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Some Chesapeake residents report recyclables sitting at curb for weeks as city nears end of curbside program

TFC Recycling.JPG
Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 16:54:42-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Chesapeake residents will soon be able to drop off their recyclable items at seven new locations.

Starting July 1, these residential drop-off recycling sites will open for community use. The city says the drop-off program will gradually grow as officials determine the best way to accomplish its recycling goals.

News 3 talked with several residents on Friday who report their blue bins haven't been emptied lately. One said that his recycling in the Great Bridge area hasn't been picked up in several weeks and that he's had to put the recyclables into the trash bin.

When asked if he'd be taking advantage of the drop-off sites, he said he does not drive, so he didn't think that would be feasible.

Residents can take advantage of this new service by dropping off their recyclables at the following locations:

  • Russell Memorial Library - 2808 Taylor Road 
  • Chesapeake Central Library / Municipal Center - 298 Cedar Road (East Parking Lot Between Albemarle Drive and Library) 
  • Indian River Library - 2320 Old Greenbrier Road (Old Greenbrier Road and Providence Road) 
  • Department of Human Services - 100 Outlaw Street (Outlaw Street and Bainbridge Blvd) 
  • Toll Plaza Road - Cul-de-sac at 168 Toll Plaza Road (Chesapeake Expressway Administration Building) 
  • Chesapeake City Park - 900 City Park Drive 
  • Deep Creek Park - 437 George Washington Highway South 

There will be two separate containers at each location, and each will accept the following:

  • Container 1: plastics #1-7, metal cans (aluminum, tin, steel) , mixed paper (newspaper, office paper, magazines, catalogs, mail, NON-shipping box cardboard, i.e., cereal box) 
  • Container 2: corrugated cardboard (shipping box material only) 

These new sites will open after the city's contract with Tidewater Fiber for Curbside Recycling (TFC) expires on June 30. City council members voted to end the contract in December, saying eliminating curbside recycling would save the city $2 million per year.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Public Works Department stated that these sites will have large containers with fencing, lighting, and security cameras.

According to Michael Benedetto, President/CEO of TFC Recycling:

Until June 30, 2022 (and beyond at no cost, with City permission), TFC will continue to service Chesapeake residents. The shortage of qualified commercial truck drivers in Hampton Roads - an industry-wide challenge, in addition to supply chain issues and unintended consequences of the early contract cancellation including a reduction in workforce due, in part, to voluntary resignations, have caused service interruptions in Chesapeake.

TFC is doing its best to ensure that Chesapeake residents will have curbside recycling service before the end of the contract service date, and that service issues are communicated promptly to all residents. TFC cannot guarantee service on a specific day as many of the routes have been modified to accommodate an adjusted service schedule.

The City of Chesapeake is currently working with two private companies offering fee-based curbside services: Recyclops and Happy Planet Recycling. Click here for more information.

Dennis Wise, vice president of business development for Recyclops, says, "What makes us so unique and what’s really easy to explain to people about our business model is it’s like Uber as an example of how we use technology to tackle collection."

Recyclops hires independent contractors driving their own vehicles, offering drivers flexible hours. Wise said the company has representatives going door-to-door getting people to sign up and that they have nearly 2,000 residents on plans already.

He said they have weekly or bi-weekly pick-up and the cost is as low as $11 a month.