It’s the new year and time to get serious about changing habits and self-improvement. One thing to consider in the new year is how your household can reduce sending any garbage to the landfill. It’s the year to “Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Rethink.”
Residents of the Santa Clarita Valley are fortunate to have convenient curb-side recycling with color-coded bins for easy disposal.
The city also offers information and resources for those who want to up their recycling game at greensantaclarita.com.
“Many of our common household items are recyclable in our curbside carts or bins. This includes things like empty spaghetti sauce jars, toilet paper rolls, junk mail, empty cartons and jugs,” said Laura Jardine, administrative analyst for city of Santa Clarita Environmental Services.
“However, there are still some items that are too difficult to recycle that should go in the black garbage container like waxy-lined pet food bags, straws, pet waste, diapers and polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam.”
We live in the land of plenty and for most of us, we like our “plenty.” The constant drumbeat of “turn down your thermostat,” “stop watering your lawn” and “take public transportation instead of driving” no longer resonates.
However, perhaps we should think about it in a new way. Consider that by reducing our impact on the planet we share with our neighbors and future generations we are actively improving the world around us every day.
A simple act like switching from single use plastic water bottles to a reusable water bottle is an easy change towards making a significant difference.
We live in a disposable culture. In the last century the culture of “new is always better” has been warmly embraced. However, in the last few years we’ve seen that “new,” is not necessarily better.
We’ve all heard stories of new refrigerators that die in a few years and everyone is now familiar with “shrinkflation,” that affects nearly every product we buy.
An easy way to start “reusing” is to stop and think before just tossing out a broken appliance, or choosing to buy any “shiny new toy.”
Do you really need it? If you do, make sure your old, still working appliances find new homes. You can buy, or sell, nearly everything on Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade pages, as well as other local online seller-to-buyer platforms.
In addition, you can dispose of nearly anything if you give it away for free.
So before “tossing” think about donating or listing your unwanted items.
Thrift stores like Goodwill in Saugus and the Salvation Army in Canyon Country will gratefully accept donations and give receipts for tax deductions. Call thrift stores first to learn donation hours.
A simple first step is to reuse your plastic food storage bags. You can wash and reuse most single use plastic bags.
Reusable silicon food storage bags are now easily available on Amazon and elsewhere.
While curbside recycling is easy and convenient, not everything can go into your Burrtec blue recycling cart. No bread bags, bubble wrap, plastic bags, clothing, e-waste, plastic toys or hoses can be placed in the recycle cart.
Plastic in general is becoming harder to recycle because plastic is expensive to collect and sort. Plus, there are now thousands of different types of plastic and none of them can be melted down together.
However, most plastic wrap, plastic grocery bags, food storage bags, bread bags, thin plastic “sleeves” or dry cleaning plastic, plastic bags of all kinds and flimsy plastic packaging can be recycled at Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Albertsons, Food 4 Less Foods Co, Ralphs, Safeway, Sprouts and Vons.
Tires, Mattresses, E-Waste
The city of Santa Clarita has partnered with Los Angeles County Public Works to offer a waste tire recycling program. Tire recycling events are held typically held in Baldwin Park, Westchester and the Antelope Valley. For information on tire recycling, visit pw.lacounty.gov/epd/tirerecycling/collection.cfm.
Free e-waste disposal and secure paper shredding events are scheduled frequently throughout the year in the SCV.
“E-waste is sent to special E-waste recycling facilities that dismantle and separate the components and materials. Those materials then go to companies that use those material types for re-manufacturing,” said Jardine.
Residential customers in Santa Clarita can recycle mattresses and box springs at no cost by drop off at the Burrtec facility, 26000 Springbrook Rd., Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the third Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon.
You can also use the free Bulky Item Pick Up program for mattress recycling. Visit www.burrtec.com/city/service-location/santa-clarita-city-residential.
Household Hazardous Waste
There are convenient recycling options in Santa Clarita for HHW. Household batteries can be dropped off at the Newhall and Canyon Country community centers; Santa Clarita library branches in Newhall, Canyon Country and Valencia; and at City Hall.
Leftover paint can be recycled for free at Sherwin Williams and Dunn Edwards paint stores.
“There are also the HHW mobile collection events hosted in Santa Clarita throughout the year, where residents can take a multitude of items like household cleaners, automotive fluids, pesticides, fertilizers and more,” said Jardine.
The state of California requires that food waste now be recycled as well as other organic material like glass clippings and other yard waste.
“The recent launch of the food waste recycling program will have a huge impact on waste that is recycled and not sent to the landfill. By separating our food scraps, expired foods, fruit and vegetable peels and food soiled paper, we are removing a large portion of the waste that typically goes in the garbage container and putting it to better use by processing it into mulch and compost,” said Jardine.
For more information about recycling and shredding events visit www.greensantaclarita.com.
By Gilbert March