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There's a Recycling Bin for All Christmas Trash

December 26, 1991|RICHARD KAHLENBERG

The day after Christmas and all through the house . . . there is more stuff than you know what to do with.

There's a new bed for the kids. But what to do with the old one? Maybe there's a new washing machine, "a gift from Santa to the family." But what about the old one? And what about the mound of wrapping paper and newly emptied cardboard cartons strewn next to the tree? And then there's the tree itself. Where's it going when it's dried out?

It's time to think recycling. Don't just wait until the last minute and put a big mess on the curb for the trash man. You can recycle more than you think--if you think a minute and make a phone call or two.

North County is lucky in having facilities for recycling almost everything. And if you've got something exotic--like the shed full of plastic gardening pots the former owner of my house left me--there are recycling hot lines to call for advice.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday January 2, 1992 San Diego County Edition North County Focus Page 6 Metro Desk 1 inches; 25 words Type of Material: Correction
Solana Recyclers--In the environment column in last week's issue of North County Focus, an incorrect phone number was listed for Solana Recyclers. The correct number is 436-7986.

The pots, by the way, ended up at a nearby plant nursery, which was delighted to have them. That was because I called Solana Recyclers and asked for advice. Brooke Nash, one of the center's founders, is wise in the ways of waste. She can suggest all sorts of things to be done before you throw something away or even before you bring it to a recycling center.

"Reduce, reuse, recycle," she advises. "Maybe the day after Christmas is too late to do much about the reduce-your-consumption part. Let's talk about reuse and then get on to recycling."

There are a number of North County locations that would like to hear from you if you want to donate items that still have useful life in them--some give a receipt for a possible tax deduction. Solana Recyclers is running a special program whereby you can bring in your mound of Christmas wrappings and boxes, pre-separated, please.

If your household is already among the almost 150,000 North County participants in curbside recycling--and you regularly separate your paper, plastic and cans--keep up the good work.

There are a wide variety of firms using recycled materials.

"I can't get enough" recyclables, says Richard Anthony, the San Diego County official responsible for the San Marcos landfill.

"A steady supply of separated plastic, paper, et cetera enables me to sell it to manufacturers at a price lower than they pay for virgin materials," he said. "There's a subsidy in place for the people who cut trees and make plastic from oil that comes out of the wells. If I have a big, steady supply of post-consumer materials--even if only because the county is mandated to cut back what goes into landfills--I can beat that subsidy and find buyers for what I'm collecting."

The buyers he's referring to are making home and garden products, building supplies and packaging materials.

Recently, Hale Avenue in Escondido was paved with crushed ceramic toilets that had been discarded.

For a fascinating catalogue of what's being done in our state with recycled material, get the "Shopper's Guide to Recycled Products." Published by Californians Against Waste, it's available at Solana Recyclers, 436-7986. You can ask for it when you drop off your Christmas wrappings.

Another eye-opener about what happens to materials you've recycled is a new paperback just arrived in North County bookstores, "Shopping for a Better World--A Quick and Easy Guide to Supermarket Shopping," Ballantine, $4.95. It gets into specifics about which products are really made with the stuff you're recycling and which only put in a little so they can advertise it as "recycled."

If we shop cleverly, we can increase the number of manufacturers who utilize the things we're going to be recycling this day after Christmas.

AFTER-CHRISTMAS RECYCLING GUIDE

Wrapping paper, boxes: 495-5996, Solana Recyclers

Christmas trees: 1-800-237-2583 for North County drop-off locations.

Large appliances: 740-0804, Pick-Up-Old-Appliances Co., or 724-1330, Lee's Iron & Metal in Vista

Small appliances: 471-2670, Rancho Santa Fe-Retired Citizens; 753-1156, Community Resource Center Thrift Shops in Encinitas, Carlsbad, Leucadia, Solana Beach

Mattresses: 745-5336, Escondido Mattress Factory; 967-6004, Recycle America of Oceanside

Recycling hot lines: To locate a recycling center near your home in North County, call 1-800-237-2583. For toxic materials such as paint cans or batteries, call 235-0281 for drop-off sites.

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