Sanitation

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Sanitation2020-04-28T15:39:42-04:00

Environmental Tips

11 WAYS TO CUT YOUR TRASH IN HALF

In 1989 California launched an ambitious campaign to cut its trash in half by the year 2000. Each city and county developed plans and initiated recycling programs to reach goals, and Californians like you have come through in a big way. Today, statewide we reuse and recycle an estimated 32 percent of our solid waste. In fact California recycles 17 million tons a year – more than twice as much as the next two states combined!

But to get to 50 percent, calrecycle.ca.gov and your local authority are asking you to take some, or all of these easy steps to help cut your trash in half.

For years you have been doing a great job recycling bottles, cans, and newspapers, including nearly 10 billion beverage containers last year alone! But have you tried grass cycling or composites? Or have you thought about buying products made from those old cans, bottles, and newspapers?

Best of all, these tips are not only good, they’re good for you! In the short run, recycling and reuse can save you money, and in the long run, cutting trash makes your landfill last longer, saving you tax dollars.

1. Recycle!

Your city or county has developed some great programs to make it easy for you to recycle. To find out more about your local programs, call the City of Needles at (760) 326-2115 x140.

2. Recycle Carbonated Beverage Containers

The increasing popularity of 20-oz. Plastic bottles is contributing to a noticeable drop in the plastic beverage container recycling rate. These containers are recyclable, so whether you are on the road for business, vacation, or a weekend outing, find a recycling bin to deposit your empty beverage container into. And remember that most roadside rest stops now have beverage container recycling bins. Thanks California, keep recycling!

For the nearest beverage container recycling center location, call 1-800-RECYCLE. To learn more about beverage container recycling, visit the Cal Recycle at www.calrecycle.ca.gov

3. Grasscycle

A great way to cut your trash and save you time is to grass cycle – mow without a bag and leave your grass clippings on the lawn to provide mulch and nutrients, save water, and save time.

Your existing mower probably came with a kit to make it a mulching mower. These machines cut and recut grass into tiny particles, which drop onto the soil. But remember – don’t mow wet grass. It will clump and die.

4. Compost in Your Backyard

If mowing without a bag isn’t your bag, try composting. Yard waste and some food scraps decompose into outstanding free topsoil, and composting can reduce your trash by up to 25 percent – perhaps more.

5. Xeriscaping

In arid climates, such as most of California, xeriscaping with plants that don’t need much water may reduce your costs. In addition, drought-tolerant plants tend to be slower growing and require less maintenance.

Mowing, watering, and fertilizing chores take less time and money, and yard waste is minimized. And the next time there’s a drought, you don’t have to worry!

6. Reduce Household Waste

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

There are a lot of little things you can do around the house to cut your trash in half. Find a home for unneeded items. Give them to charity or have a yard sale.

Buy in bulk and, like your Mom said, eat your leftovers. Use cloth bags at the grocery store instead of paper or plastic. At home, use reusable containers to store leftovers and other items.

Avoid overpacked products – the little toy in the box, inside the bigger box, encased in foam blocks, and sealed in another box. It costs you money to throw away this packaging (and more money to buy it in the first place!)

7. Join the Paperless Society

Use e-mail. Send electronic greetings for special events and you can save money and paper. If you do not need to make a paper copy, don’t. And get off junk mail lists. Call the Waste Board to find out how.

Use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper napkins and paper towels to save natural resources, reduce waste, and save money!

8. Good Recycling Starts at Home

Recycle materials are processed and used to make new products. One big problem is that paper, plastic, and other commodities are easily contaminated. Be careful to sort your materials appropriately, or the whole load may wind up in the landfill instead of the recycling manufacturer.

What can you do? Flatten your cardboard boxes for curb side pickup. Don’t put plastic bags inside plastic bags, and don’t leave paper receipts inside plastic bags. Make sure you take those sticky notes off white paper.

Remove the caps before you recycle milk jugs. And please – wash out recyclables so they don’t attract bugs, mold, and mice.

9. Do No Harm

It is illegal to put used oil and hazardous household products such as pesticides, paints, or gasoline into your family trash. Dumping them on the ground or into a storm drain is illegal and harms the environment. But you should not store used oil or unneeded hazardous products around your house or garage.

What can you do? Call 1-800-CLEAN-UP to find out where you can recycle or properly dispose of these unneeded items. Or visit the Web site at www.calrecycle.ca.gov to find your nearest used oil-recycling center.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events are held twice a year and are sponsored by San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, City of Needles and San Bernardino County Fire Protection District. The events are FREE To residents to properly dispose of paint products, household batteries, TVs, computer monitors, printers, microwave ovens and more!! To learn more call 1.800.OILY.CAT or (760)326-2115 X140.

10. Use Re-Refined Oil

The State requires re-refined oil in its vehicles, including California Highway Patrol cars. High-performance race cars use re-refined oil and win. You can, too!
Used oil can be re-refined into top-quality motor oil. Unfortunately, not very store carries re-refined oil. If your dealer does not stock re-refined, ask for it!

11. Buy Recycled

Earth’s resources are too precious to waste. For recycling to succeed we all need to check the labels and to try and buy products made with recycled content. Everything from clothes to carpeting, cans to comic books are made from cycled materials

You are doing your part when you close the recycling loop.

What’s Left in Your Trash Can?

Now, how have you done? On trash day is your can less than half full? If not, please call the Waste Board at 1-800-553-2962 to request more information on all the topics covered here. You can also check the calrecycle website

California’s Family Trash Can

California’s average family trash includes 38 percent paper and paperboard; 14 percent yard trimmings; and between 5 and 10 percent each for glass, metal, plastic, wood and food scraps.

Other Web sites to check out:

(This website page is provided for informational purposes only.)