Volunteers from the STAR program empty a recycling bin, one of many placed around Mariposa County by the Mariposa County Department of Public Works as part of the Bin Buddies recycling program. The group used some of the money they earned from redeeming the bottles and cans to go bowling. Pictured are: (front) Toby Bonds and Tracy McGovert and (back row, l-r) Robert Shirey, Brian Byrd and David Reynolds.
Bin Buddies Know It Pays to Recycle
Some people adopt children. Some people adopt pets. And some people adopt recycling bins. The latter are known affectionately by the Mariposa County Department of Public Works as Bin Buddies. For the past year volunteers from local non-profit organizations have worked quietly in the background maintaining the recycling bins around town to make their community cleaner and greener and to earn a little cash for their programs.
The pilot project was implemented with a grant from the Department of Conservation to encourage residents and visitors to recycle their redeemable bottles and cans (CRVs), rather than throwing them in the trash where they would end up in the Landfill. Participating organizations have included the American Legion Auxiliary, the Challenged Family Resource Center (STAR), Kiwanis Preschool Academy, New Life Christian Fellowship, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) and the Catnip Society.
The groups are responsible for emptying 12 bins located around town according to a set schedule. The preschool maintains the bin next to their school building on Darrah Rd. Volunteers from STAR also take care of the bins at Cathey’s Valley Park, Hornitos Park and Woodland Park, clean all of the bins as needed and keep a log monitoring use, condition and percentage of trash placed in each. After picking out any trash that may have inadvertently been placed in the cans, the volunteers sort the CRVs by type and redeem them for cash, which becomes the property of their organizations to use as they see fit. Bins have also been purchased for placement in North County, and organizations are being sought to maintain them.
“It’s a great program. It’s a wonderful opportunity to clean up the town and reduce waste, and at the same time it benefits…our community,” said David Reynolds, a representative of the STAR program.
Local organizations interested in participating in the Bin Buddies program should call 209-966-5165 or e-mail the Recycling Coordinator..