Initiatives

Green Events

The Newport News Recycling Office was awarded the30 Grants in Thirty Days grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful for 2016! The $750 grant will support our Event Recycling Initiative to purchase additional recycling containers that will be available on loan to local civic and business groups for their special events and festivals. Contact our Call Center at 311 or 933-2311 to learn how you can obtain a recycling container for your special event.

Newport News One City Marathon Goes Virginia Green!

Since its inception, the Newport News One City Marathon has received Virginia Green event certification. Virginia Green is a partnership among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. Over 2,600 individuals participated in the Inaugural Newport News One City Marathon races in 2015, and over 3,000 participants in 2016. Virginia Green events are those which have been thoughtfully planned in order to minimize environmental impacts and help increase environmental awareness. The One City Marathon achieved green event certification through the following day-of initiatives.

  • Eco Stations consisting of trash, recycling and composting containers were placed at the One City, One Celebration event. Bay Disposal & Recycling, an event partner, provided trash and recycling toters to be placed throughout the event.
  • Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE) provided composting services for the event including the delivery of 12 carts and liners, bin monitoring, collection, and transportation services.
  • We partnered with Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program to display and collect discarded athletic shoes at the 2-day Expo.
  • Mass transit was used to transport runners to the Marathon starting line, reducing vehicular traffic and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Christopher Newport University art students recreated Newport News landmarks that existed along the marathon path using primarily recycled materials in order to give the otherwise waste a new life.

School Green Space Project

Green space is any area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment. Schoolyards are one of the most common classifications of green space.

Crittenden Middle School served as the pilot project aimed at turning an underutilized courtyard area into a more useable, student-friendly, outdoor classroom. The long-term goal of this project is to enhance existing outdoor classrooms and develop new outdoor classrooms at Newport News Public Schools. Students will be more involved in protecting and maintaining the natural environment to become better environmental stewards.

Electric Charging Stations

In June 2014, six electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the parking garages at City Center by the Newport News Economic Development Authority. There are two stations in each of the three garages. The stations are located conveniently and prominently signed on the first floor of each garage. City Center has made these stations free and open to the public. The stations have led to quantifiable fuel and greenhouse gas reduction. Trends in the electric vehicle market signify the existence and use of charging stations will continue to increase.

From Trash to Gas to Energy!

We have installed a system to capture methane gas from the Denbigh Landfill to provide an alternative heat source for nearby city facilities. As waste decomposes in a landfill, methane gas is released into the atmosphere. Methane is classified as a greenhouse gas and poses a threat to the environment. The Denbigh Landfill is in close proximity to Mary Passage Middle School which enables the landfill gas product to be used as fuel for the school's boiler system. This decreases the school’s fossil fuel consumption to reduce environmental impact as well as saves the school money on their electric bills.

Community Garden

Do you have a green thumb but no place to plant a garden? Residents of Newport News can participate in the Community Garden project and put their gardening abilities to the test! The Garden is an ongoing project that provides citizens the opportunity to apply for a plot of land to grow their own produce. Community Gardens foster a sense of sustainable living and support our “Think Locally, Act Globally” motto. The Community Garden is located in the large, open field at 75 Yorktown Road in the Lee Hall area of the City. Yorktown Road may be accessed by either Warwick Boulevard or Jefferson Avenue.

To apply for a garden plot, read the Community Garden Rules and complete the Community Garden Application. Visit our Community Garden page for more details!

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is leftover household products that contain chemicals which may be hazardous to human health and the environment if improperly handled. Newport News residents can dispose safely of or recycle household hazardous waste at the Recovery Operations Center, 550 Atkinson Way, (approximately one mile north of Denbigh Boulevard on Warwick Boulevard). HHW and electronic waste including televisions are accepted only on Fridays and Saturdays each week from 8 AM to 4 PM except on city-observed holidays. All collected materials will be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Visit our HHW page for more information.

Newport News Partners with Earthcraft

The Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority was honored by Earthcraft Virginia at the 2016 Sustainable Leadership Awards, receiving the award for “Jefferson Brookville Apartments”. The Jefferson Brookville project utilized new construction and the adaptive reuse of the historic Washington School and Mesic Hardware Building to provide 50 units of affordable housing. The EarthCraft program was created in 1999 by a partnership between Southface Energy Institute and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and was brought to Virginia in 2006. The program serves as a blueprint for energy and resource-efficient single family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments, light commercial buildings and sustainable preservation projects.

Protecting Water Quality—One Tree at a Time

As a first line of defense for protecting water quality, Newport News Waterworks Department manages approximately 12,000 acres of watershed property. An important part of that involves the forest management of the 8,100 acres of watershed forest that surround Lee Hall and Harwood’s Mill reservoirs in Newport News and York County. Trees do an excellent job of filtering runoff, controlling erosion and absorbing excessive nutrients. By managing the forests around the reservoirs, the Waterworks Department creates conditions necessary for healthy trees. This protects water quality, leading to more efficient and cost-effective water treatment. Healthy, managed forests create age and species diversity to reduce the susceptibility of insect and disease infestations and reduce the susceptibility of catastrophic wildfire.