YOLO COUNTY NEWS

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Environmental update: Here’s how to reduce holiday waste

By From page A4 | December 08, 2013

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans generate an extra 1 million tons of waste each week. Here are a few ways to make Davis an exception to that rule by reducing, reusing and recycling.

* Corrugated cardboard boxes: Reuse as storage containers or recycle.

* Wrapping paper, gift boxes, cardboard boxes and cards: Save wrapping paper and boxes to reuse next year. Reuse cards as gift tags or gift bookmarks. If you can’t reuse them, these items can all be recycled with paper. Flatten and stack large cardboard boxes and place next to your recycling and trash carts.

* Electronics: Donate your unwanted electronics to a local charity or thrift store or recycle them for free at the Yolo County Central Landfill, SPCA Thrift Store or the Goodwill Donation Xpress. Choose rechargeable batteries for your new electronics.

* Ribbons and bows are not recyclable but should be saved and reused.

* Beverage containers: With company visiting, holiday parties, etc., we typically have more beverage containers than usual. You may recycle your beverage container two ways — redeem CRV items at Davis Waste Removal, 2727 Second St.; Nexcycle, 1900 Anderson Road or 2121 Cowell Blvd.; and V. Lopez Recycling, 400 Mace Blvd.; or place in your home recycling cart.

* Buy products made from recycled materials and products that have minimal packaging.

* Instead of using wrapping paper, place gifts in reusable gift boxes and bags and then save the bags, boxes, ribbons and bows.

* Try giving a gift of experience, like concert tickets, restaurant gift cards or a spa treatment instead of an item that may not be needed or wanted.

* Avoid buying greeting cards that require a battery (singing cards, cards that light up, etc.). Per state law, batteries cannot be placed in the trash. As these cards contain batteries and electrical components, they have to be recycled separately. In Davis, residents may bring batteries to CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid, Nugget Market, the Senior Center, Davis Food Co-op, Davis Ace Hardware, Hibbert Lumber or the Stephens Branch Library. The electrical components may be recycled with other electronics (see above), and the paper portion of the card may be recycled with paper.

* Re-gift unwanted items. Donate items to local thrift stores and nonprofit groups. Visit Recyclopedia at DavisRecycling.org to find local reuse options.

* Compost your holiday tree. Remove the lights, ornaments, tinsel and tree stand. Cut trees over 5 feet tall in half and put trees on the street with yard material for composting. Trees should not be larger than 5 feet in any direction. Davis Waste Removal will collect trees on scheduled yard material collection day. Flocked trees are not accepted.

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The 2013 Yolo County recycling calendars are on their way. Free copies of the calendar soon will be available at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.; Davis Waste Removal, 2727 Second St.; and the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St.

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Have you seen strangers rummaging through your recycling cart? They are usually looking for CRV beverage containers like soda cans and water bottles. Scavenging recyclables is a violation of Davis Municipal Code Section 32.01.060. Violators may be prosecuted and are subject to a fine.

Scavengers are not only stealing from Davis Waste Removal, they’re stealing from the residents and business owners of Davis. Recycling service is provided at no extra cost to Davis ratepayers because the revenue from the recyclables subsidizes the cost for the collection. When scavengers steal the recycling, however, they remove that revenue and cut the funding to the recycling program.

If you see someone removing recyclables from a cart or bin, get the license plate number of the vehicle and a detailed description of the individual. Take a picture, if you can and it is safe to do so (send the picture to [email protected]), and call the non-emergency police number, 530-747-5400, to report the crime.

Help us prevent recycling theft by bringing recycling carts out to the curb the morning of your scheduled pickup instead of the night before. Better yet, bring containers to a CRV location for redemption.

For more information, visit DavisRecycling.org.
— Jennifer Gilbert is the city of Davis’ conservation coordinator; her column appears monthly. Reach her at [email protected]

Jennifer Gilbert

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