Recycle Often. Recycle Right. The Basic Guide

The tour of Waste Management’s Material Recycling Facility (MRF) was, to say the least, an eye-opener and comes highly recommended. If you’re not so inclined, go online (wm.com) where WM has an informative and user-friendly website with clear guidance on recycling as it is today. “Integrated environmental solutions,” as its name implies, covers a panoply of waste.

ALWAYS RECYCLE

Glass bottles and containers
Plastic bottles and containers
Paperboard and flattened cardboard
Food and beverage cartons
Paper
Food and beverage cans

NEVER PLACE IN RECYCLING BIN
For things we thought were recyclable but aren’t, here are some additional recycling resources. For things we thought were recyclable but aren’t, here are some additional recycling resources.
Plastic film does not go in the recycling bin—Most grocery stores will recycle plastic film, such as product overwrap (paper towels and toilet paper); newspaper bags; bread and produce bags; dry cleaning bags; air pillows (Amazon products); case wrap (plastic bottles); zip-top food storage bags; plastic shopping bags. Recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags. For a list of supermarkets that recycle: plasticfilmrecycling.org.


Styrofoam cups and containersEarth911.com has created a community that helps consumers find their own shade of green, match their values to their purchase behaviors, adopt environmentally sound practices and drive environmental changes.
Shredding—If, like some of us, you do your own shredding at home, put it in a plastic bag and drop it in the recycle bin, STOP! Take advantage of the Canyon Sages’ Topanga Community Center shredding fundraiser that will make sure your shredding gets repurposed to a paper mill and comes back as a paper bag instead of land fill. (info@topangacommunityclub.com)

Recycle by Mail—Recycle bulbs, batteries and electronics responsibly from home. wm.com/residential/recycle-by-mail.jsp

Food Waste—Compost everything (no meat). New to composting? Worried about smells, etc.? Kisstheground.com has several good video explanations of the power of composting, the need to compost to combat climate change and how to get started. Did you know you can compost cardboard egg cartons, toilet paper rolls and kitchen paper towel rolls as well?

E-waste—Technotrash is waste that includes all the spent supplies and obsolete accessories associated with your computer. Green Disk.com, (800) 305-DISK, (425) 392-8700, handles all that and has a mail-in electronics recycling program and repurposes components and products such as inkjets, CDs, cell phones, pagers, cords, cables and so much more.

For local e-waste disposal: San Fernando Valley Dump, 6 a.m.-12 midnight, seven days a week. 365disposalandrecycling.com. Check first, Policies change. For local e-waste disposal: San Fernando Valley Dump, 6 a.m.-12 midnight, seven days a week. 365disposalandrecycling.com. Check first, Policies change.

The City of Calabasas also offers ewaste “roundups” once a month and open to all businesses and communities, not just Calabasas. The City of Calabasas also offers ewaste “roundups” once a month and open to all businesses and communities, not just Calabasas.
NO Needles—Keep medical waste out of recycling. Place in safe disposal containers like Waste Management’s MedWaste Tracker® box. NO Needles—Keep medical waste out of recycling. Place in safe disposal containers like Waste Management’s MedWaste Tracker® box.

Construction Waste—For home improvement projects, WM’s Bagster holds 3,300 lbs. of debris or waste. Average cost is $140 per bag but varies by area.

Flavia Potenza
Flavia Potenza

Flavia Potenza is executive editor of the Messenger Mountain News. She is also a founding member of the 40-year old Topanga Messenger that closed its doors in 2016. She can be reached at editor@messengermountainnews.com

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