With an increase in home activity due to COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place order, families and households are disposing of more waste than usual at home. Our community’s curbside waste pickup service will continue to serve this essential community need due to the hardworking employees of Recology who continue to operate garbage and recycling trucks and the Materials Recovery Facility in Samoa. This service you rely on strives to operate as consistently as possible during a time when many things are uncertain. As we all are trying to find ways to support our community and give back in a time of need, we ask you to consider how proper waste management systems rely on you and the choice you make at your trash and recycling bin.
We are asking the community to take steps to help the safety and welfare of these essential workers and maintain stability of our local waste management economy by improving our sorting and recycling skills. Previous to COVID-19, the global recycling market has already faced a large-scale collapse due to millions of tons of trash (food waste, diapers, plastic bags, wrappers, Styrofoam, coffee cups, plastic straws, garden hoses, etc.) thrown into recycling bins. When dirty recycling or non-recyclable items are put into recycle bins, this is considered contamination and these items instead belong in the trash can. As we are all spending more time at home, we can brush up on our recycling skills and make a positive impact in the community.
Our number one resource to help support essential waste workers who are providing vital sanitary services for our community is YOU, the resident at the recycling bin. So please join us to become part of the recycling solution, not the confusion, by using our online resources for when you are unsure of where a type of waste goes. You can use a searchable database called www.WhatBin.com or visit our resource website at www.HumboldtRecycles.com. Additionally, Recology will be helping educate the community by leaving “Oops” Tags on recycling bins that have contamination. This tag is meant to positively alert residents so they can learn how to take corrective action right at the bin by providing the necessary information to fix the problem.
We would like to take a moment to remind you of the behind the scenes operations that go into our local waste management system and how you can help:
· Bins On Curb: To tip bins into the truck, bins must have clearance for a mechanical arm to come down. So please do not block your bins, and please do not overfill them, as the truck driver will have to correct these issues and this increases risks to unnecessary exposure.
·Visual Audit: Each truck features a camera for the driver to see what is being tipped into the truck. If a driver identifies non-recyclable items in the recycling, they will leave an “Oops Tag” on the bin to let you know the issue identified. Please be sure to take corrective action and learn from the feedback.
·Recycling Sorting: Recycling is hand sorted in Samoa at Recology’s Materials Recovery Facility. Up to 30% of material on the sorting line is trash. Making sure you are cleaning and recycling the proper materials will protect the safety and welfare of these workers who too often are unnecessarily pulling trash off the recycling line because a resident made the wrong decision at the bin.
Recycling is important for reducing landfill waste and recovering natural resources, making it one of the most effective actions individuals can take to protect the environment. During a time when we are physically distant, we can still come together to make a positive impact in our community. If you have any questions about your waste service, please contact Recology at (707) 442-5711.