America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day is November 15th. This day is the perfect time to recognize how much recycling helps our country and our planet.

Recycling is a big job. In the U.S., recycling and reuse activities provide 757,000 jobs and produce $36 billion in wages each year. All these jobs and wages go to a good cause — according to the EPA, the U.S. is able to keep 34.7 percent of its trash out of the landfill through recycling and composting.

In honor of America Recycles Day, challenge yourself to find new ways to use less and recycle more. Need some inspiration? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Happy recycling!

Recycle Those Campaign Signs! Here’s How

During election season, campaign signs dot yards and roadsides across the country. But what happens to all these signs after the elections are over? What is the best way to dispose of them?

Campaign signs are a recycling challenge because they’re made from multiple materials, such as paper, plastic and metal. Disposing of them requires taking them apart and disposing of each portion based on its material.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Break down the sign by detaching the metal wire stand from the sign itself. The metal wire is made of steel. Steel wire isn’t recycled curbside but it can be recycled with other scrap metal.
  • If the sign is made of paper, the paper can be recycled curbside.
  • If the sign is sturdy, corrugated plastic, that means it’s made from plastic #5. Plastic #5 cannot be recycled and goes in the trash.
  • If the sign is a very thin, flexible plastic, that means it’s made from film plastic #2 or plastic #4. This can’t be recycled curbside, but it can be recycled with plastic bags.

Before tossing your campaign sign, consider saving it for future use. You could attach a new message to the board and use it to promote a special event. A local school or nonprofit organization may be able to use the sign, too. If you don’t want to save the entire sign, you may be able to reuse the wire stand for future signs. Learn more about campaign signs here.

Free Bulky Item Collection for Residents

Have some big items hanging around that you can’t donate and won’t fit in your garbage? Use our Bulky Item Collection!

Each Truckee resident can schedule up to two bulky item curbside collections for free each year. Each pickup includes up to one bulky item (such as a couch or mattress) and up to three cubic yards of recyclables, electronic waste, and universal waste (fluorescent tubes, common batteries, electronic devices). Simply call to request a pickup date and place your materials at your curb for free pickup! Please do not leave bulky items at your curb without first scheduling a pickup date.

Additional pickups are available for a fee. Individual items cannot exceed 200 lbs.

Call TTSD at (530) 583-7800 to schedule your bulky item collection!

Bulky items you can dispose of include:

  • Artificial Christmas Trees
  • Bikes
  • Carpet
  • Carpet Padding
  • Computers
  • Computer Monitors
  • Furniture
  • Large Appliances
  • Mattresses & Box Springs
  • Pallets
  • Plastic Furniture
  • Printers/Copiers/Scanners
  • Refrigerators
  • Stereo Equipment
  • TVs (CRT)
  • TVs (Flat Screen)
  • Tires
  • Untreated Wood

Please call TTSD at (530) 583-7800 if you have any questions.

Recycling Plastic Is Great, But Not as Great as Avoiding Plastic in the First Place

The issue of plastic pollution has turned into what some would call an environmental crisis. In the last couple of years, we’ve learned that the plastic in the world’s oceans will weigh more than the ocean’s fish by 2050, and microscopic plastic particles have quickly been working their way into our water supply. In fact, it’s estimated that over 90 percent of U.S. tap water contains microplastics, and we don’t yet know what the health effects of this are.

Many corporations have been responding to plastic pollution by making pledges to transition away from disposable plastics in favor of recyclable plastics. For instance, this past summer, Starbucks announced that it will phase out plastic straws by 2020, and will replace them with a recyclable sippy cup lid similar to other single-use coffee lids.

But is it enough to switch to recyclable plastic? Unfortunately, it isn’t. The world is struggling to recycle all of the plastic that we currently have. A lot of plastic that is considered “recyclable” still ends up in the landfill.

Now that China is no longer accepting the bulk of U.S. plastic waste, Americans are being forced to address the realities of so-called “recyclable” plastic at home. Fewer plastics are being collected for recycling nationwide. As it turns out, the new Starbucks lid may not be recyclable in most areas after all.

Ultimately, this doesn’t change how important it is to recycle plastic. In fact, we should recycle all the plastic we possibly can, at all times. We don’t want valuable materials ending up in the landfill, and we don’t want to create more plastic than we need.

But even though recycling is great, it isn’t enough on its own. It would be even better if we could learn to reduce the plastic we’re using in the first place. By avoiding unnecessary consumption and switching to reusable materials, we can take a lot of pressure off of landfills and recycling centers.

Try to avoid single-use plastics as much as possible, and use only plastics that can be recycled locally. The less plastic we use, the less we need to recycle — and the less we’ll pollute our environment.

Learn more about what plastics we recycle in Truckee.

Tips to Green Your Halloween

Halloween is a fun-filled holiday for kids and adults alike, but from candy wrappers galore to discarded pumpkins to throwaway costumes, it can also be a waste-filled holiday. In 2016 alone, Americans spent over $8 billion on Halloween items. That adds up to a scary amount of trash!

Just because Halloween colors are black and orange doesn’t mean the holiday can’t be green. Try these easy tips to help!

Costumes

Instead of buying a brand new costume each year (that may never be used again), use one of these tips for repurposing old clothes and costumes:

  • Shop for costumes at local thrift stores.
  • Recycle costumes from past years into new ones by mixing and matching pieces, adding different makeup or accessories, or passing them down from older children to younger children.
  • Make costumes out of clothing you already have. By adding makeup and accessories you can easily turn regular clothing to turn it into a costume. You’ll limit how much you need to buy, and avoid wearing the bulk of your costume only once.
  • Get inventive! Create a costume out of items you have lying around the house, such as cardboard boxes. You can check out Pinterest for DIY cardboard box costume ideas.
  • Share or exchange costumes with friends! A Halloween costume exchange can be a fun activity for friends or children of similar ages.
  • Don’t toss your costumes — save the ones you know you can reuse or repurpose into new costumes, or donate them to local thrift stores or theater programs. If a costume is no longer usable, dispose of it with other clothing and textiles.

Decorations

  • Opt for natural decorations, such as pumpkins, gourds, leaves and pinecones. These make great accents and table centerpieces that are also biodegradable.
  • If you’re decorating with pumpkins and gourds, remember that they can be composted! You can also toast and eat the seeds, or put dried seeds outside for birds and squirrels to eat.
  • Make your own Halloween decorations from newspaper and scrap paper, which can be recycled.
  • Choose decorations that can be saved and reused from year to year, instead of buying new ones each season.
  • Avoid plastic decorations such as fake cobwebs and plastic rings that are messy, easily lost, or quickly discarded. Plastic decorations like these are also not recyclable, so make sure they end up in the trash when they’re no longer wanted.

Candy

  • To collect candy, have your kids use pillowcases or reusable bags instead of store-bought plastic buckets. (The pillowcases will hold more candy, anyway.)
  • Be sure to toss all candy wrappers — they are not recyclable!

Happy Halloween!

Help Combat Hunger on World Food Day

World Food Day, celebrated on October 16, honors the day the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was founded. The FAO is an agency in the United Nations that works on fighting hunger internationally.

Across the globe, 815 million people suffer from chronic hunger. And even though chronic hunger is a world issue, it’s also a problem faced by every community.

This World Food Day, consider donating food to a local food bank. Maybe you have some boxed or canned food in your cupboards that you’re not sure you’ll eat, or maybe you’re willing to spend a little pocket change for a good cause. Either way, it only takes a small action from each of us to help feed the hungry families in our own backyards.

Find a local food bank here, or learn more about World Food Day and how you can get involved.

Don’t Dump Mattresses & Box Springs — Here’s How to Get Rid of Them

Never dump mattresses and box springs where they don’t belong. It’s illegal, it can harm the environment, and it’s expensive for public agencies to pick them up. Instead, drop them off at a landfill, or dispose of them through a mattress recycling program.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to recycle mattresses in California. California state law adds a small fee to the sale of mattresses and box springs that is used to fund their collection and recycling. California residents will receive a $3 reimbursement when they recycle mattresses and box springs at participating facilities.

Also, if you are buying a new mattress, check with your retailer regarding their pickup options. They may provide you with a free pickup of your old mattress at the time of delivery for no additional cost.

Here are the disposal options in Truckee:

Bulky Item Collection: Each Truckee resident can schedule up to two bulky item curbside collections for FREE each year. Each pickup includes up to one bulky item (couch, mattress, etc.) AND up to 3-cubic yards of recyclables, electronic waste, and universal waste. Additional pickups are available for a fee. Individual items cannot exceed 200 lbs.

Call TTSD at (530) 583-7800 to schedule your pickup.

During the winter months, mattresses can be brought to Eastern Regional Landfill and Transfer Station for a fee. The gate fee is $13.50 for a single twin size mattress and $18.00 for a full, queen, or king size mattress.

During the summer months, California residents can drop off mattresses and box springs for FREE at the Eastern Regional Landfill and Transfer Station. Typically this runs from May – October, but call them ahead of time at (530) 583-7800 to confirm. Four units per vehicle are permitted, and each mattress and each box spring is considered one unit.

Eastern Regional Landfill and Transfer Station
900 Cabin Creek Road (Off Hwy 89), Truckee, CA 96161 | (530) 583-7800
Map & Directions
Monday – Saturday, 8am – 4pm

Paint Care Truckee and Bye-Bye Mattress also have a free yearly drop-off event in September. Check their site for event details.

To find other disposal and recycling locations, visit Bye Bye Mattress’s website. Learn more about getting rid of mattresses and box springs here.

What’s Recyclable in Truckee?

In Truckee, we have two different ways to participate in curbside recycle collection: new recycling carts and blue bags. Recycling carts are being phased into Truckee neighborhoods over the next three years, starting with Glenshire in October. Blue bags will also continue to be collected at all households. Both these methods serve the purpose of keeping recyclables separate from regular trash to prevent contamination and increase recycling rates. Here are some tips:

1. What do I recycle?

Paper                                Cardboard     

Glass                                    Metal        

Plastics  (These are typically durable plastic containers: milk, soda, water, juice, cooking oil, salsa, laundry detergent, shampoo containers, etc. Check symbol on product to verify.)

             

 

 

2. Some often misplaced items that you should throw in the trash:

-Wax-lined containers, including almond milk cartons, coffee cups, and other drink cups.

       

-Food-soiled paper, including dirty napkins and pizza boxes.

-Plasticsincluding: deli and meat wrap, grocery bags, bread bags, yogurt containers, takeout meal items, foam containers. (Check symbol on product to verify. If no symbol, it should be landfilled.)

   

 

3. Print out a sign to hang in your home.

Make sure your household and houseguests are aware of how to properly sort recyclables!

 

4. No blue bags or plastic bags in your recycling carts!

Blue bags will continue to be serviced at all households, even those with recycling carts. However, blue bags are not accepted inside your recycling cart. Film plastics and plastic bags are not recyclable through our curbside collection, so recyclables should be placed directly into carts without bags.

 

5. Unsure of where to place your item?

Use the search bar tool on keeptruckeegreen.org to find out if your material is recyclable in Truckee.

 

Remember: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle as the last resort.

Recycling Carts Coming to Glenshire: A How-To

Over the next three years, recycling carts are being phased into Truckee neighborhoods. Residents must order recycling carts to receive them. Glenshire recycling carts will be delivered this week, the rest of Truckee not including Tahoe Donner will receive carts in the fall of 2019, and Tahoe Donner will receive carts in 2020.

For Glenshire residents, online orders submitted before August 21st will be delivered by September 28th, and cart deliveries will continue on a rolling basis for subsequent orders. Carts will begin service on Thursday, October 4th. This is a new service, so here’s what you need to know:

1. Carts should be wheeled curbside by 6 am on Thursdays.
The cart must be 3 feet away from other objects, with wheels facing away from the street and lid fully closed. After service, remove the cart from the street. Carts cannot be left in the town right-of-way.

2. Carts are serviced every-other-week, year-round.

The first pick-up day is October 4th. Recycling carts are serviced on the opposite weeks as yard waste carts. Reminder: yard waste cart service is only May 1- October 31. Set up email reminders here!

3. Additional services are available.

Residents can order additional recycling carts or wildlife-resistant carts for an additional rate. A push-pull service is also available if you are unable to roll your cart in and out on your service day. Contact TTSD at 530-583-7800 for details.

4. What do I recycle?

Plastics #1-2, paper, cardboard, glass, and metals. Food packaging should be rinsed. Blue bags/plastic bags and other film plastics should not be placed inside your cart. For extra recyclables, blue bags can still be used and should be placed next to your cart or trash can, or inside your bear box. For more details on what’s recyclable, view What’s Recyclable in Truckee. 

5. You can still order a cart!

Order your cart here.

 

Top 10 Most Littered Items

This year’s World Clean-Up Day will be held on September 15. Each year for the clean-up, volunteers from around the world pick up litter in their communities. In conjunction with the U.S. National Clean-Up Day and the International Coastal Clean-Up, millions of people from 150 countries unite through small local actions against illegal waste.

From streets to forests to beaches, litter is everywhere. It’s also expensive — Keep America Beautiful has estimated that litter costs local communities and businesses in the U.S. at least $11.5 billion each year in clean-up and prevention.

To make matters worse, litter often leaches pollutants into the environment, and it harms wildlife, as well. Litter is often carried by wind or rain into rivers and storm drains, where it pollutes our waterways. Recent research from the Netherlands indicates that over 550 marine species have been affected by plastic litter, either by becoming tangled in it or eating it.

Since this year’s clean-up is right around the corner, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly littered items. Here are the top 10 items picked up by Ocean Conservancy volunteers last year:

1. Cigarette Butts
2. Food Wrappers (Candy Wrappers, Energy Bar Wrappers)
3. Plastic Bottles
4. Plastic Bottle Caps
5. Plastic Grocery Bags
6. Other Plastic Bags
7. Straws
8. Plastic Takeout Containers
9. Plastic Lids
10. Foam Takeout Containers

To join this year’s World Clean-Up Day, find a clean-up group near Truckee.