CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Empty cereal boxes and milk cartons are piling up in blue bins across Chesapeake.
Residents tell 10 On Your Side that they have gone weeks without having their recycling picked up by the city. The city is aware of the issue.
In fact, they tweeted on Wednesday morning that collections are running about a week behind. They blamed the delays on staffing and equipment shortages.
City officials also encouraged residents to leave their bins at the curb until they are emptied.
“I walk every day,” resident Mark Bunker told 10 On Your Side. “I see bins that have been sitting on the curb for three weeks that haven’t been picked up.”
Some residents are noticing that they are overflowing but have no idea when they will be emptied.
“They say they’re going to come, but we don’t really know when that is,” said Alexis McLain.
The delays come weeks before the city is set to end its curbside recycling program. Last December, the Chesapeake City Council voted to eliminate curbside recycling starting July 1, 2022.
To continue bi-weekly curbside recycling, or not, has been a point of contention within the city since City Manager Chris Price first identified eliminating the service as a possible way to fund pay raises for public safety employees.
Unlike other Hampton Roads cities, recycling has always been covered in Chesapeake by already existing taxes and fees within the city. A majority of the City Council has rejected a proposal to charge a $22-a-month solid waste fee to continue providing curbside recycling services. Instead, they decided to do away with the service altogether.
Some residents no wonder what happens to their blue bin at the end of the month.
“Are we using it as another trashcan,” asked McLain. “Are they gonna pick it up? Are we returning it somewhere?”
That is just one of many questions across the community.
According to the city’s website, anything in blue bins at the end of the month will go straight to the trash. And yes, the city has plans for the blue bins.
Here’s what their website says:
For now, we ask that residents continue to use their blue bin for accepted recyclables until the end of June when the TFC Recycling contract ends. Citizens will be allowed to keep their blue bins, and as of July 1, 2022, can use them as an extra trash can which will be serviced by the City.
For those down in the dumps about losing recycling, there are private collection services that community members can subscribe to. The city also plans to offer several drop-off locations.