YOLO COUNTY NEWS

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Environmental update: Don’t toss your waste, compost it!

By From page A3 | October 05, 2012

Autumn is here — and with the falling leaves comes the annual fall composting classes. The city of Davis Recycling Program is offering free composting classes on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Veterans’ Memorial Center Game Room, 203 E. 14th St., and Friday, Oct. 19, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Vets’ Center Club Room.

In addition to backyard composting and worm composting, these classes will place a particular emphasis on simple, pest-free methods of composting food scraps. After attending a class, Davis residents can sign up to receive a starter set of composting worms for $5 and residents in single-family homes can receive a backyard compost bin for $10.

Attendees who live in Davis can enter to win a free worm composting starter kit — including a worm bin, composting worms and bedding — all set up and ready to compost your food scraps.

RSVP at 530-757-5686 or [email protected].

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October marks the two-year anniversary of the Yolo County Central Landfill accepting household hazardous waste every Friday and Saturday. Have you taken advantage of this wonderful opportunity yet?

If you have automotive fluids, paints, pesticides, used syringes or empty propane canisters, you can dispose of these safely for free every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during a household hazardous waste drop-off day at the landfill at County Roads 28H and 104 northeast of Davis.

Flushing unwanted medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pollute the environment. Please dispose of your unwanted medications responsibly. Some pharmacies and doctor offices will take back your old medications. The Yolo County Central Landfill also accepts over-the-counter and prescription medications for free at the waste drop-off days. Controlled substances, such as codeine, morphine or vicodin, are not accepted at the landfill; by law, only law enforcement officers can accept these substances.

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Are you looking for ways to reduce your waste size? Here’s an easy way to start — bring your own bag with you when you shop. Most of us have a stockpile of reusable bags at home. The trick is to get into the habit of bringing them inside the store with us. Here are a few hints that may help you start a new enviro-healthy habit:

* Include a bag in your shopping list as item No. 1;
* Clip a bag to your shopping list;
* Put your coupons in your bag and keep it by the door;
* Keep reusable bags in the trunk of your car and put a note on the dashboard to remind you to bring them;
* Keep a few compact reusable bags in your purse, jacket pocket or backpack;
* Decorate your own bag — make it fun to take along;
* Ask the kids to remind you to bring your bags as part of earning their allowance;
* Attach your bags to your dog leash or bicycle;
* Put your bags back in your car or bike basket after emptying them;
* Leave your bags in the driver’s-side pocket of the car; and
* Hang bags on the front door knob.

It may take some time to get used to bringing your own bags, but after a while, it will become second nature. Remember to wash your reusable bags as well — especially if they’ve held meats or fresh produce. Just like you wouldn’t reuse a plate without washing it, you need to wash your reusable bags, too. I just toss our reusable bags into the washing machine and hang them up to dry.

When it comes to reusable bags, get into the habit and grab it!

For more information, visit DavisRecycling.org or email me at [email protected].

— Jennifer Gilbert is the city of Davis’ conservation coordinator. Her column is published monthly.

Jennifer Gilbert

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