Have you ever slipped a greasy pizza box into your blue bin because the grey one is already full? Nobody noticed, right? Think again. A recent audit by the facility that processes Turlock’s recyclables indicated the level of contamination found within the blue carts exceeds industry standards and therefore can’t be recycled.
“Unfortunately, customers are putting too much trash in the blue carts,” said Turlock Scavenger President Alan Marchant. “This means that recyclables can’t get pulled out of the waste stream and end up in the landfill instead.”
The City of Turlock and Turlock Scavenger Company are increasing their public education efforts to remind customers of the types of materials that may be recycled through the City’s residential curbside collection service.
Turlock Scavenger currently provides residential pick-up service through a “three cart” waste collection system that provides for the collection of solid waste (black cart), commingled recyclables (blue cart), and green waste (green cart). All materials collected by Turlock Scavenger are processed through preliminary sorting with the blue cart recyclables outsourced to a facility for enhanced sorting and recycling.
The blue cart for commingled (non-sorted) recyclables has greatly assisted the City’s efforts to comply with State of California mandates to reduce the amount of solid waste that is disposed in landfills. The law requires all agencies, including the City of Turlock, to divert a minimum of 50 percent of its solid waste from California’s landfills.
“The City of Turlock and Turlock Scavenger developed a cutting-edge curbside recycling system more than 25 years ago,” said Turlock Mayor, Gary Soiseth. “By recycling correctly and putting yard waste in the green carts, Turlock has always been able to comply with the state mandates for diverting solid waste from the landfill. It looks like we’re getting a little complacent so I encourage our residents and businesses to up their efforts and recycle correctly.”
The goal of the new education campaign is to encourage customers to get back to basics and put the correct materials in the correct carts and make sure that recyclables are clean.
If this level of contamination continues it could present difficulties in continued compliance with State regulations. By not recycling correctly, the cost of solid waste operations goes up. These increased cost increases can ultimately be reflected in higher garbage rates – so that greasy pizza box could cost you in the end!
The City of Turlock and Turlock Scavenger are expanding their compliance, education and outreach campaign efforts to heighten awareness of proper residential recycling. Citizens are encouraged to “Recycle Clean - Keep Turlock Green” by not contaminating the recyclables in their blue cart. Recycling conserves our valuable resources, saves energy, keeps our air clean and keeps valuable recycled materials out of our landfill.
Visit www.cityofturlock.org or Turlock Scavenger Company’s website at www.turlockscavenger.com or call the Municipal Services Department at (209) 668-5590 for more information. Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.
WATER CONSERVATION TIP #118
Winter watering schedule in effect: The City’s Winter Watering Schedule currently allows watering only one day per week. The Winter Water Schedule began Nov. 1 and continues through Feb. 28. Even numbered addresses will be allowed to irrigate on Saturdays only and odd numbered addresses allowed to irrigate on Sundays only. Watering will continue to be prohibited between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.