Free recycling and tire disposal this Saturday

Published 9:16 pm Thursday, April 5, 2018

The old Nokia cell phone and dead batteries in your junk drawer can get a new home this Saturday at Keep Suffolk Beautiful’s Recycling Drive and Tire Amnesty Day.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful will be working with Goodwill, the Lions Club and the Southeastern Public Service Authority to dispose or donate some of the items brought to the recycling drive.

“We do it twice a year, once now and once in September, and Keep Suffolk Beautiful pays for it,” Litter Control Coordinator Wayne Jones said. “It raises awareness of recycling and proper disposal to keep certain things out of the landfill.”

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The drive allows Suffolk residents to do more recycling than they typically do curbside. Jones said most residents recycle only cardboard for curbside pickup.

Suffolk residents can bring CFL bulbs, batteries, household hazardous waste, eyeglasses, hearing aids, plastic bags, glass containers, electronics, gently used clothing, empty cans and cardboard.

Household hazardous waste consists of mercury, batteries, painting supplies, indoor pesticides, cleaning products, automotive products and other flammable products.

“This is an opportunity for Suffolk to do their own backyard spring cleaning,” Jones said.

Along with typical recycling, residents can bring personal documents to be shredded. This helps reduce identity theft, according to Jones. They shredded 10,450 pounds of documents last year.

Part of the event involves disposal of tires, and last year they collected 3,960 tires. Suffolk residents can bring tires that are up to 22 inches in diameter, but the tires cannot have rims attached. People gather together to form “hunt clubs” to gather tires from properties for disposal.

“These tires collect water on people’s properties, and it brings more mosquitos,” Jones said. “We take them to SPSA to shred, and it will be sprinkled over the landfill to stabilize the structure.”

The Nansemond River High School football team will volunteer to help unload tires from residents’ cars to earn community service hours.

Anyone else can come and volunteer, but Jones asks that volunteers dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear.

This event has also partnered once again with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. They will be collecting canned food, boxed meals, baby food and baby wipes. Last year, they collected 592 pounds of donations.

The event will be held in the Lowe’s parking lot, 1216 N. Main St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The recycling drive will happen rain or shine.

They will have lanes available for disposal of specific items, and there will be shopping carts available to assist with disposal.

“We want to keep lanes free and not hold customers up,” Jones said.

More information can be found on Keep Suffolk Beautiful’s Facebook page and their Instagram. They update information about their events on their social media sites, Jones said.