Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • Smashing Pumpkins

    How to recycle Jack-o-Lanterns

    Now that Halloween is over and the trick-or-treating is all done, you probably have a jack-o’-lantern still sitting on your front porch. Seriously, what are you going to do with that pumpkin?

    Well, a lot of people simply put it in the trash can, and that’s not the best place to put it.

    If tossed into the trash, a rotting pumpkin will decompose like any other food waste and emit methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

    American’s likely spent $377.23 million on pumpkins for carving into jack-o-lanterns in 2019. Across the nation, more than 650,000 tons (1.3 billion pounds) of pumpkin flesh could be headed to landfills because many consumers will carve the pumpkin but not consume it.

    So, what’s a possible solution? Well, how about composting old pumpkins?

    If you have a green waste curbside collection bin, chances are you can put your pumpkin in there where it will be taken to a compost or anaerobic digestion facility and turned into biofuel. If you would like to compost the pumpkin in your own compost pile, you can find a compost recipe and tips on our website. But here’s the basic gist of how to get it done.

    • Remove candles, artificial lighting, or any other decorations that are in or attached to the pumpkin. Pumpkins that have been decorated with paint or glitter should not be composted.
      • Remove the seeds so you don’t risk starting a pumpkin patch in your compost pile. (It’s OK if you do—just turn those pumpkins back into more compost.)
      • A clean pumpkin can be added to an existing compost pile and mixed in with other ingredients.
      • Another bonus to composting pumpkins—you can smash the orange head into smithereens and compost all of the tiny pieces. (Such a good way to let out your aggression after someone egged your house. Darn kids!)

      Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Nov 4, 2019

    • Fall Into Composting

      Dry leaves, twigs, paper, and branches are powerful sources of carbon for compost piles.

       

      Autumn is finally here, and the leaves are beginning to change colors. Pretty soon, people will be raking bright orange and yellow leaves from their lawns. It’s the perfect time of year to start composting – if you start now, you’ll have finished compost in time for your spring garden and flower beds.

      Compost is an organic material made from recycled green and brown materials (like landscape trimmings and branches). Pile these up in a mound or toss them into a compost drum barrel, and pretty soon you will have a robust soil amendment for your garden. You can find more information on our website about home composting.

      Compost has many benefits for homeowners. It retains soil moisture, which is especially helpful during the summer. It keeps weed growth down, which makes gardening much easier. Compost also provides nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers. It even adds carbon to the soil, which directly combats climate change.

      Check out our Compost: Getting Started video for more information.

      YouTube video. Compost: Getting Started
      Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 17, 2019

    • Trick or Treat?

      Eco-Friendly Options for Halloween

      All those decorations and costumes can be terrifyingly tempting to purchase this Halloween. Plus, those single-use spider webs, silly straws, and synthetic fabric costumes are so convenient. But, all those festive items don’t end up resting in peace in a landfill—they live disturbingly in dreadful dumps for many years, sometimes an eternity. Here’s how you can make a smart choice between a tricky item and a treat.

      spider webs

      Dead-corations

      Single-use spider webs are realistic, but they’re also made from petrifying polyester and are meant to only be used one time. Sure, you can try using them again, but you end up with clumps of sticky strands. Try using yarn to make reusable spider webs for your horrifying haunted house.

      Playing Dress-Up

      Dressing up is arguably the best part of Halloween, and opting for reusable and higher-quality costumes and accessories can ensure you have a good time every year. Instead of purchasing fast-fashion costumes that won’t last, consider making costumes from things you already have around your house. 

      S-carry On

      Sure, the plastic pumpkin has been a Halloween staple for trick-or-treaters to carry their ghoulish goodies, but how about going old-school and using a pillowcase instead? Add some decorations for a frightfully festive look.

      Light the Night

      Glow sticks are creepily cool and are a safer alternative to candles in your jack-o’-lanterns, but like other Halloween decorations, they’re made to only be used one time. Use small, battery-powered “candles” instead or flashlights when lighting up the night. (Don’t forget to use rechargeable batteries!)

      Ghost Host

      If you’re hosting a party this year, invite people through text or social media, or in person. Skip the paper invitations, especially those made with items that are not easily recyclable like gruesome glitter, petrifying plastic, or frightening foil.

      dinnerware

      Eat, Drink, and Be Scary

      Ditch those disposables! Leave the paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups, and straws at the store and use your everyday plates, cups, and utensils. Go the extra step with cloth napkins.

      Well, bats all folks. Until next HalloGREEN!

      Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Oct 22, 2018