April 22, 2024

Earth Day 2024: City Employees who Make Virginia Beach Greener

These employee teams do important work behind the scenes that make a positive impact on the environment.

West Neck Recycling staff

Every day is a great day to be intentional about caring for the environment. Protecting our natural resources requires a team effort from residents, visitors and City staff.  

Some of the teams at the City work every day to positively affect the environment. These are a few of the workers who help make Virginia Beach greener. 

West Neck Recycling Center, Public Works  

The City of Virginia Beach has two collection centers, where residents can drop off recyclables, such as paper, bottles and cans. Public Works/Waste Management attendants at West Neck Recycling Center (pictured above) provide customer service, while collecting recyclables from around 300 cars per day. They also educate residents about what can and can’t be recycled, which helps make future drop-offs as efficient as possible. Each month this center collects 80,000 pounds of recyclables. 

Take a look at what can and can’t be recycled in Virginia Beach. Recyclables are also collected at the Landfill 

Urban Forest Team

Urban Forest Team, Parks & Recreation 

A healthy, thriving tree canopy offers countless environmental benefits, including flood reduction, water filtration and cooler temperatures during the summer. By planting, inventorying and monitoring trees, the City’s arborists are making Virginia Beach greener — literally.  

Pruning can help trees stay healthy, especially if branches are facing obstructions. For more information about pruning and scheduling tree maintenance, residents can call Urban Forestry at 757-385-4461. 

Energy Management Staff

Office of Energy Management, Public Works 

This team monitors energy usage looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. In addition to reviewing utility bills, their efforts include training employees about energy conservation, converting lights to LEDs, and overseeing the City’s Electric Vehicle Community Charging Plan. Two basic tips for conserving energy are turning off all lights and appliances when not in use and not idling in a parked vehicle. After continually running the numbers, these employees like to emphasize that every individual effort to lower energy usage makes a collective difference. 

Environmental Stewardship Operations Team

Environmental Stewardship and Operations Team, Parks & Recreation 

A small team in Parks & Recreation/Landscape Services is responsible for two beautification programs. The Stewardship Recycle Program coordinates the collection and recycling of fishing line and cigarette butts. Last year volunteers collected and recycled 12.8 pounds of monofilament and 21 pounds of cigarette butts near waterways and trails.  

They also coordinate the Adopt-a-Program, which last year resulted in more than 1,100 volunteers removing nearly 25,000 pounds of litter across Virginia Beach. Residents can sign up to adopt a highway, park, street, trail or waterway and organize a cleanup.  

Environmental Planning staff

Environmental Planning Team, Planning

This team of City planners has an important role to protect sensitive areas beside waterways, tidal shores and wetlands. The City’s wetlands are a habitat for fish and wildlife and offer numerous benefits to the community, including erosion control, flood protection and pollutant filtration. Working with the Wetlands Board and Chesapeake Bay Area Preservation Board, these City planners review requests near these sensitive areas to ensure development is done as responsibly as possible to protect and restore the City’s natural environment. 

Their efforts not only protect the environment but also help protect properties from flooding, which has resulted in a discount on flood insurance for VB residents. 

Horticulture Team

Horticulture Team, Parks & Recreation 

Strategic choices about what is planted throughout the City, favoring plants that are native to the area or are known to grow well here, are made by this team. No chemical pesticides are used in City gardens in order to protect pollinators, which are important for the health and reproduction of all plants. These employees also plant and care for the pollinator gardens at Red Wing Park and Mount Trashmore (coming soon!).  

Find YOUR best job yet. Check out current employment opportunities with the City of Virginia Beach at virginiabeach.gov/careers.

Your Best Job Yet Banner

Contact Information

Keep Reading

See All Posts