Give Your Garbage Collector a Brake

In the U.S., we toss out more than 250 million tons of garbage every year. Unfortunately, once all that trash is tossed to the curb, it’s a dangerous job to pick it up.

Collecting garbage is one of the top five most dangerous jobs in America. The fatal injury rate is higher than it is for police officers, firefighters, construction workers and miners.

So what can we do to help keep our garbage collectors safe? Drive safely! Being struck by a motorist is a leading cause of death for garbage truck drivers. Luckily, with proper awareness, it’s completely preventable.

First, slow down when approaching collection trucks. Stop if necessary to allow them to do their job. Not only are garbage collectors trying to focus on doing their job, they are also dealing with limited visibility, loud noises, and — compared to the average vehicle — relatively complicated machinery.

Second, give trucks and workers plenty of space. If you pass a truck, check for workers on the ground first. Then check for traffic coming from the opposite direction. If it’s all clear, move over in the road to create a safe distance between you and the truck. Don’t try to pass a garbage truck if there isn’t room, if there is oncoming traffic, or if the visibility is poor.

Third, stay alert while passing a collection truck. Don’t accelerate while passing, and avoid distractions such as texting, using a GPS or radio until you have safely made it around the truck.

Follow these steps and you’ll make your neighborhood garbage collector’s job a whole lot safer.

How to Do Takeout the Eco-Friendly Way

takeout food in single-use container

Do you love going to restaurants but hate all the waste created by takeout meals? Make it your New Year’s resolution to try some new local dishes without filling up your garbage. Here’s how:

Bring Your Own Container (BYOC)

Headed to the restaurant down the street? Before you go, check your cabinet for a clean reusable container, preferably with a lid, to take with you. Getting a drink? Bring a thermos or bottle. Restaurants around the country are starting to encourage BYOC and California just signed into law a bill, AB 619, which makes it official: As of January 2020, restaurants are legally allowed to serve food and beverages in consumer-provided reusable containers. Keep an eye out for restaurants that start to offer a discount for bringing your own container.

Bring Your Own Utensils

Eating on the run? Skip the plastic or compostable utensils and bring your own instead. That fork or spoon that doesn’t quite match any of the others in your silverware set is the perfect candidate for your zero waste take-out kit. Keep forgetting your utensils at home? Consider keeping a set in your purse, backpack or car.

Just Say “No Thanks”

When you’re ordering takeout, think ahead about the items you need and don’t need. Ordering food to take home? Skip the utensils, napkins and condiments — you probably have them at home in your kitchen. Now that you’ve cut out all the stuff you don’t need, you might even be able to skip the plastic bag you previously needed to get it all home.

Dine in

Here’s an easy one. Try eating at the restaurant instead of getting your food to-go. In general, restaurants tend to use fewer single-use products for customers dining in. Look for restaurants using reusable plates, silverware and glasses instead of disposables. And don’t forget to bring your own to-go container for the leftovers.

When you do go get takeout food, no matter how much or little waste you prevent in the process, make sure you dispose of everything correctly by looking it up in our Recycling Guide.

New Phone? Don’t Bury the Old One in a Junk Drawer — Here’s Why

Getting a new phone over the holidays? Remember to recycle your old one! It’s easy — in California, stores that sell cell phones are required to take them back for recycling. Oftentimes they’ll even give you credit towards a new device.

If you’re keeping old phones and tablets in a “junk drawer of sadness,” get those precious metals back into action! Phones contain gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium — valuable materials that manufacturers want to reuse.

While it’s great to give your old phone a new life, never put one in your garbage or curbside recycling. Why? The lithium ion batteries can cause terrible fires in waste trucks and sorting facilities.

Find ways to recycle, donate or sell your old phone in our Recycling Guide. Find out more about why they’re so important to recycle by watching this video.

Recycle Big With Recycle More

If the holidays left you with unused, outdated or oversized electronics & appliances, recycle them through our Recycle More program.

Recycle More accepts:

Pick-up is by appointment only. Schedule a pick-up by visiting naparecycling.com/recycle-more or calling (707) 255-5200.

The Joy of Giving (Continued)

Did the holidays leave you with some old, reusable items? Why landfill them, when you can donate them to thrift stores or reuse sites?

Local Donation Sites

Please call for hours and acceptable items

Napa Community Projects
715 Franklin, Napa | (707) 226-7585
www.communityprojectsnapa.com/donations

The Discovery Shop (American Cancer Society)
1380 Trancas St, Napa | (707) 224-4398
more info at www.cancer.org/involved/donate/more-ways-to-give.html

Goodwill
1683 Imola Ave, Napa | (707) 252-1197
www.gire.org/menus/items-to-donate.html

Devlin Road Reuse and Recycling Center
889B Devlin Rd, American Cyn | (707) 258-9018

Donation Pick-up Services

Call to schedule a free, convenient pick-up

Solano/Napa Habitat for Humanity
(707) 863-0692
Home improvement items, furniture, & household items

NRWS/NCRWS Recycle More
Accepts clothes, shoes, books and other items for reuse

Avoid the Spark: Be Battery Safety Smart

Batteries cannot go in the recycling or trash carts!

Twice in the past year, misplaced batteries have started fires at our Napa Recycling Facility. Luckily they were put out quickly, but fires from lithium ion batteries – the ones in your phone, tablet, laptop, drill or drone – are very susceptible to starting fires when they are punctured or crushed and have caused serious fires at recycling facilities in recent years.

Batteries can be dropped off at many sites around town – visit naparecycling.com/batteries for a full list.

We also pick up batteries with our Recycle More program – find details at naparecycling.com/recycle-more.

Thanks for your help in safely recycling batteries!

Help Stop Junk Mail

It’s good to recycle your junk mail. It’s even better to stop getting it.

Here’s How:

Don’t forget to check out our Recycling Guide for information on recycling any junk mail you already have.

Recycle More Clothing

Clothes in a landfill? We can do better! Nearly 100% of clothing, apparel and shoes are reusable or recyclable. Yet, Americans only reuse or recycle 15% of consumer-used clothing and shoes. The rest — over 15 million tons a year — goes to landfills.

What to do? Call Recycle More!

What is accepted:

Holes, tears and stains are OK. All items must be dry and bagged in a tied plastic bag. Wet items cannot be accepted. Our minimum for pickup is at least a full kitchen-size bag.
Recycle More Truck
Visit naparecycling.com/recycle-more or call 707-255-5200 to make your appointment!

Please don’t put clothing, apparel or shoes in the blue recycling cart, since they tangle in our machinery and cannot be sorted for recycling.

45th Annual Christmas Tree Pick-Up & Recycling Day

christmas tree

The annual Scouts BSA Christmas Tree Pick-Up and Recycling Day comes to Napa on Saturday, January 4th, 2020.

Your local Scouts BSA Troops request the following:

  • Please have your tree on the curb by 9:00am on Saturday morning. Please DO NOT set out your tree earlier in the week, since tree collection will not take place until Saturday, January 4th.
  • Trees must be free of ornaments, nails, tinsel, stands and metal spikes. All are contaminants or safety hazards.
  • A voluntary donation of $10 per tree is suggested and appreciated. Please do not leave money on the tree!
  • Scouts will come to your door. Please leave a check made out to “Boy Scouts of America” in an envelope at your door.
PLEASE NOTE: Customers in Napa County who miss the January 4th Scouts BSA tree pick-up may place their tree out for collection on their normal service day beginning the following Monday, January 6th. Please follow the above tree preparation guidelines and cut trees over 8′ in half. Flocked trees are accepted. Wreaths and other holiday greenery go in the compost cart.

At our Napa Recycling and Composting Facility, we recycle all your trees and holiday greenery into compost, mulch or fuel for renewable energy.

Don’t Recycle Your Pizza Box — Compost It!

pizza box

You may have heard that if it’s cardboard, it’s always recyclable. Or maybe you’ve heard that pizza boxes just need to be tossed in the trash. What’s the real answer? Compost it! In Napa, you can compost your pizza box and just about anything that comes with it. Use this cheat sheet to find out what to toss and what to compost.


Leftover Pizza or Crumbs

Compost it. All food scraps go in your compost cart.

Food — even at the crumb level — can ruin batches of paper recycling. Can you imagine little bits of pizza crust living in your roll of paper towels? Ew — no. Make sure they end up in your compost cart.


Parchment Paper & Napkins

Compost it. Soiled paper goes in your compost cart.

Whereas cardboard is sometimes recyclable, parchment paper and napkins are never recyclable. Why is that? Their paper fibers are too short to survive the recycling process. However, they can still be turned into something new — fresh organic soil! Just make sure to toss them in your compost cart.


Pizza Savers

Put them in the garbage.

You know the little plastic item that appears in takeout and delivery pizza boxes? This little contraption, which looks like a three-legged table, is called a pizza saver. Pizza savers are responsible for your pizza making it home safe and sound, without the melted cheese sticking to the lid of the pizza box. Without them, we’d all be eating ugly pizzas stripped of their cheese and other delicious toppings.

That said, toss your pizza savers in the trash. They are too small to be recycled, and they can’t be composted.


A Greasy Box

Compost it.

Cardboard that has gotten wet, soaked up grease or has food residue on it goes in your compost cart. Why? It’s what we call contaminated. Basically, the paper fibers are damaged by the grease and they won’t survive the recycling process. What’s worse, greasy fibers can ruin an entire batch of paper recycling.

Don’t toss them in the trash, though! Soiled paper and cardboard can be turned into new organic soil through our composting program, so make sure to toss greasy pizza boxes into your compost cart.


A Clean Box — Or a Clean Lid

If the top half of your pizza box has survived its pizza journey in pristine condition, you can cut or tear it off and recycle it.

If by some small miracle the entire box has pulled through with nary a sign of grease, make sure it’s completely empty, then recycle it.