COVID-19’s Impact on Waste Management in Virginia Beach

The Effect COVID-19 Had on Virginia Beach Waste Management

VA Beach Infographic from April-Sept 2019-2020

Infographic Provided by the City of Virginia Beach

COVID-19 had a dramatic impact on waste management throughout the country. In Virginia Beach, Public Works reported a number of changes in waste management when comparing April 2020-September 2020 to 2019 numbers.

This includes:

  • 12% increase in tons of trash (70,850 tons collected in 2020)
  • 10% increase in recycling (15, 347 tons collected in 2020)
  • 61% increase in landfill visitors (135,249 visitors in 2020)
  • 82% increase in customer service emails (81,058 total emails in 2020)

It appears that with more people at home, the result has been an increase in overall waste. 

How Is Waste Handled In Virginia Beach?

Like many towns, Virginia Beach uses an automatic collection system. The waste truck comes down residential streets, uses a mechanical arm to pick up the cans, and dumps them. If something goes awry, this can slow the process down. Complications range from an overloaded trash bin, loose trash in the containers, and light-weight materials that can easily fly away.

Yard waste is a different story in the City of Virginia Beach. A separate crew is to come around and collect bagged leaves and grass as well as small loose limbs. Dirt, wet leaves, and grass are heavy and the city is charged by the ton at the collection center. Not only does this drive up costs, but it can also damage the truck’s equipment.

How is Virginia Beach Currently Handling Waste?

Residential dumpster for rentAccording to the City of Virginia Beach, items need to be ready for pickup at the street before 7:00 a.m on their scheduled pickup day. Cans that are overflowing will not be collected, and garbage outside of the black cans will not be collected.

Yard waste will be collected on your normal collection day and does not require a work order.  Residents may place debris at the curbside in a pile that does not exceed 4 x 4 x4 feet. Residents can also dispose of smaller yard waste such as grass and leaves in up to 25 clear plastic bags.

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