CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been about a month since the city of Chesapeake ended its curbside recycling contract with TFC Recycling.
Community members now have the option to sign up for a vendor offering subscription services or take their recycling to one of the 7 sites set up by the city.
“There’s so many recycling spots, it’s not even an inconvenience at all. This is for our future, for our planet’s,” said Chesapeake resident, Anna Ord.
The Director of Public Works, Earl Sorey, says they’ve been monitoring things and adjusting.
“When we first announced it, there were some saying ‘oh, it’ll never be used.’ Well in the first two weeks, we’ve had a substantial amount of usage. We’ve collected over 60,000 pounds of recycling so far,” said Sorey.
So, he says they’re expanding and adding more bins to keep up with the demand at multiple drop-off sites. They were in the process of doing construction at the site off Cedar Road earlier this week.
Ord says that’s welcome news.
“That would be wonderful because we’ve stopped by already a couple of times on the weekend and it’s normally full,” explained Ord.
Another community member, JoAnn Ervin, says she’s doing the right thing, but that doesn’t mean she likes it.
“I really wish we still had it because it was much easier. It’s gotten so hard to throw stuff away…I’m doing this because I want to keep recycling instead of throwing it in the dump,” said Ervin.
Sorey says the recycling they’re seeing at the drop off sites is very clean.
“Previously we had contamination rates as high as 25% with a lot of trash going into the blue bins. Here, we’re not seeing that,” Sorey stated.
However, he does want to remind the community that plastic bags aren’t recyclable.
On the other end of their job, Sorey says trash truck drivers are seeing a little bit of an increased workload because some of those recyclables are going into the brown bins.
“We usually run 20 routes on any given day, we’ve expanded those routes to 24 so each route is a little bit shorter. But that’s to allow for that additional collection,” said Sorey.
In the early stages, Sorey says roughly 3,000 people have signed up for recycling with a private vendor.
“Last week city council approved a franchise agreement so other larger companies that wanted to provide curbside service the legal framework is in place for that. so, if anybody watching has that type of business and they’re interested please contact us,” he said.
If you are a company interested in providing subscription-based recycling services in the City of Chesapeake, contact Mr. Greg Martin, Waste Management Administrator, at 757-382-3439 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternately, use this interest form to provide staff with the necessary information to get started.