Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Virginia Beach, VA – Make plans to wrap up the holidays sustainably by participating in two free recycling events at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: a Christmas tree collection in December and an E-cycling event in January.

Once it’s time to retire the Christmas tree…

The Virginia Aquarium is collecting and recycling live-cut Christmas trees in support of marine-focused conservation in partnership with Marine Stewards America (MSA). From December 26 to January 6, bring your Christmas tree to the Aquarium’s East Parking Lot and drop it off in the designated area for recycling.

MSA will use the trees to restore sand dunes along our coastline, which supports our local marine ecosystem by controlling erosion, providing nutrients for beach plants, creating habitats for beach animals, and keeping waste out of the landfill. Acceptable trees for drop off must be bare and live-cut trees.

Upgrading your electronics this holiday?

Dispose of old electronics responsibly at the Virginia Aquarium’s E-Cycling event on January 20, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., presented by PRA Group. Rain or shine, participants can plan on recycling old, broken, or expired child safety seats, used vehicle batteries, personal electronic items and more. The event will be a drive-through in the Aquarium’s East Parking Lot with participating vendors including AAA Tidewater Virginia, Goodwill Industries, and TFC Recycling.

E-Cycling events like this one provide a sustainable and responsible way to dispose of electronic items. The hard plastic in many of these items will never decompose in a landfill. In items such as car batteries, the acid or chemicals in the products can end up in the ground or water run-offs and are corrosive and harmful to the environment. Many old electronic devices contain toxic substances that include lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, polyvinyl chloride, and chromium. When e-waste is tossed into landfills, these chemicals seep into the soil, polluting the ground water as well as the air.

Electronics are made of components that contain valuable raw materials and can be repurposed for new devices when they are recycled. As a result, energy is saved, pollution is reduced, and there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. Recycling old devices saves energy. It also means that fewer raw materials need to be drawn from nature to create new devices. Additionally, reusing electronics can help members of the community who would not otherwise have access.

Items that will not be accepted during the January event include prescription medicine, hazardous waste, televisions larger than 50 inches, CRT tube TV’s and commercial copy machines. If you have these items in your home, check your local landfill site for drop off. For a full list of accepted items, visit VirginiaAquarium.com.

The events are free to the public, but donations are appreciated and will go to the Aquarium Foundation to support efforts to promote sustainable practices.

Participants can register for E-Cycling and Christmas tree collection on VirginiaAquarium.com.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s mission is to connect people to the marine environment, inspiring a more sustainable future. The Aquarium aspires to be a driver in conservation, education, tourism, and sustainability, leading the charge to save wildlife and their ecosystems. Owned by the City of Virginia Beach, the Aquarium operates as a city department in partnership with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation. The Aquarium is proud to be an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquarium, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports the work of the Virginia Aquarium. The Foundation procures and maintains the Aquarium's exhibits, including the animals and habitats. It is also responsible for annual and capital fundraising, administration and funding for the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program, conservation and scientific research efforts, and the Aquarium's mission-related education programs. You can be a part of our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to support our programming.

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