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Nags Head to Discuss Recycling Contract

NAGS HEAD — Possible changes to the town’s recycling contract with Bay Disposal is on the agenda for the board of commissioners meeting 9 a.m. Wednesday in the town’s municipal complex board room.

Bay Disposal of Norfolk, Virginia, during the Jan. 7 board meeting said that the town’s recyclables were being transported to a waste-to-energy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia. The waste is used as a local fuel to generate renewable electricity for a utility and provides steam to help meet the needs of the U.S. Navy’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia.

However, the town’s contract with the company, which is from May 1, 2019, to Dec. 1, 2022, stipulated no more than 10% by weight of all collected recyclable materials is to be taken to the landfill and/or incinerated without the town’s permission, according to information from the town.

Declining market value for recyclables, largely due to China’s decision to stop taking America’s recyclables, as well as contamination of the recycling stream, are two challenges that the town’s curbside recycling service faces.

Town officials said any recyclables collected through the curbside recycling program have no value in the current recycling market, and when coupled with improper contaminants introduced to the recycling stream – examples include plastic bags, take-out containers and cups, batteries, metal hangers, diapers and other non-recyclable garbage – the cost to process the materials collected increases significantly, while much of the non-recyclable materials find their way into landfills or waste-to-energy plants.

The town encouraged residents to learn what is recyclable and to always only place recyclable items into your blue carts or communal recycling containers and dumpsters.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.