Recycling keeps getting easier and more cost effective. Participating in commercial recycling programs can greatly reduce the amount of trash your company sends to the landfill as well as your disposal fees. Whether your business is big or small, the SVSWA can give you simple steps to start your recycling program.
Today, recycling goes way beyond bottles and cans. Businesses are discovering that many more materials can be diverted from the waste stream before they arrive at the local landfill. In some cases, state and local laws require that you find alternate methods of disposal.
Many haulers offer commingled recycling bins that take much of the guesswork out of waste disposal. If you work in an office, chances are that most of your waste comes from office supplies. Almost all of that waste can go right into your recycling containers.
Other Industries have many more specialized recycling needs, and the SVSWA and your hauler can help guide you to the best possible recycling program for your business. Local haulers offer separate recycling bins that save you more money and address a broader range of materials.
If you find yourself with leftover cardboard, vegetable/ organic/ or green waste, glass, metal, wood, or even concrete, you can divert it to a recycling center or sell it to a producer who needs it. In some cases, state and local law require the diversion of certain materials. The SVSWA provides training free of charge. Take advantage of this service; learn about safe, easy, and cost effective ways to dispose of your waste.
Recycling Other Materials
Recycling Beyond the Curb: Other Materials
Recycling doesn't end at the curb! Many items that are not accepted through your curbside or apartment recycling program still don't have to go to the landfill. Some materials are even banned from the garbage. Click on a material to find out where to drop it off for reuse, recycling or safe disposal. Fees may apply, depending on the item.
Clean refrigerators and freezers in working condition:
PG&E customers can schedule a free pick-up and will receive a $35 rebate per appliance. For program rules and to schedule a pick-up call PG&E's customer service at (800) 299-7573.
Refrigerators, freezers, stoves, washing machines and other large home appliances: You can drop these off for recycling at the locations listed below. Fees may apply. Click on the links for more information. Note that appliances may also be accepted through your hauler's bulky item collection. Contact your hauler for details.
11340 Commercial Parkway, Castroville, CA 95012
456 Brunken Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901
Car batteries, also referred to as a lead-acid battery, contain about 21 pounds of lead, three pounds of plastic and one gallon of sulfuric acid each! These materials pose a hazard to people's health and the environment if they're not handled properly.
Please recycle your car battery at one of the following locations, so that the materials can be reclaimed and made into new batteries.
Pettigrew & Foletta Auto parts 10865 Merritt St
Antifreeze contains toxic chemicals that can cause serious health problems and even death. It is especially dangerous to animals and children because of its sweet taste. Two tablespoons of antifreeze can kill a small dog!
Never dispose of spent antifreeze in the garbage, toilet, sink or storm drains. Please take it to one of the drop-off locations listed below for recycling.
Used motor oil is a hazardous waste and dangerous contaminant. Just one quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of ground water. That's enough water to cover a football field more than one inch deep!
If you do your own oil change, please be careful to avoid spills and collect the oil and filter for recycling. Please use only the County's used motor oil recycling containers and filter bags, available for free from your garbage hauler and many used motor oil collection centers (see below).
Used motor oil and filter recycling is easy in the Salinas Valley. You have several options:
Single-family homes can recycle used motor oil and filters on the curb on their regular collection day. For details and set-out rules, follow the links below:
Every year Californians generate about one old tire for each person in the state. That's close to 40 million tires! Several million tires are already stockpiled throughout the state and many more are illegally dumped.
Abandoned tires are not only an eye sore but also dangerous. When rainwater accumulates inside the tires, they can provide prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes, transmitters of the West Nile Virus and other serious diseases.
Fortunately old tires can be given a new life. Tire rubber is ground up and recycled into surfacing material for playgrounds, or used as an ingredient for rubberized asphalt, a material that increasingly replaces conventional asphalt in road construction.
Salinas Valley residents have several options to recycle used tires:
Free waste tire collection week
Once a year - usually in the fall - the SVSWA offers one week of free tire collection for residents. For information on the next collection, drop-off locations and rules, call us at (831) 775-3000.
Drop-off year round at the following locations. Non-rimmed tires only. Fees may apply.
Recording and data storage media such as CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, video tapes and computer disks, as well as CD jewel cases can be recycled into new recording media. One company specializing in processing these materials is GreenDisk Inc.
While companies who have fairly large amounts of materials to recycle are charged a fee. GreenDisk Inc accepts small amounts from individuals for free.
Never send cooking oils, fats or greases down the drain. Even small amounts can cause problems in your home plumbing or further down the sewer line. Instead, used cooking oil can be recycled into soaps, industrial lubricants, biodiesel and other products.
Construction and demolition debris includes concrete rubble, lumber, dirt (clean fill), drywall and other building material wastes. Most of these can be reused or recycled into new clean wood construction materials. The following locations accept construction and demolition debris. Fees apply.
Note: Keeping different types of building material wastes separate will result in significantlylower recycling charges.
Electronics include computers and monitors, computer equipment, televisions, printers, VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios, digital watches, gameboys, joysticks, game accessories and microwave ovens.
Although these products are safe while in use, they are considered hazardous waste when discarded due to their content of heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. It has been illegal to put "e-waste" into the garbage since 2006.
Your options to recycle unwanted electronics:
Occasional "e-waste" collection drives held throughout the community. Watch for announcements in the local media and on our home page.
Electronics may be accepted through your hauler's bulky item collection. Contact your hauler directly for details.
Drop off "e-waste" at any of the following locations:
Fluorescent tubes and bulbs are safe while in use but are considered hazardous waste when discarded. The reason is that they contain toxic mercury vapor and other heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. When fluorescent tubes and bulbs are broken or crushed in the landfill, heavy metals are released. They can contaminate soil and water, and harm wildlife.
Please drop off your spent fluorescent tubes and bulbs at the following locations for recycling.
Tip: Bundle and tape tubes together to avoid breakage.
Do you need to get rid of large items such as furniture, bed frames, appliances etc? If any of these items are in reusable condition, please consider donation to a local reuse business or charitable organization. Check our reuse guide for locations.
To dispose of bulky items you have several options:
On-call pick-up (single family homes only): Contact your hauler for fees, acceptable items, set-out rules and to schedule a bulky item pick-up.
Salinas residents: Call BFI at (831) 775-3840
Soledad, Gonzales and Greenfield residents: Call Tri-Cities Disposal & Recycling at (888) 678-6798
King City residents: Call King City Disposal at (831) 385-3281
Bulky item collection events: Contact your hauler for dates, acceptable materials and set-out/drop-off rules (see phone numbers above).
Self-haul: You can drop off bulky items at any of the SVSWA's facilities. To download a fee schedule click here.
Drowning in packaging material that's too good to throw away? Next time you order something online or over the phone, suggest that it be packaged in environmentally friendly, recyclable materials. For example, crumpled newspaper works just as well for padding as do StyrofoamTM peanuts and bubble wrap. For a more "high tech" but equally eco-friendly cushioning alternative try ExpandOS.
To reuse packaging materials, see the tips below.
After you're done with your move, get rid of your boxes and help others by posting a free ad online offering your moving boxes for donation.
Manila and Kraft envelopes:
Most envelopes survive being mailed in sufficiently good shape to be reused, especially clasp or resealable envelopes. Apply new address labels and make sure there is a clear space for postage metering or fresh stamps.
Tip: By keeping these envelopes in the loop, you can promote recycling, too: stamping envelopes with a recycling message â€“ "This envelope is being reused to reduce waste," or something similar â€“ will alert your recipients to recycling possibilities.
Bubble wrap and Styrofoam™ "peanuts":
Bag your clean packing "peanuts" and roll or fold up larger pieces of bubble wrap and drop them off for reuse at any of the following locations. Call first to confirm that the materials are accepted at that time.
Many older thermometers, thermostats, electrical switches, and gauges such as barometers and manometers contain mercury. To see if your thermostat contains mercury, carefully remove the front cover of the thermostat to look for a small ampoule containing a silver liquid. If you see this, you have a mercury thermostat.
Mercury is a heavy metal and extremely toxic. Just one gram - the amount in an old-fashioned mercury thermometer - can contaminate a 20-acre lake! Mercury can be absorbed by fish and other organisms and harm humans who eat the fish, causing long-term health problems such as damage to the kidneys and nervous system. Tip: Double-bag mercury-containing items before you drop them off.
Spent toner cartridges from your laser printer, copier, desk jet or fax machine don't have to go to waste. Cartridge manufacturers or their recycling partners are happy to take them back to recondition parts, or recycle the materials.
Take-back by mail:
Many manufacturers let you use the box of the new cartridge to return the spent one to the company for recycling. Usually step-by-step mailing instructions and a shipping label are included, often postage paid.
Take-back at the store:
Most office supply stores offer in-store collection programs for cartridges, even those purchased elsewhere. Look for a drop-off box or ask a store employee. Local stores with toner cartridge take-back programs include:
Office Depot 1516 N. Main Street
Harden Ranch Plaza
Office Max 1241 N. Davis Road
There's more to recycling than setting out your recyclables at the curb. In order to make recycling economically feasible, we must buy recycled products and packaging. When we buy recycled products, we create an economic incentive for recyclable materials to be collected, manufactured, and marketed as new products.
Creating a strong market for recycled products is key to completing the recycling process or "closing the loop." You as a consumers close the loop when you purchase products made from recycled materials, or when you support companies that use recycled feedstocks in their manufacturing processes.
How to identify products with recycled content
When you see chasing arrows inside a circle, it means that the product or package has been manufactured with at least some materials that have been recycled. This mark is typically found on paper and paperboard products (e.g., cereal boxes or shoe boxes). The mark may include additional information such as the percentage of recycled material (located in the center of the mark or next to the mark) and the type of recycled material. Post-consumer content is material that has been collected from curbside recycling programs, while pre-consumer material, such as sawdust, is collected during the manufacturing process.
Note that not all products with recycled content are marked with a symbol. If you can't find recycled content products in a store, ask the manager or owner to carry them.
There are thousands of recycled content products available, and the number is growing. Here are just a few examples:
Office supplies, e.g. printer and copier paper, file folders, mailing envelopes, note pads etc.
Bathroom tissue and paper towels
Plastic trash bags
Paperboard packaging e.g. cereal boxes, shoe boxes etc.