As those of you who recycle know, the Mariposa Landfill is not just a place where you dump your trash. It also offers numerous recycling and educational opportunities.
At the Recycling Center, County residents can recycle everything from glass, cardboard, #1-#7 plastic and scrap metal to good used clothing and linens. For a detailed list of what you can and cannot recycle and how to sort your items, click on “Recycling” in the index or you can pick up informational brochures at the permanent recycling display at the Mariposa Library.
Because the Recycling Center is a certified redemption center, you can also get cash back for your beverage bottles and cans with CRV or CA CASH on the label. (Go to CalRecycle for a list of the types of containers that have a redemption value.) Many people find that, between reducing the amount of trash they have to dispose of through recycling and using the refund from CRVs to pay disposal fees, they not only have to make fewer dump runs, but often end up with money in their pockets.
Another service provided by the Solid Waste & Recycling Division is the collection of Universal Waste (U-Waste)—products used by a majority of the public that are banned from disposal in the landfill because their contents could potentially harm the environment or human health. These products include: household and vehicle batteries, mercury switches, cell phones, pagers, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, computers and monitors, copiers and printers, televisions, radios, CD players, answering machines, VCRs and iPods.. You can bring these items to the Landfill anytime during regular hours of operation for recycling. Ask the attendant where to leave them. Uncontaminated motor oil, oil filters and empty propane tanks with their valves removed are also accepted.
While there is no charge to dispose of most U-Waste, larger items, such as office-size printers and copiers; CRTs, LCDs, laptops and other screens 36 inches or greater on the diagonal; tires; and household appliances, do carry a fee to cover the costs associated with their disposal
To encourage recycling within the County, we have started a number of community-wide programs. You may have seen and/or used the recycling bins placed at various locations downtown and in County parks. These were purchased through grants from the Department of Conservation and the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and are maintained by local non-profit organizations, who redeem the CRVs as an on-going fundraiser. We dubbed this program Bin Buddies. Several groups have participated in this project during the past 3 ½ years, but the American Legion Auxiliary is the only charter member remaining. We are very grateful to them for their dedication to this important project.
If your organization is having an event or you are throwing a big party, you are welcome to check out our portable event bins. Simply call at least one week in advance to let us know how many bins you will need, fill out an application either in person or on-line and come in and pick them up. After your event, you can bring the CRVs you collected to the Recycling Center for redemption. It’s that simple.
Money from a 2011 CalRecycle grant was used to purchase recycling bins and collection carts for a pilot motel CRV recycling project. To date 113 deskside bins and three carts have been distributed with about 250 more to be added in upcoming weeks.
These are just a few of the projects we have been working on. Next week I’ll talk about other outreach and educational programs available to the public. In future weeks I’ll address such topics as paint disposal, household hazardous waste, waste reduction, other options for disposing of used products, tires, oil, plastics, trash as art, and so on. Please feel free to ask questions or suggest appropriate topics either by email to e-mail, or by calling 209-966-5165.