Aim For Zero Waste
Avoid Contamination & Wishcycling
Make sure everything you put into the Blue Recyclables cart/bin is recyclable.
Non-recyclable materials in the Blue Recyclables carts and bins result in:
- damage to sorting machinery
- recyclables in the landfill
The most efficient sorting starts with you.
We thank you for all of your efforts.
Watch our Contamination Crew Videos!
Breaking it Down – Cardboard
The “Empty” Peanut Butter Jar
Spoiled Food…What To Do With The Container!
The Bakery Box
What to do with Air Pillows
SAY “NO” TO CONTAMINANTS! Garbage and Organics DO NOT belong in
the blue recyclables bin/cart.
KEEP AN EYE ON SIZE! Corrugated cardboard and paper boxes should be
flattened and large pieces cut to 2’ x 3’ or smaller. This creates more room in
the recycling bin/cart, prevents litter and keeps materials from getting stuck
in carts and blocking the hopper of the collection vehicles.
MAINTAIN A CLEAN STREAM! Make sure recyclable plastic, metal and glass
food containers are empty and clean before placing them in the blue
- For a list of what belongs in each container, click here.
- For more sorting info, click here.
- For Single Family Guidelines, click here.
- For Multi-Family Guidelines, click here.
HERE IS A LIST OF COMMON “WISHCYCLED” ITEMS THAT ARE NOT RECYCLABLE:
LOOSE PIECES OF SHRINK WRAP/PLASTIC FILM/BAGS = GARBAGE
PLEASE NOTE: BAG-IN-BAG PROGRAM
Bagged plastic bags & film can go in the Recyclables cart.
- Place multiple bags/film plastic into one bag & tie off
- No loose bags/film allowed
- Keep all other non-film plastic items loose
CEREAL BAGS/LINERS = GARBAGE
Try buying cereal in bulk to avoid excessive packaging.
ONLINE RETAILER SHIPPING BAGS = GARBAGE
Reuse when possible!
SNACK PACKAGING/WRAPPERS = GARBAGE
STYROFOAM® = GARBAGE
Contain multiple pieces in a single bag for collection. Avoid products with excessive and/or non-recyclable packaging.
BUBBLE WRAP = GARBAGE
Reuse whenever possible or choose environmentally friendly packaging options.
PET WASTE= GARBAGE
PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS/DIAPERS = GARBAGE
PLASTIC PLATES/CUPS/UTENSILS = GARBAGE
Provide reusable options. Keep reusable cutlery with you to use when needed.
CDS/DVDS/VHS TAPES = GARBAGE
If undamaged, try donating to a resale shop or charity before disposing.
DISHES, DRINKING GLASSES, MIRROR & WINDOW GLASS = GARBAGE
FOOD-SOILED PAPER PLATES, NAPKINS, TOWELS & CUPS = ORGANICS
Proper Sorting Makes a Difference!
Reduce, Reuse and Repair Before You Recycle!
Small changes in your purchasing habits and daily routine can make a big impact in reducing waste!
REPAIR INSTEAD OF PURCHASE
- Before you replace an item, see if it can be repaired.
- If you do purchase something new, find the highest quality/longest lasting and most durable option possible.
OPT FOR USED PRODUCTS
- Reuse what you already have.
- Purchase a “gently used” item from a consignment or resale/thrift shop.
- Browse resale/donation websites.
- Share/trade items with friends and neighbors.
- Shop with reusable bags and totes (remember to wash your reusable bags occasionally)
- Bring your travel mug to the coffee shop.
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you.
PURCHASE PRODUCTS WITH MINIMAL PACKAGING
- Choose items with sustainable, reusable and recyclable packaging.
- Avoid single-serve and single-use items.
Reduce Paper Waste by Stopping Unwanted Mail.
- Remove your address from direct mail registries at: www.directmail.com/mail_preference/.
- Discontinue unwanted catalogs at: www.CatalogChoice.org.
- Prevent automatic phonebook deliveries at: www.YellowPagesOptOut.com.
Remember to: REDUCE, REUSE, ROT & RECYCLE!
For a downloadable PDF of this information, click here.
Repurpose to Reduce Waste
Give new life to items destined for the garbage. Before you throw something away, consider using it for another purpose. Get creative!
HERE ARE A FEW FUN IDEAS.
A drawer from an unwanted or damaged dresser can double as storage under your bed.
Empty toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, and egg cartons make great seed starters.
Non-donatable t-shirts, socks, and linens can be used as cleaning rags.
Jars can be used for a variety of organization and storage solutions.
Chipped bowls, mugs, and teacups can be used as planters.
A stack of vintage suitcases can be used as an end table or nightstand and doubles as storage.
Glue wine corks together to use as coasters and trivets.
Browse social media and websites for more ideas and inspiration.
The Importance of Proper Sorting
California regulations and strict import policies have impacted recycling markets worldwide. Contamination levels in the recycling and organics streams result in higher costs to collect and process materials and a decrease in marketability of the end product. Proper sorting does make a difference! Using the correct carts and/or bins to sort your waste results in:
- compliance with California regulations.
- better quality and marketability of materials
- a reduction in the amount of material going to the landfill.
- a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Information on legislation related to solid waste in California is available on the CalRecycle website.