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Environmental update: New year’s waste reduction resolutions

By From page A4 | January 06, 2013

If you are still trying to think of a good new year’s resolution, how about a resolution to reduce your waste size — the pounds of waste you generate every day? Here are some simple suggestions:

* Compost your food scraps. Food scraps can make up 25 percent of your trash. Composting your food scraps can be surprisingly simple, pest-free and takes only five minutes of your time each week.

Join us for a free composting class at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Sequoia Room at the Hallmark Inn, 110 F St. 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 of single-family homes can receive a backyard compost bin for $10. Class attendees who live in Davis can enter to win a free home composter backyard compost bin.

To register for the class, call the Davis Public Works Department at 530-757-5686 or email [email protected].

* Compost your Christmas tree. When you’re finished enjoying your cut Christmas tree, you can keep it “green” and have it composted. Remove the lights, ornaments, tinsel and tree stand. Cut trees over 5 feet tall in half and put on the street in front of your property with your yard material for composting. Trees will be collected on your scheduled yard material collection day.

Please be courteous and do not place trees or yard materials around the corner or across the street from your house. Remember that just like other yard materials placed for pickup, trees placed in the street for collection cannot block bike lanes. This may mean that your tree cannot be 5 feet wide if it obstructs the bike lane.

Flocked trees are not accepted for composting. If you have a flocked tree, you can cut off the flocked branches, chop them into pieces and place them in your garbage cart (the lid must be able to close). The un-flocked trunk of the tree can be put in the street for composting.

* Pick up a copy of the 2013 Yolo County recycling calendar. This year, these calendars have been designed as Recyclopedias. You can find recycling options for fire extinguishers, light bulbs, tires and more! Free copies of the calendar are available while supplies last at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.; Davis Waste Removal, 2727 Second St.; and the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St.

* Stay up-to-date with local waste reduction and recycling opportunities. Join DavisRecycling.org on Facebook and Twitter. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DavisRecycling.org and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DavisRecycling. You can also get updates via SMS by texting “follow DavisRecycling to 40404” (standard message rates may apply).

* Dispose of your hazardous waste responsibly. Do you have propane canisters, fluorescent bulbs, used syringes, unwanted pharmaceuticals (non-controlled) or paint? All these items and more can be brought to the Yolo County Central Landfill household hazardous waste drop-off days for free and safe disposal every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* Bring your own bags when you shop. Many 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 small note on the dashboard to remind you to bring them in the store with you;
* 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.

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

Jennifer Gilbert

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