WHAT PLASTIC ITEMS CAN I RECYCLE IN MY BLUE CART?
Napa residents, schools, and businesses can recycle all rigid plastics, including bottles, jugs, buckets, tubs, bins and toys! There is no need to look at the number on the bottom – Click here for details on our single-stream recycling program. Styrofoam, plastic bags, and plastic film/wrap are not accepted. Businesses with a large amount of shrink wrap can call our office to set up special recycling services. Also, please realize that many plastic items (pens, straws, lip balm containers, etc.) are so small that they can’t be picked out by our workers or fall through our recycling equipment…but we will successfully recycle the majority of the plastics placed in the blue cart.
STYROFOAM & PLASTIC BAGS… WHY CAN’T I RECYCLE THESE PLASTICS?
There are virtually no markets for used Styrofoam – it is too light to transport effectively and has limited uses. Large amounts of clean Styrofoam can be recycled at the El Cerrito Recycling Center or Dart in Lodi (where they are turned into picture frames, plastic lumber or insulation). Styrofoam peanuts make a huge mess when dumped in recycling or trash carts – please check out reuse options on our Styrofoam page.
Plastic bags, film, and wrap also can litter the environment when placed in carts, and get tangled in the recycling equipment if they make it to our facility. Napa’s plastic bag ordinance has dramatically decreased the amount of plastic bags entering the waste stream – make sure to use reusable bags whenever possible. Click here for more info on Napa’s plastic bag ordinance.
We encourage you to avoid purchasing hard-to-recycle plastics and buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging. Our “Buy Recycled” page lists ideas and links for environmentally friendly purchasing.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THOSE NUMBERS ANYWAY?
WHAT’S A SIMPLE WAY TO HELP FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE?
Plastic is made from oil, a finite resource that has contributed to global climate change. Even though recycling plastic bottles helps, consider the true environmental cost of manufacturing a plastic water bottle in the first place: it generates 100 times more toxic emissions than manufacturing a glass bottle. And unlike glass, paper products and metals, which are recycled over and over again, plastics are usually “downcycled” into non-recyclable materials such as plastic lumber. So what can you do? Here are some easy ways to help cool the earth: drink tap water, purchase products made of recycled materials, start a backyard compost pile, use canvas grocery bags and recycle & reuse at home & work.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE AND REUSE PLASTICS?
– Bring unbroken plant pots back to your nursery
– Recycle printer cartridges at local schools or stores
– Use reusable metal water bottles instead of buying bottled water
– Recycle your used Brita water filters
– Turn #5 plastics back into new products – drop off available at Whole Foods
– Remember your reusable bags when you shop – find helpful tips at www.igotmybag.org
– Purchase items like yogurt in larger containers instead of single-serving size
– Reuse your plastic food containers for leftovers instead of buying new ones
– Encourage companies to take responsibility for their unsustainable packaging
The movie Bag It provides great info on the plastics problem – Napa Valley CanDo can set up a showing of the movie with your school or community group.
The Ecology Center also has tons of additional information regarding the plastics problem – check our their info here.
NYCWasteLess has an interesting page on Bioplastics – plastics made from corn or other bio-based materials instead of from petroleum.