“One Person’s Trash…”

Your Guide to Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

New – recycling electronic newsletter!

Save paper and check out the latest environmental news from the Public Works Department!

  • Sign up to have our next issue delivered directly to you!
To have future issues of this newsletter sent directly to your email, please send your name
and email address to ASherman@TorranceCA.Gov. In the subject line, please say: “Add me to e-newsletter list.” Your email address will only be used for purposes of this newsletter.

Visit the Torrance Public Works website for more information.

Safe Disposal of Pesticides!

A Guide on How to Handle Old or Unused Pesticides!

Plants, insects, bacteria, fungi and other organisms are a natural part of the environment. Some can benefit people, while others can be pests that you may need or want to control. You can choose from many different methods to control a pest. One method is to use a pesticide.

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances used to destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest. It is important that pesticides are used only where they are absolutely justified. It is essential that you carefully identify the pest you wish to control and then fully consider all the control options. When using a pesticide you must always follow label directions.

Most common pesticides contain toxins and are categorized as household hazardous waste (HHW). Improper disposal of pesticides can result in accidental poisonings of children, pets, and wildlife, so it’s important that you avoid certain habits when getting rid of leftover pesticides.

  • Do NOT pour leftover pesticides down the sink, into the toilet, or down a sewer or street drain.
  • Never reuse pesticide containers to carry or store other items, especially food or drinks. When empty, triple-rinse and dispose of the container according to label instructions.
  • Never puncture or burn a pressurized or aerosol container – it could explode.

Follow these safety recommendations for safe disposal of pesticides and their containers:

  • The best way to dispose of small amounts of excess pesticides is to apply them for the specified pest according to the directions on the label.
  • If you have no further use for them, ask your neighbors whether they have a similar pest control problem and can use them.
  • The donated pesticide must be in its original, fully-labeled container.
  • Make sure that the person who receives it can read and follow the label directions.
  • Always follow the label directions for disposal.
  • Drop off at a Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up or permanent location.
    Visit Los Angeles County Sanitation District website for more information on upcoming events and locations.
  • Hyperion Treatment Plant S.A.F.E. Center
    7660 W. Imperial Hwy., Gate B
    Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
  • Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Center
    1400 Gaffey St.
    San Pedro, CA 90731

Visit the City of Torrance Public Works Household Hazardous Waste homepage for more information.

Water Regulations & Conservation!

Remember the 2-6-8-10 Plan!

On May 5, 2015, City Council approved activation of Level 2 water requirements due to the severity of the drought and to meet the new state regulations.

The Conservation Ordinance applies to the entire City regardless of retail water supplier.

Level 2 -Water Use Requirements and Regulations:

  • Calls for up to 30 percent water use reduction
  • No outside watering fro 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Outdoor watering limited to two days a week for 10 minutes per area or irrigation station
  • Fix all leaks within four days
  • No watering 48 hours after rain event
  • Certain restrictions on filling and refilling of pools, spas and ponds
  • Provides for administrative rules to implement the ordinance

Permanent Requirements In Effect at all Times:

  • No excessive runoff from outdoor watering
  • No washing of exterior surfaces
  • No washing of vehicles with “open hose”
  • All water features must have a re-circulating system
For more information on restrictions and regulations, visit this Torrance Public Works webpage.

Remember the 2-6-8-10 Plan!
2 Days a week
6 PM – 8 AM Watering Times
10 Minutes/area (watering station)

Water is a limited and valuable resource. Use it wisely and conserve for tomorrow.

Water Conservation Tips for the Home:

  • Check faucets, pipes, and toilets for leaks
  • Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
  • Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads

Water Conservation Tips for the Yard and Garden:

  • Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it
  • Don’t run the hose while washing your car
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

Click here for a list of 100+ WATER USE IT WISELY conservation tips.

Household Battery Disposal!

Dispose of Unwanted Household Batteries Properly!

It is ILLEGAL to throw away household batteries!

More than 900,000 household batteries are improperly and illegally disposed of each year in Los Angeles. Batteries that end up in landfills have a negative effect on our environment, potentially causing serious health risks to humans and animals.

AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries (e.g. hearing aid batteries) must be disposed of properly because they may contain a corrosive chemical that can cause burns as well as toxic heavy metals like cadmium.

To encourage proper dispose of household batteries, Los Angeles County offers free and convenient collection and drop-off programs to get rid of unwanted batteries safely. PLEASE NOTE: Tape positive (+) end of batteries before taking to a collection site.

You can dispose of household batteries by doing one of the following:

Drop off household batteries at a mobile Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Collection event or permanent collection center.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events. Click here for a list of permanent center locations.

Take to a designated County Library collection site. Click here for a complete list of the County Library collection sites.

Take to a local collection center. Click here for a list of local retail store collection centers.

Please call collection sites for hours of operation and regulations.

Earth Day – April 22nd!

45th Anniversary of Earth Day!

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, marking what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. Forty five years later, Earth Day continues to be a day of action!

On April 22 citizens throughout the world participate in various community activities to help keep our environment beautiful.

Join the City of Torrance in celebrating Earth Day this year by participating in the community events going on this month!

  • Madrona Marsh Earth Day Fair
Saturday, April 18th (9am-2pm)
3021 Plaza Del Amo Terrace

Admission is FREE!
Enjoy arts and crafts, docent led tours and a kids concert with artist Dan Crow, regularly seen on Nickelodeon and The Learning Channel.
For more information visit this Friends of Madrona March webpage or call 310-782-3989.
  • City of Torrance Earth Day Recycling Event
Saturday, April 25th (8am-12pm)
Toyota Employee Parking Lot (off Toyota Way, south of the intersection of 190th and Van Ness)

Free to Torrance Residents!
– Paper Shredding Drop-Off
– Electronics Recycling Drop-Off
– Shoe and Clothing Recycling Drop-Off
– Used Oil and Filter Exchange Drop-Off
For more information visit this Recycle Torrance Events webpage of contact Torrance Public Works at 310-781-6900.

Click here to view The Torrance Public Works Department Newsletter. “One’s Person’s Trash…” Your guide to reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Rain Barrel!

Conserve water and energy!

A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.

Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out, and other off-the-shelf items, a rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.

Ready-made rain barrels can be purchased from a number of companies, including hardware stores and garden supply stores.

The Rain Barrel International is now offering a series of Truckload Sales in the Los Angeles area. Rain Barrels are available for $85, purchases must be made online in advance of event. Visit their website for a list of upcoming events.

Here are some benefits of having a Rain Barrel at your home:

  • A rain barrel diverts water from municipal storm drain systems and protects our water systems from runoff pollution.
  • A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need it most, during periods of drought.
  • It provides an ample supply of free “soft water” to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flowerpots, and car and window washing.
  • A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.
  • Saving water not only helps protect our environment, it saves you money and energy by decreased demand for treated tap water.

Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams. Therefore, a rain barrel is an easy way for you to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use. Click here for Tips to Place and Maintain a Rain Barrel.

The Metropolitan Water District also offers a $75 rebate for up to 4 rain barrels per household! To receive rebate, the barrel must be at least 50 gallons and designed for the intended purpose of rain capture. Click here for Rebate Guidelines.

For further rebate information visit or call 1-888-376-3314.

New Year Cleaning!

Large, Bulky Item Pick-Ups!

The holiday season has come and gone … and left a mess behind. Looking around, you wonder how you’ll ever replace your old couch and appliances with your new ones! Well, the City of Torrance will pick up your old items from you for FREE!

For residents with City services for rubbish and recycling, a free pickup of large or bulky items can be requested. Large item collection is available on an on-call basis once per calendar year per address.

The City will pick up twenty (20) items per pick up.

  • Small items must be tied in bags.
  • To schedule your once a year large item pickup, call our customer service office, Global Water, toll-free at 855-354-5623, Monday through Thursday, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Your pick up will take place the following week on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • Place items where recycling is picked up, at least five feet away from your trash and recycling containers.
  • Torrance Municipal Code states that materials cannot be placed for collection earlier than 12 hours before the scheduled pickup.
  • Cancellations must be made at least one day in advance of your scheduled pickup.

The following are NOT collected as part of this program:

  • Construction materials (examples: wood, concrete, bricks, and drywall)
  • Major yard cleanup debris (examples: trunks and stumps, sod, and dirt)
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Auto parts
  • Spas, hot tubs
  • Pianos, organs
  • Household hazardous wastes, including TVs, computer monitors, and electronics. If you have hazardous waste or electronics, click here for suggestions.

Residents are also encouraged to consider recycling any items in usable condition by donating them to a non-profit organization. The following organizations provide pick-up or drop-off service:

  • Goodwill: 562-435-7741
  • Salvation Army: 800-958-7825
  • Habitat for Humanity: 310-323-5665

For residents with working refrigerators to be discarded, you may be entitled to a rebate from Southern California Edison. Click here for details.

For residents who have items the City will not take, or for those who have already used the large item pick up for the year, click here for a list of local transfer stations that are open to the public. Please call ahead for prices, accepted materials, recycling options or other requirements.

Please note: Large Item Collection is not available during the time of our Christmas tree recycling program, which usually starts after Christmas and continues for about two weeks.

Have a ‘Green’ Christmas!

Christmas is a time of giving!

This year try giving back to the environment by reducing the impact of the holiday season. In fact, Americans produce about 1 million extra tons of trash around the holidays, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Having a ‘Green’ Christmas is not about going without; it’s about using your imagination to show extra care for the environment during the holiday season.

Here are a couple of simple tips on having a ‘Green’ Christmas, this year:

Homemade gifts, cards, and decorations! When it comes to cards, gift tags, and wrapping, there is a lot of waste involve.

  • Making your own gifts at Christmas time is an excellent way of ensuring they’re eco-friendly and well within budget
  • There are an infinite number of possibilities, with a bit of creativity and imagination

Alternatives to wrapping paper! In the US, the annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals over 4 million tons.

  • Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper
  • Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper
  • Reuse gift-wrap where possible

Low impact of holiday lighting! A smaller presentation of lights can still be attractive and can lower your electricity bill during the holidays.

  • Use LED lights to decorate the outside and lighting the Christmas tree
  • Reduce the size of outdoor and indoor lighting displays
  • Turn tree lights and outdoor house decorative lighting on at bedtime

Choose a live tree! Although plastic Christmas trees are reusable from year to year, real trees are the more sustainable choice.

  • When Christmas passes, the tree is 100% biodegradable and recyclable (Visit the City of Torrance website for more information on Christmas tree recycling in Torrance)
  • Old trees can be turned into wood chips to use in compost and mulch to further nourish your soil

Where To Recycle Old Paint

Recycling leftover paint in California just got more convenient!

PaintCare, a non-profit organization, helps to dispose of paint properly and for free by creating a stewardship of drop-off locations.

Latex, water-based, and acrylic-based paints can be recycled and made into new products, such as concrete, cement and other additives. It’s always good to recycle your paint to conserve resources.

Oil-based paints, however, are considered household hazardous waste (HHW) and should NEVER be tossed in the trash! Even if paint is dried, oil-based paint should be disposed of at the local HHW facility listed below.

S.A.F.E. Collection Center
1400 N. Gaffey St.
San Pedro, CA 90021
Open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 3 pm. Except Holidays and rainy days.

To recycle latex paints, remove the lid from the can and allow the paint to dry out and harden completely. Once the paint has dried completely, it’s ready to be recycled. Bring your cans to a recycling facility.

Below are local PaintCare sites where you can take your unwanted paint:

These sites accepts latex and oil-based house paint, stains and varnish in containers up to 5 gallons in size. These sites do NOT accept aerosols (spray paint or other spray products), containers without original labels, or containers that are empty or leaking.

If you have leftover, unwanted paint that is in good condition, you can donate it to nonprofits and other groups in your area for reuse in remodeling, set design and other applications. Such as high school drama departments, community theater groups, schools, charities and places of worship

Steel paint cans are also recyclable. To recycle, the paint can must be completely empty prior to placement into your Gray curbside recycling bin.

For more information on paint recycling and disposal visit

America Recycles Day!

On November 15th Keep America Beautiful!

Each year on November 15th, millions of people across the country participate in America Recycles Day a national initiative by Keep America Beautiful.

America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. Since its inception in 1997, the ARD campaign has grown to include millions of Americans.

The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash in a single day, but Americans only 35 percent of the country’s waste is recycled. America Recycles Day better informs people about the importance of recycling at home and work and buying recycled products.

Events Near You!

There are many events throughout California already registered on the official America Recycles Day website. These events provide various recycling opportunities and information through educational fairs focusing on broad interpretations of reduce, reuse, recycle and re-buy.

Visit the official America Recycles Day website for information about events near you!

Take the Pledge!

Take the America Recycles Day online pledge to find out what materials are collected for recycling in your community. Pledge to reduce your personal waste by recycling and to recycling more. Encourage one family member or one friend to take the pledge too.

Visit the America Recycles Day website to take the pledge!


Visit to find your nearest recycling center, and learn the facts about what materials can be recycled and what they can become in their new lives.