of what’s happening in Hampton and the larger world of our topics of interest, the Hampton Clean City Commission page is a can’t-miss sign-up! Follow us on Instagram or Twitter, too, to help share information about topics that are important to you. By the way, have you been to the HCCC web page at https://hampton.gov/179/Clean-City-Commission

 

CHECK OUT THE BEE CITY USA – HAMPTON WEB PAGE! 

Check out the information and resources on our new Bee City USA - Hampton web page! We hope you'll find it a useful source of information and support in your efforts to support Hampton's pollinators! https://hampton.gov/3759/Bee-City-USA    

 

Hampton Community Gardens is officially part of the Clean City family now (always has been in our hearts). Check out the Community Gardens web page at https://hampton.gov/2798/Community-Gardens. Community Gardens has a wonderful Facebook page with great information about all things garden related. Like it at https://www.facebook.com/HamptonVAcommunitygardens

 

HCCC sponsors two Facebook groups 

The Hampton Waterways Restoration Project Group focuses on the HWRP Committee’s efforts to improve Hampton’s waterways through awareness and action projects. Among the posts you’ll see are reports on committee oyster activities, waterway cleanup announcements, information about various impacts on water quality, and volunteer reports on their various HWRP projects. 

 

The Bee City USA – Hampton Group focuses on building a resilient habitat for bees and other pollinators. You’ll see educational posts about pollinators of various types, the plants they thrive on, how you can support a sustainable pollinator habitat, and occasionally cool educational resources.

 

You can find and sign up for volunteer opportunities with HCCC at https://volunteer.kab.org/.

 

Sign up for web page notifications (news flashes and calendars) at https://hampton.gov/list.aspx.

 

For more information, hccc@hampton.gov or 757-727-1130. Or look for Hampton Clean City Commission on each platform.

 

The HCCC Office is open to the public. We’re limiting the number of people in our reception area for the time being, so call 727-1130 before you come so we can make sure we don’t have a “traffic jam”.

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