YOLO COUNTY NEWS

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Environmental update: Tips offered for efficient recycling

By From page A4 | November 13, 2012

Did you know that recycling is one of the easiest ways you can help slow climate change and global warming? Recycling one ton of paper, bottles and cans can prevent the release of 3 tons of greenhouse gas.

Do you ever find yourself wondering if something is recyclable? Check out our recycling display case at City Hall this month — it’s chock full of recyclable items! If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our online Recyclopedia at DavisRecycling.org. More than 200 items are listed with local options for reuse and recycling.

In general, here are a few things to keep in mind when recycling:

* Cleanliness counts. Rinsing cans and bottles makes them easier to process.

* Pay attention to what goes in your recycling bin and be an accurate recycler. A cereal box is great to recycle, but a greasy pizza box with lots of cheese isn’t. Milk jugs are good, but milk cartons aren’t recyclable because of the plastic film coating on the paper carton.

* For those of you in single-family homes with split-recycling carts, yes, it does matter which side of the recycling cart you put your materials in. When the recycling truck empties the cart, the paper goes into one compartment of the truck, and the bottles and cans go into a separate compartment.

* In Davis, steel cans, aluminum cans, clean aluminum foil, aluminum pie plates, rigid plastics (including plastics #1-#7), metal and plastic caps and lids, milk jugs and glass food and beverage containers can all be recycled. For single-family homes, these items can be placed in the half of the recycling cart with a blue lid. For apartments and businesses, these can go into the recycling cart labeled “glass, plastic and cans.”

* Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, phone books, office paper, cereal boxes, shredded paper and small cardboard boxes can all be recycled with paper. Paper can be placed in the half of the recycling cart with a black lid (for single-family homes) and in the recycling cart labeled “paper” for apartments and businesses.

* These items cannot be placed in the recycling carts: plastic grocery bags, plastic film, Styrofoam, light bulbs, food-soiled paper, wax paper, milk cartons, juice boxes, ceramics and glass dishes.

If you still have a question about how to recycle or dispose of something, check your recycling guide, go online to DavisRecycling.org or call Davis Public Works at 530-757-5686.

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Autumn is here, and with it, tons of leaves are falling onto our streets and sidewalks. Leaf litter piled up in the gutters can impede drainage and lead to standing water. Please help us keep our streets clean and safe by following these guidelines when placing yard waste on the street:

* Try to park your car off the street on yard waste pickup and street sweeping days.

* Never park your car on top of, or within 3 feet of, yard waste piles.

* Place your yard waste at the curb as close to collection day as possible.

* Bike lanes should never be blocked. This may mean that your yard waste pile cannot be 5 feet wide if it obstructs the bike lane. Please be aware that yard material piles can cause cyclists to crash by slipping or getting branches stuck in their wheel spokes; due to their low profile and non-uniform size, cyclists may not see the piles until they come upon them, especially in the absence of street lighting.

* Place yard waste piles 18 inches from the curb to allow for free movement of storm water into the gutter. Do not block fire hydrants, driveways or storm drain inlets with yard waste piles. Never place piles directly in front of storm drains.

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The Yolo County Central Landfill accepts household hazardous waste every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring your household cleaners, automotive fluids, paints, pesticides, used syringes, empty propane canisters and more. Over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals can be brought to the hazardous waste days as well. By law, controlled substances such as morphine, codeine and vicodin can be handled only by law enforcement.

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Are you planning on deep-frying a turkey for the holidays? You can recycle all your waste cooking oil. Pouring cooking oil down your sink drain can cause your pipes to clog and creates trouble for the waste water treatment plant. Please bring your cooking oil to a hazardous waste day for free recycling.

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Effective Dec. 1, sanitary sewer rates will increase by approximately 2.4 percent and sanitation rates by approximately 3 percent.

It’s that time of year again! Reducing the amount of water you use from November to February can have a large effect on your water and sewer bill because sewer rates are calculated using your average winter water consumption. In the winter, water used for irrigation is at a minimum, so this methodology places an emphasis on estimating how much water is actually going down the sewer.

To conserve water and save money on your bill, be sure to re-set your irrigation timers for fall and winter. For more water conservation tips, visit Public-Works.CityofDavis.org/Water.

— Jennifer Gilbert is the city of Davis’ conservation coordinator; this column is published monthly. Reach her at [email protected]

Jennifer Gilbert

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