The River Keeper

Deck the Halls, Not the Creeks!


We have all seen the plastic shopping bags hanging from tree branches as if they were ornaments hanging from a Christmas tree. Holiday shopping, gift-giving and family celebrations can generate litter and unnecessary waste. Wind and runoff quickly move trash through our community and into our storm drain systems and creeks.

Here are some simple things we can do to prevent holiday pollution:
  • Bag your trash, tie it off and close your dumpster lid.
  • Pay extra attention to your trashcans during the holidays. Don't allow trash to spill out and litter your neighborhood and your local environment.
  • Pick up any stray garbage lying around.
  • Reduce the number of bags thrown out by bringing reusable cloth bags for holiday gift shopping. Tell store clerks you don't need a bag for a small or over-sized purchase. Some stores may give discounts for bringing in your own bags!
  • Wrap gifts in recycled paper or funny pages and reuse gift bags from year to year.
  • Get creative and try Furoshiki wrapping with tons of different styles of wrapping!
  • Recycle leftover wrapping paper and gift boxes at your local drop-off site
By recycling litter and disposing of trash properly, you can help keep our waterways and community clean.

Don't forget, let's Deck the Halls, Not the Creeks!

Tinker Creek Trash

Tips for Parties and Events

Reduce waste during the Holidays!

  • Set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware. Also save and reuse party hats, decorations, and favors.
  • Be sure your guest know where to properly dispose of and recycle their waste at your party.
  • After holiday festivities, put leftovers in recyclable containers, and share them with family, friends, or others. Donate untouched leftovers from parties to a local food bank or homeless shelter. 
  • After meal, fill your dishwasher up completely before running it. You will run fewer cycles, which saves energy. 


Christmas Tree

O Tannenbaum

 Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. Don't dump your trees outside thinking they will go away. Although 'natural' Christmas trees are slow to decompose and are often treated with pesticides or preservatives.  After the holidays, look for ways to recycle, mulch or reuse your tree instead of sending it to a landfill. The City of Roanoke will collect Christmas trees during the week of Jan. 2, 2017. Residents are asked to hold trees until that time. 

Play Roanoke


Call for new Roanoke Tree Steward Volunteers

Training starts next month!

The Roanoke Tree Stewards are Roanoke Parks and Recreation volunteers who care for young trees on city-owned property under supervision. They also plant trees and do community outreach. The Roanoke Tree Stewards are looking for new volunteers and the required training starts January 23. Register by January 17. Learn form experts and gain hands-on experience in the field on how to prune, plant and identify trees. The Roanoke Tree Steward program is a lot of fun; you meet like-minded people, learn new things, and help city-owned trees.

To sign up for the program, go to PlayRoanoke - Roanoke Parks and Recreation and click on the big orange button in the top right corner (Register for Activities). Then search for course 7027 (called Tree Steward Training) and register. The training is free of course.


If you have questions, contact Helen Smythers at 540-853-5225 or helen.smythers@roanokeva.gov.

City of Roanoke
Clean and Green
Be part of the solution, not the pollution. Together, we can leave a Clean Water Legacy!
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