Reduce, Reuse…then Recycle!

Recycling as we know it is changing every day. More and more communities are finding it uneconomical to recycle and have, unfortunately, suspended their recycling efforts. These events have increased the need for all of us to consume less and to reuse when possible. It is imperative to reduce waste and the need to dispose of it. Less packaging, less plastic and eliminating wrapping where practical will help keep our landfills from overflowing and will help keep plastic out of our waterways and oceans. Reduce, reuse then recycle.

Recycle It Right Recycling centers don’t want “dirty” or contaminated materials—they will only end up in the landfill. Rinse out glass, metal, and plastic containers and recycle hard plastic caps. Please make sure that you are recycling materials that your recycling center will accept. The days of “just throw everything in and they’ll sort it out” are long gone. The economic viability of recycle centers is so razor thin that they cannot spend the time to sort out what they can and cannot recycle. If the load contains materials that they do not accept, they will just toss out the whole batch. A good example of this is yogurt containers. While they “should” be recyclable, here in the Eastern Sierra not one recycling center takes them. Tossing them into a container full of “good” recyclable material may contaminate the whole lot. Here in Inyo County only plastics that are #1 and #2 are recyclable. Currently there is no operation that accepts #3 through #7 plastics.

It is an unfortunate situation, but until either the law changes or economic conditions improve some plastics simply should be thrown out (or saved until you travel to a recycling center that takes all that material). That’s why we should generate less waste. If we don’t ever generate the waste in the first place, then we don’t have to search for a place to recycle it!

CRV stands for California Redemption Value and it designates containers that you can return for cash. Examples include beverage cans (soda and beer), bottles such as beer, soda and water, and plastic beverage containers. The container must have “CA CRV” stamped or printed on it. All PETE # 1 plastic is recyclable but not all of it pays money—only CRV.

Miscellaneous information Clean Styrofoam “peanuts” can be donated and re-used at the local Fed-Up shipping store (in the Rite Aid shopping center). Cell phones can be donated. Ink cartridges can be sent back via the “recycling included” envelope that comes with the new cartridge. Latex and oil-based paint can be recycled through the PaintCare program at High Country Lumber. You can donate your old prescription glasses to the Lions Club at Union Bank. Almost anything can be recycled here in Inyo County. If you are aware of other materials that can be recycled, please contact Inyo350, as we will be updating this site as needed.

Click this link for a printable grid and a brochure that summarize your local recycling options.