Following the approval of a five-year recycling contract with the Virginia Peninsula Public Service Authority, city residents will soon get new recycling carts, and recycling will be picked up on the same day as scheduled trash collection starting next month.
VPPSA contracts curbside recycling services for Williamsburg, James City, York and Poquoson, and secured a new contract with Chesapeake-based Tidewater Fibre Corporation Recycling, which begins July 1 and ends on June 30, 2024.
As VPPSA Executive Director Steve Geissler explained to City Council at a meeting earlier this year, a Chinese policy banning the purchase of imported American mixed paper, corrugated cardboard and plastics has led to a significant oversupply in recycled goods. As part of the new contract, the city will see its annual recycling costs increase by $175,004 next fiscal year, according to City Manager Andrew Trivette’s fiscal year 2020 budget message.
City Council chose to absorb the cost of the new, more expensive recycling program, and will not charge a separate recycling or garbage collection fee to its residents, according to a city news release.
“The city has been a leader in green initiatives and environmental stewardship, but recycling has become a challenge due to fluctuating markets,” Williamsburg Public Works Director Dan Clayton said in the release. “There is little to no market for plastics like yogurt and butter containers, and that is why recycling companies are no longer collecting them.”
Beginning July 1, recycling will be picked up the same day as scheduled trash collection, but while trash is picked up every week, recycling collection will remain every other week, the release states.
As part of the new recycling contract with collection company TFC, recycling carts will also need to be changed out. The old recycling carts, which are gray with a green lid, are owned by recycling company County Waste, and are scheduled to be picked up on June 19 or 20 after they complete their scheduled pick up for that day.
Residents are encouraged to put their old recycling carts on the curb on June 19 whether or not they have recyclable materials, and to leave them on the curb until they are taken away. New recycling carts from TFC will be gray with a tan lid, and are scheduled to be delivered between June 15-25.
The new recycling contract also affects James City and York counties, which are part of the regional agreement with VPPSA.
The York County Board of Supervisors approved a new solid waste and recycling rate schedule last April, which has been in effect since May 1. For more information, visit yorkcounty.gov/788/Recycling.
According to the James City website, old recycling carts will be picked up in the county following collections after June 15, and new carts will be delivered between June 15-30.
Recycling will continue to be paid by James City County through Sept. 30, but residents who opt to continue using the curbside recycling program will pay $7 per month beginning Oct. 1. Bills will be mailed out in mid-August, and the first bill will be due by Sept. 16.
Want to know more?
Informational pamphlets for city residents will arrive with the new recycling carts. For more information, visit williamsburgva.gov/newrecycling, or contact the city’s Public Works Department at 757 220 6140 or email@example.com.
James City County residents can opt out of the curbside program after July 1 by filling out an online form or calling the county’s recycling hotline at 757-253-6700. For more information, visit jamescitycountyva.gov/607/Solid-Waste-Recycling.
Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.