Trash Trivia — How Much Do You Know?
1. These items can be placed in your trash toter, true or false:
- Ashes and hot coals
False. You don’t want to be responsible for setting the truck on fire.
- Stinky diapers
True. While the code says no “human excreta,” diapers are OK, but keep the stink down by bagging them. Actually, you should bag EVERYTHING in your trash bin, but don’t bag recyclables.
- Propane tanks
False. Hampton’s household trash is burned to provide steam for NASA. You can’t put in anything that will explode and injure people at the steam plant.
- Old fertilizer or pesticides
False. Save them for the regular chemical collects in Hampton or neighboring localities. See the details here.
2. Which of these items can NOT go in your recycling bin:
- Metal cans (like for soup or beans)
- Soft drink cans or plastic bottles
- No. 5 plastics
- Mixed paper, including envelops, office paper, newspaper
- Egg cartons
ANSWER: No. 5 plastics. Stick to No. 1 and No. 2 — but even every No. 1 and No. 2 — only those that are drink bottles or cleaning product bottles. Every time you put something in that isn’t recyclable, you are contaminating your load and potentially anything with it. That adds to the landfill, not to recycling. Egg cartons are a trick question: If they are cardboard, put them in. If they are Styrofoam or plastic, trash them (even if they are No. 1 or No. 2).
3. Grass clippings and leaves should be placed in:
- Your toter
- Black plastic bags
- Clear plastic bags
- Recyclable big brown paper bags
- Blown into the street
ANSWER: C. Just clear bags. We can’t be sure what’s in the bags if we can’t see inside, and taking something to the yard waste site that isn’t yard waste would contaminate the site.
4. Hampton is one of a few localities that still collects bulk waste weekly.
Bulk waste we DON'T pick up includes:
- Refrigerators and other appliances
ANSWER: B. Computers. You should go to the hazardous and computer collections or to Goodwill. Also, remove the doors from large appliances so no one can get trapped inside. Tires are limited to 10 per year per household.
5. Why does Hampton recycle?
- Recycling and reusing is the right thing to do for the environment.
- It’s a state mandate.
- It extends the life of the landfill, because we don’t want to have to build another one.
- It makes money.
ANSWER: All of the above except D. As recently as 2019, recycling didn’t cost the city (except to pick it up). But the market for recycled materials, particularly plastic and glass, isn’t strong. In September of 2021 that changed, costing the city (i.e., the residents who have household pickup) $95 per ton. Less than two years later, the cost went up to $119 per ton. It’s likely to keep going up.
6. The city will collect toters from the backyards of people who are elderly or disabled.
Answer: True, you can use this link here or call 757-727-8311 to request the service.
7. Everything I can stuff in my can is OK, even if the lid doesn’t close
ANSWER: False. When the lid doesn’t close, strong winds can blow it open and blow the contents around your yard and neighborhood for you to pick up. Also, when the lid doesn’t close, the contents will fall out BEFORE the can is over top of the trash truck bin, also spreading contents far and wide. (That’s also why everything should be bagged.) Don’t bag recyclables, but make sure the lid closes.
8. I can put building materials at the curb if:
- If I have a few things that are within the bulk trash size limit.
- They are put there by a contractor
- If did a major remodel job myself, not a contractor
ANSWER: A. You can put a few household items in the bulk trash, like a door, a sink, a few boards, carpet. (Remember, the size limit is 10 cubic yards — about a pickup truck size). Make sure when you hire a contractor that they will be responsible for all debris. If you DIY a large remodel, you can take up to 5 pickup loads of building materials to the city landfill for free. (Have your driver's license with you because people from other localities are charged a fee. And bring your building permit.) If you don’t have a truck, you can arrange for the city to pick it up, for a $250 fee.
9. Which of these should you NOT do:
- Place your toter with the opening to the street.
- Keep the trash and recycling toters 3 feet apart and 10 feet from your car.
- Place them in front of your neighbor's yard because your curb is full.
- Keep them away from low power lines and tree branches.
ANSWER: C. Your stuff goes in front of your property. If the city has said one area is bad because of trees or lines, don’t put it there.
10. When should you put your toters and bulk waste at the curb?
- All the time. It's really easier than moving them back and forth.
- No sooner than 3 p.m. the day before.
- When the new appliance arrives, put out the old one.
- On the weekend, when I do yardwork.
ANSWER: B. Things can go wrong when you put trash out too soon or leave cans out on the street. Toters can blow over and spill contents. Piles of branches and bags of leaves can go floating down the street in a storm or can block storm drains and cause flooding.
11. How should yard debris be arranged?
- Bags of leaves on top of tree limbs.
- Underneath something heavy, like lumber or a mattress.
- In piles of like items, no more total than 10 cubic yards (about a pickup truck size) per week, with branches under 8 feet long and 6 inches in diameter.
ANSWER: C. Although the same truck may pick up bulk items and yard debris, they are placed in separate areas of the truck and taken to different places. Yard debris is chopped up into mulch at a regional facility and reused, while bulk goes to the landfill.
12. What happens if I do something wrong?
- Nothing, Hampton is known for letting residents slide.
- Written warning.
- $50 fine.
- $75 fine.
- The city will pick it up and bill you $250.
- We will stop picking up your trash.
ANSWER: It used to be A. But beginning July 1, 2023, it could be any of the others. We're getting more serious, in the belief that those who break the rules and cause increased costs should bear those costs, rather than spreading them to their rule-abiding neighbors. The first violation of the year is a written warning; the second is a $50 fine; the third and subsequent in a year are $75. The $250 pickup fee applies to people who put out too much bulk and leave it there after being warned. The final, stopping your trash collection, will only apply to people who do dangerous things more than once.
13. If I have too much trash or recycling consistently, I should:
- Buy a lot of black plastic bags.
- Call 311 and request another trash toter.
- Call 311 and request another recycling bin.
ANSWER: B and/or C. Your driver can't tell what’s in a black bag — it could be something hazardous or flammable. An extra trash bin will cost you $70 one time, but there are no extra pickup fees. We'll give you the extra recycling bin for free, as long as you use it consistently. Because recycling is the right thing to do.