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America Recycles Day is November 15!

By Nov 10, 2023 - Recycle

We all want to make sure we're recycling correctly.  But it can be challenging when recycling rules seem to be ever-changing. We get it!

Now is the perfect time to brush up on your recycling knowledge, since it’s almost America Recycles Day! America Recycles Day, held every year on November 15, is a nationally recognized event dedicated to increasing recycling in our communities. In Santa Barbara County, you'll find everything you need to know about recycling right here at The Resource Recovery and Waste Management team works hard to keep up to date and easy to use, so everyone can feel confident when using their blue bin.

A Brief Intro to Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste into reusable materials. Typically, this is done by first hauling recyclable materials to a Materials Recovery Facility, or MRF (Pssst! Waste disposal in Santa Barbara County is undergoing some BIG changes, including construction of a MRF and Anaerobic Digestor. Check it out here.).

At the MRF, recyclables are separated and baled together to be sold. These items are then used to create new materials and products.

Recycling markets can change quickly and often, which directly affects what can be recycled. So what you may have put in your bin earlier this year might not be recyclable now. Some of our plastics, for example, used to be shipped to Asian markets, where they were processed and then sold to manufacturers overseas. Recent foreign policies, however, now make the export of recyclables to Asian countries very limited.

While recyclers in the United States gear up to build new facilities and increase domestic capacity, please only put the following items in your residential recycling bin:

Many of us "wish-cycle," meaning we put items in the recycling bin if we're not sure what to do with them. Material that is non-recyclable creates more work for the processing facilities and contributes to the residual trash that must be trucked back to our landfill. Other items like electronics, used oil, and even crayons are recyclable too, but should not go into your blue bin. Check out each material's page for more information about where to dispose of it. Use our search bar to learn how to recycle a particular item or call your waste hauler if you're not sure.

And don't forget! We also have tons of great info about how to reduce waste in the first place. Be sure to take a look at our Reduce and Reuse section.

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