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Trash and Recycling

Posted on: January 13, 2020

Town of Nags Head Working with Recycling Hauler on Contract Issues

Nags Head Recycling Cart 2020

The Town of Nags Head is in discussions with its residential recycling hauler after being notified by the company that they are not fully abiding by the contract they have with the Town.

In a January 7, 2020 meeting, Bay Disposal of Norfolk, Virginia said that Nags Head’s recyclables are being transported to a waste-to-energy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia. There, the waste is used as a local fuel to generate renewable electricity for a utility. In addition, this facility also provides steam to help meet the needs of the U.S. Navy’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Town’s contract with Bay Disposal, LLC., in Norfolk, VA, effective from May 1, 2019 until December 1, 2022, expressly stipulates that no more than 10% by weight of all collected recyclable materials is to be taken to the landfill and/or incinerated without the Town’s permission.

As seen in the news over the last few years, the market for recyclables has been negatively impacted by China’s decision to stop taking America’s recyclables. Local governments throughout the United States are revisiting, and sometimes suspending, their recycling programs due to exorbitant cost increases.

“While we understand that the market for recyclables has been negatively impacted by China, Bay Disposal, unfortunately, is not disposing of our recyclables according to our contract with them,” said Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn. “They have made a good faith effort to notify us of this change and we are working together on a solution that our Board of Commissioners can consider. The challenge for us is that there are limited options for the entire Outer Banks when it comes to recycling haulers. When we originally rolled out the curbside residential recycling program in 2016, we were being paid for the material. Then, we started paying $10/ton and today we pay $70/ton because it is so difficult to find an organization that will purchase the material. At what price point does it become too expensive to continue this service?”

For more information, contact Town Manager Cliff Ogburn at or 252-441-5508.

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