Local Waste Management experts to demystify recycling practices | TheUnion.com

Local Waste Management experts to demystify recycling practices

Submitted by Debbie Gibbs

Do you hesitate as you throw something away, asking “Where will this really go, once I put it in the trash?” You can ask that question at 7:15 p.m. today at “Waste Management — Let’s Talk Trash” at the Nevada County Madelyn Helling Library. This free event will be hosted by the Sierra Nevada Group of the Sierra Club and Nevada County Climate Action Now. Community members are encouraged to bring an item of trash for an evaluation of recycling value.

In our society’s current manufacturing system, we extract resources, make and use goods, and then dispose of those goods when they are no longer useful to us. The consequences from that disposal is an increasing pollution stream that also contributes to the climate crisis. Communities rely on local waste management services to take custody of garbage and recycle useful items when possible. Without this service, trash would quickly engulf communities, locally and planet-wide.

Drawdown, an organization devoted to climate crisis solutions, reports that landfill methane is a top source of greenhouse gas emissions at 12% of the world’s total. Most landfills contain reusable organic matter such as food scraps, yard trimmings, clothing and wastepaper. However, many items do not decompose readily (or ever) such as plastic, metal and glass and we depend on recycling to give this trash a second life.

When we drop an item in the recycling, we hope it is sold for a transformation to a new product. But recycling can actually end up back in the trash. For example, less than 10% of recycled plastic is purchased for reuse.

To help people improve the chance that their trash will find a new home, David Garcia, Nevada County solid waste manager and his Waste Management team will explain how garbage and recycling are managed. They will focus especially on recycling and tips on how to avoid rejection of items, and worse, avoid disposal of contaminated items that cause the rejection of all your recycled items.

This event will occur in the Library’s Community Room. For workshop information, email brivenes@sbcglobal.net.

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