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Reduce waste this holiday season

San Joaquin County residents urged to recycle gift wrap, cards, catalogs, and beverage containers

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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:39 am | Updated: 9:41 am, Fri Dec 21, 2012.

More residential waste is created during the holiday season than any other time of the year, so the County of San Joaquin and the Cities of Escalon, Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton, and Tracy are asking residents and businesses to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible.

Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than at any other time of the year, the California Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) reports. This increase in waste amounts to about 1 million extra tons per week nationwide. With this in mind, local governments are urging residents to reduce, reuse, and recycle during this holiday season.

"The amount of garbage sent to the landfill increases dramatically during the holiday season," said Elisa Moberly of San Joaquin County Department of Public Works. "We can change the holiday habit of tearing open presents and throwing away wrapping paper and cardboard. We can purchase gifts like event tickets that have little packaging, and we can wrap them in reusable gift bags. We can first reuse wrapping paper and boxes and then recycle wrapping paper, packaging and cardboard through curbside recycling and neighborhood drop off programs. Reducing and recycling holiday waste is better than creating more trash.”

more-more-more•Holiday Recycling Page two

The number of empty bottles and cans also soars this time of year. In years past about 100 million plastic water bottles ended up in the trash statewide during the holiday season. These water bottles can now be recycled and used to make 48,000 sweaters or 220,000 square feet of carpeting, according to CalRecycle. “Put cans, glass and plastic bottles in your curbside recycling cart or blue bag, along with other empty containers from throughout your home. You can also take most beverage containers to your local Buy Back Center and get a refund of your CRV deposit,” said Moberly.

Fortunately, most San Joaquin County residents put their holiday waste – cans, bottles, greeting cards, boxes and wrapping paper — in their curbside recycling cart or blue bag. All mixed paper which includes cardboard, advertising mail, catalogs, paper boxes, newspapers, computer paper, old calendars, phone books, and other “clean” household paper — can also be placed in the recycling cart. Your waste hauler can provide you with a complete list of items and available services.

Electronic waste can be dropped off at permanent locations and at events conveniently located throughout the County. A list of locations and dates can be found at www.OnsiteElectronicsRecycling.com. San Joaquin County contracts with Onsite Electronics Recycling, a certified e-Stewards recycler. Using a certified e-Steward ensures that e-waste is managed by a recycler who adheres to the strongest standards governing responsible management of electronic waste. The Basel Action Network’s e-Stewards certification program combats fraud in the e-waste recycling industry by conducting intensive third-party audits of recyclers. The e-Stewards certification includes checking the downstream disposition of toxic materials and ensuring best management practices.

For more information on recycling and reducing waste during the holidays, visit: www.HolidayRecycling.com.    For local recycling and waste diversion programs, including Styrofoam and Christmas tree recycling, visit: www.BeGreenSanJoaquin.org.

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