Recycling Right During the Pandemic

Residential waste collection is on the rise as residents heed the stay-at-home orders. Our local waste management divisions have done an amazing job adjusting services to meet rising demands, while also taking steps to protect employee safety. 
As you spend more time at home this summer, we hope recycling and waste reduction will remain an important part of how you reduce your impact on the environment. For instance, your aluminum drink can, when recycled properly, can be back on a store shelf in 30 days. Tossed in a landfill, this same can will be around for up to 200 years. 
Recycling paper, cans and plastic bottles is one simple way to always recycle right. 
These basic items are universally accepted in Hampton Roads. Recycled paper, including cardboard, is particularly in demand now, as people shift from brick-and-mortar stores to no-contact online shopping. Recycling your paper and cardboard can help meet the demand for new boxes. 
COVID-19 has also ushered in a new type of waste to deal with: single-use disposable personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks and latex gloves. While we encourage everyone to be safe, we also urge you to dispose of your PPE properly. Littering PPE is dangerous not only to the environment, but to those who will be exposed while clearing the mess left behind.
Another consideration is the popularity of disinfecting wipes. These may seem biodegradable, but wipes typically include plastic fibers that persist in the environment when littered. Wipes are not flushable either and should always go into a trash can for safe disposal.
To see what can be recycled in your city or county, please check our online Recycling and Disposal Guide. Recycle right, and keep on recycling!