In effort to Keep Truckee Green, town launches online recycling guide | SierraSun.com

In effort to Keep Truckee Green, town launches online recycling guide

Single-use plastic bags, like ones that used to be sold in Truckee at Safeway, are not accepted in curbside recycling because they can get stuck in the sorting equipment.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Have a post-Super Bowl pile of aluminum cans and not sure how to recycle them?

Perhaps the holidays left you with tangles of broken Christmas lights you don't know how to get rid of?

Or maybe in your throes of way-too-early spring-cleaning, you've amassed a mound of used batteries and don't know if they can be recycled?

These are just a few of the common recycling questions Truckee residents may face when looking to get rid of household materials in an environmentally responsible manner.

In an effort to help the community answer those questions, the town of Truckee has launched the website KeepTruckeeGreen.org, a comprehensive, easy-to-use online recycling guide.

"We're trying to provide a one-stop resource for the community to get all those questions asked about recycling in Truckee answered," said Alex Terrazas, assistant town manager. "I think for the most part folks that are here are interested in recycling, and this is letting them know what can and can't be recycled, where to take things, where to drop things off … getting that information in their hands."

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In addition to helping local residents and businesses learn how to properly recycle or dispose of more than 250 items, the website offers tips and guides for sustainable living — from reducing food waste at home to helping keep the water in the Truckee River and Donner Lake clean.

It also offers helpful tips and lists of things that are not supposed to be recycled, despite what people may think.

"Hopefully all their questions will be answered," Terrazas said. "If not, they can always give us a call, the old-fashioned way."

Ultimately, Terrazas said, the mission of the website is to help the community decrease what is being sent to the landfill and increase what is being recycled.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person generates over four pounds of waste per day.

"It's helping folks produce less waste," Terrazas said. "We live in a pretty pristine, special place. I think we want to maintain this special place, so we think it's important to not produce waste … and use our reusable coffee mug, and use our reusable water bottle instead of using the plastic water bottle."

The town developed the website and recycling guide in partnership with Recyclist, a Truckee-based startup that develops cloud-based software for municipal solid waste, recycling and sustainability managers.

In terms of cost, KeepTruckeeGreen.org is being provided to the town as a free beta site through July 1, Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said.

After July 1, the town has the option to contract for a year at a cost $5,000 to maintain the website, added Lashbrook, noting that subsidized rate would continue at the town's request through 2019.

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Below is a list of 12 items that residents should NOT recycle, as they cause the most problems. Despite good intentions (sometimes called “wishcycling”), putting these in your bin creates more work at the sorting facility, and in some cases can cause machinery to break down or increase the risk of worker injury:

1: Plastic Bags

2: Food Scraps

3: Scrap Metal

4: Frozen Fod Boxes

5: Paper Coffee Cups

6: Diapers

7: Garden Hoses

8: Shredded Paper

9: Styrofoam

10: Clothing

11: Dishes

12: Broken Glass

Source: http://www.keeptruckeegreen.org