Out with the old

Published 7:50 pm Saturday, December 18, 2010

Electronics: Workers wrap a pallet of televisions in plastic at the city’s recycling drive Saturday. The drive capped a year of hard work by the city to become more environmentally friendly.

Suffolk residents who might be expecting new televisions or computers for Christmas — or just wanted to dispose of some old tires — found the best place to get rid of their old items in Suffolk on Saturday.

The city hosted a Holiday Recycling Drive at the old Health Department location on North Main Street, across from Walmart. More than 200 residents came with tires, electronics, aluminum and steel cans, paper, cardboard and other recyclables to drop them off.

“Despite the cold, we have had a steady flow,” said Hattie Lester, the city’s litter control coordinator.

Email newsletter signup

People had already been waiting in the empty parking lot when she arrived, Lester said. At 2 p.m., one hour before the event was set to end, the workers already had collected 35 televisions, 105 tires and 4,000 pounds of sensitive documents to be shredded by Cintas.

“There’s 105 tires over there, out of the ditches of Suffolk,” Lester said.

In addition, several pallets were full of computer monitors and processors, and a TFC Recycling roll-off container was nearly full of assorted aluminum, glass, paper and steel items.

Chase Hurst and his mother, Michelle Hurst, came to the drive to recycle a computer.

“I just like recycling,” Chase said. “It helps the community.”

The Hursts also have a TFC Recycling can at their home, where they can put mixed paper, glass, aluminum and other recyclables to be picked up once a week.

“We’re just glad they do recycling now in the city,” Hurst said, adding that she enjoys seeing the younger generation getting involved. “It reinforces what they’re learning in school.”

The recycling drive wrapped up a banner year for the city’s environmental efforts. It started with a drive to enroll residents in TFC Recycling’s curbside pickup program, for which residents pay a set amount each month for the curbside service. Previously, residents had to collect their recyclables and take them to containers located throughout the city.

In addition, the city participated in “Cans for Cash” and plastic bag recycling efforts this fall, as well as held numerous recycling drives throughout the city all year long.

The Suffolk Clean Community Commission also began a battery-recycling program, with containers at retail and grocery stores throughout the city.

Most recently, the city’s Keep Suffolk Beautiful campaign received the Keep America Beautiful President’s Circle Recognition Award during the Keep America Beautiful conference in Orlando, Fla. The President’s Circle Award recognizes exemplary performance made by certified affiliates of the national nonprofit to reduce litter, minimize waste, recycle and beautify their local communities.

“Suffolk feels honored to be an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful,” said Lester, who accepted the award. “Keep America Beautiful provides quality technical assistance and training needed to encourage and assist our residents in keeping their communities beautiful and litter free.”

Keep Suffolk Beautiful was established in 2002 and sponsors recycling drives and assists with Adopt A Street and Adopt A Spot programs.

For more information on the city’s litter control efforts, call 514-7604.