SAN DIEGO COUNTY – As the spring cleaning season begins, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) and the County of San Diego remind residents of the free WasteFreeSD.org database and proper recycling practices.
ILACSD encourages residents to practice reuse, reduce, donate, and repair to limit the number of items that end up in the landfill. Residents can use ILACSD’s free online database, https://wastefreesd.org/contact-us/, which provides information on thousands of centers throughout the region.
The free database tells how to properly dispose of or recycle unwanted items and it lists donation and repair centers. For questions and help locating centers unincorporated residents may call 1-877-713-2784 and incorporated residents may call 1-800-237-2583, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"By using the database to locate centers for proper disposal and recycling of unwanted items, individuals will be contributing to fewer materials reaching the landfill while making a significant, positive impact on the environment," said Ann Marie Sack, Director of Community Engagement. “WasteFreeSD.org is also home to our blog which contains resources to help inspire residents to reuse or repair items.”
Although many common household items can be recycled, placing the correct items in the blue bin is important. Proper recycling practices ensure items remain valuable, make it through the recycling process and reduce the hazard to workers and machinery at recycling facilities.
There are four main groups of materials that San Diego County residents can place in their blue recycling bins:
Paper, cardboard, and cartons: This includes newspapers and magazines, flattened cardboard, containers made of paper, and milk, juice and soup cartons. Items like tissues and napkins are not recyclable but can be placed in your green organic waste bin.
Plastic bottles, cups, tubs and containers: This includes foam blocks and clamshell containers. Plastic caps must be left on plastic bottles to make it through the recycling process. (Plastic bags, bubble wrap and plastic mailers are recyclable but should never be placed in your blue bins. These materials can be returned to participating retailers or reused).
Glass bottles and jars: Any color glass jar or bottle. Window glass, ceramics, or drinking glasses do not belong in the blue bin. Consider donating usable drinking glasses.
Metal, aluminum, foil, and steel: This includes bottles, cans, trays and aerosols. Paint cans do not belong in the blue bin unless the paint is dry and the container is empty.
“When San Diego county residents Recycle Right, everyone wins,” said Steve Weihe, Recycling Specialist for the County of San Diego. “MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) receives cleaner, more valuable material which results in lower operating costs due to less contamination.
“Our paper, cardboard and cartons, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers, metal and aluminum cans and foil then become new products that manufacturers want and need. Keeping items like plastic bags, clothing, hoses, liquids and electronic waste out of the blue bin is essential,” said Weihe.
To recycle right residents should follow three simple steps:
• Empty - No or minimal food residue left
• Dry - No liquids remaining
• Loose - Recyclables must be placed in the bin loose, not bagged
What does not belong in the blue bins are film plastics like grocery bags and bread bags, tanglers like textiles and hoses, organic waste, and household hazardous waste such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs and electronics.
Residents can find recycling guides on the county’s website, https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/dpw/recycling/guides.html and learn about sustainable practices by registering for one of ILACSD’s workshops and webinars at https://cleansd.org/events.
Submitted by I Love A Clean San Diego.