Reduce food waste at the holidays and all year - you'll give yourself a raise!
The holidays and all the fun they come with are expensive. Reducing food waste is an easy way to cut costs! A four-person family spends up to $1,500 every year on food that is ultimately thrown away (US EPA estimate). There are many easy ways to reduce food waste - keeping money in your pocket!
- Planning a holiday party? Your guest list can be informative. How many guests are coming? How many are adults vs. children? Also consider the time of your party - will guests be arriving hungry, or stopping by before dinner?
- Taking leftovers for lunch is a fun way to re-live party highlights!
- Make a list - shopping with a meal plan helps avoid purchasing food you won't use. If plans change and meal planning goes out the window, rethink the menu! Make a soup with produce that has lost its snap or turn stale bread into delicious croutons.
Give the rake a break!
Do you ever wonder about the lack of weeds in the forest? Leaves and pine needles make an excellent mulch and provide a variety of benefits - they:
- decrease weed growth by blocking the sun
- insulate plant roots from cold weather
- return nutrients to the soil as they break down
- increase the soil's water holding capacity
Also, a thin layer spread over the lawn before your last mow of the season will give these same benefits to your grass!
Leaves and pine needles have a place in the landscape, but not in the defensible space zone. Excess leaves and pine needles should be removed from roofs and raked out of the 30-foot defensible space zone around structures.
You Toss. We Sort.
Placer County is proud of our One Big Bin program which is made possible by our Materials Recovery Facilities, known as MRFs. Garbage and recycling can be put in your garbage can; it will all be sorted at one of our two MRFs, the eastern Placer MRF near Truckee or the western Placer MRF near Roseville. The county’s mixed waste collection program provides convenient services for trash and recycling and ensures 100% participation.
See for yourself!
Did you know that sorting all waste with One Big Bin also creates opportunities to identify markets for materials you may not know are recyclable? Items like doorknobs, bicycles, skis and bowling balls can be recovered and diverted away from the landfill; a unique opportunity provided by the simple fact that human eyes are on all materials sent through the MRFs.
Recycling is about more than bottles, cans & boxes!
Green waste that decomposes in landfills creates methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. In 2020, Placer County used your green waste, whether it was dropped off separately, collected from a green waste bin, or recovered from your garbage at one of the MRFs, to create over 20,000 tons of compost! So go ahead - you toss it, we’ll sort it and then we’ll transform your green waste into a rich compost that can be used to add nutrients to soil. Want to take a more hands-on approach? Learn how to compost at home here.
Paper-less Habits – Worth Keeping
Many of us picked up paper-less habits while working remotely! Some of these habits are worth keeping, even when we’re in the office together.
4 easy tips for mindful paper usage:
- Avoid pointless printing! Consider emailing agendas to meeting participants instead of printing copies that end up left on the table as trash.
- Ditch the notepad – bring your laptop to meetings, a quick “save-as” on the emailed agenda makes notetaking a breeze.
- Skip the hardcopy – send digital copies of work products to colleagues instead.
- When you can’t avoid printing, consider paper-saving tricks like using a slightly smaller font to maximize the words per page, reducing margin sizes or printing double sided.
Let’s talk batteries!
Batteries are illegal to put in the trash. They are household hazardous waste (HHW) because they contain toxic and corrosive materials that can contaminate our environment and start fires. Some batteries may also contain valuable materials such as cobalt, lithium and graphite that are in limited supply, recycling these ensures they will be available for generations to come.
Tape the end of used batteries to prevent sparking, place them in a clear bag, and visit TahoeOneBigBin.com or PlacerRecycles.com to find out about HHW curbside pickup and/or drop-off options near you.
Composting – its recycling you can do at home!
Organic materials, like food scraps and yard waste, create methane, a potent greenhouse gas, when they decompose in landfills. You can help prevent this by recycling your food waste and yard waste into compost at home. Learn how you can turn organic waste into a rich compost that can add nutrients and water holding capacity to your soil from the Placer County Master Gardeners.
Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) - Keep Out!
There are a few things that should not be placed in your garbage - HHW like paint, light bulbs, electronic waste and items labeled “danger”, “caution” or “poison”. If you have HHW that needs to be disposed of, there are locations in both eastern and western Placer County where you can do so - click on Eastern or Western (right) to find more details!