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November - December 2015
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Let's Celebrate America Recycles Day!
Clean out your office, your shed and your closet --- it's time for America Recycles Day. Each year on Nov. 15, joins with others around the nation to promote and celebrate all that recycling does for our communities. Recycling creates jobs, saves natural resources, reduces our dependence on landfills and allows your unwanted items to have a second life. 

Cities and counties across Hampton Roads are celebrating America Recycles Day with a variety of recycling collection events and educational opportunities during the month of November. 

Collection events differ by locality but may accept electronics, plastic bags, ink and toner cartridges, household hazardous waste, documents for shredding or unwanted household items and clothing. Find out what's happening where you live! Then help us celebrate America Recycles Day.
Hampton Roads Stamps Out Cigarette Litter
Cigarette litter is a huge problem in Hampton Roads, across Virginia and almost everywhere in the world. Most smokers see cigarette butts as small, insignificant, biodegradable (they are not) or maybe not as litter at all. 

This summer, seven localities worked together through to launch a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program at diverse locations across the region. The program enforced the message that "Cigarette Butts = Litterand provided the ash receptacles necessary to help smokers make the right choice when it comes to disposal. We are happy to announce that the average cigarette litter reduction rate for the seven projects was astounding!

On average, there were 74 percent fewer cigarette butts found on the ground after the project was completed than before the outreach effort began. 

Through the diligent work of staff and community members in Norfolk, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, Suffolk and James City County, our region is that much cleaner today. 

Great job, Hampton Roads!
Type of
Project Site
First Scan Score (before implementation)
Second Scan Score (after implementation)
Average Decrease in Cigarette Litter
James City County
Commuter Lot
Newport News
Business District
Transportation/ Civic Plaza

Outdoor Concert Pavilion
Downtown Business District
Virginia Beach
Natural Area/Lake Park



Cooking Tips for Holiday Chefs
Oh, the foods that the holidays bring us:  turkeys with dressing, hams and yams, desserts with whipped topping and casseroles aplenty. While participating in the annual "gobble until you wobble" is the highlight of the season for many, it may not be so if you're the designated family host or hostess. As the head holiday chef, you know all the hours that go into preparing those family feasts and the big mess they leave behind. So before you stuff the turkey or roll out the dough, learn how to make cleanup a breeze for the whole family.
Prevent Pipe Funk
Fats, oils, grease and food scraps can all accumulate in your garbage disposal and kitchen pipes leaving you with an awful odor. Think ahead and keep these items out of your pipes and disposal to avoid a party foul.

Grab a Can
Set aside a couple of heat-safe cans to use for small amounts of leftover oils. Liquid grease and oil need to cool before you can safely dispose of them in the trash can. 

Use a Garbage Bowl
Minimize trips to the trash can and keep food scraps out of your sink by using a garbage bowl. Simply pick a large bowl and use it to collect all the food scraps and other trash that accumulates while you cook. When it's full, dump it straight into the waste bin or compost pile.

No-No Foods

Lard/shortening, butter/margarine, dairy products, batter, icing, salad dressing, sauces and gravy are all very likely to stop up a drain. Play it safe and trash them.



Scrape Your Pot & Plate

Leftovers should go in the fridge or the trash, never the sink. Scraping your pots and plates also makes cleanup a piece of cake since there's no need to pre-rinse them before loading the dishwasher.



Home Sweet Bay Star Home
Once available only to Norfolk residents, Bay Star Homes is now a regional program that recognizes environmentally-conscious citizens from James City County to Smithfield to Virginia Beach. 

To become a Bay Star Home, citizens must pledge to practice at least eight conservation practices in their home or yard that will help improve the quality of local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. 

After signing up, Bay Star Homes participants receive a welcome packet full of green tips and information, a garden flag with pole and may become eligible for additional environmental program offerings which differ by locality.

Bay Star Homes is not just for homeowners! The program has options to fit every resident: homeowners, renters, apartment-dwellers and those living in the suburbs or on rural farms. That's because we can all do our part to clean up local waterways. The green practices included in Bay Star Homes can all be accomplished at little or no cost to you. Some may even save you money like reducing the use of lawn chemicals, choosing tap over bottled water and turning off lights when not in use. 

To join the Bay Star Homes movement, simply make your pledges at
Some cities and counties offer free specialty recycling year-round through drop-off recycling? Learn more about the drop-off recycling options in your city or county and recycle more, trash less this America Recycles Day - and every day!
For more ways to be green
in 2015, head over to