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Join Heal the Bay in Strawless Summer

Help reduce plastic litter by skipping the straw!

Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of the Greater Los Angeles area safe, healthy, and clean. For over thirty years, Heal the Bay has been the Southland’s strongest advocate for the ocean.

Litter from plastic debris is a huge problem in Southern California oceans and waterways. In fact, by 2050, it is now estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean by mass than there are fish!

The most common form of plastic debris comes from beverage containers: plastic lids, cups, bottles, sleeves, stirrers, six-pack rings, and yes, straws. According to Heal the Bay, nearly 40% of all debris found in the environment is beverage-related.

Not only is plastic litter unsightly and gross, it’s dangerous. Marine mammals, fish, and birds can choke on litter, causing sickness, injury and death.

The City of Torrance is uniquely situated within the Dominguez Channel, a 70,000 acre watershed, extending from LAX to the Los Angeles Harbor. With Madrona Marsh, one of the only urban wetlands in Southern California, and 1.5 miles of Pacific coastline, the City of Torrance is one of the most geographically diverse areas in Los Angeles, and one of the most reliant on waterways for its natural beauty.

Litter is a constant problem in all densely-populated, urban areas, and the City of Torrance is no exception. Heal the Bay estimates that collectively, Americans use roughly 500 million plastic straws per day–enough to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times. Most of these plastic straws end up in landfills, but too many end up as litter in our local waterways.

To reduce litter from plastic straws, Heal the Bay is launching a new initiative:

Strawless Summer!

  • Make a commitment to Skip The Straw and visit Heal the Bay for details.
  • Enter the #StrawlessSummer contest to win free concert tickets.
  • Remember to reduce plastic debris from beverage containers by using reusable water bottles and coffee cups.

To learn more about reducing plastic pollution in Southern California waterways, Take Action. To learn more about keeping City of Torrance waterways clean, visit the City’s Stormwater homepage.

Keep Torrance Beautiful!

Join Keep America Beautiful in its Fight to End Littering!

Keep America Beautiful is a leading national nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beauty their community environment. For more than six decades, Keep America Beautiful has served as our country’s nonprofit steward of litter prevention.

Over 51 billion pieces of litter appear on U.S. roadways each year. Litter has environmental consequences. Wind and weather, traffic, and animals move litter into gutters, lawns and landscaped areas, alleyways, and parking structures. Litter near storm drains and beach debris are also likely to wash into local waterways, with potential for serious environmental contamination.

Help Stop Littering! It starts with you…

  • Choose not to litter. Make the commitment now and take the “Be Recycled” pledge with thousands of other Americans.
  • Remind others not to litter and why.
  • If you’re a smoker, carry and use a portable or pocket ashtray.
  • If you see litter, pick it up.
  • Volunteer to help prevent and cleanup litter.

Participate in Keep America Beautiful’s exciting programs this Fall. Registration opens Monday, August 1 for Recycle-Bowl and America Recycles Day. The theme for America Recycles Day this year is “Be Recycled.”

Recycle Glass Bottles & Jars!

Did you know glass never wears out?

Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality.

Recycling glass bottles and jars is easy in the City of Torrance, thanks to the curbside collection program. All colors of glass bottles and jars can be placed in your recycling container and placed on the curb every week for recycling. Please rinse containers. Lids, caps and labels on glass bottles and jars are okay. The grey or blue bins are for recycling of plastics, glass, paper and metal. Blue bins are now available in 96-gallon size. Switch to the new blue bin by clicking here!

Accepted Glass Containers in Curbside Recycling:

Yes

  • Glasses bottles, all colors
  • Jars
  • Beer bottles
  • Pickle jars
  • Wine bottles
  • Any glass container

No
  • Auto glass
  • Ceramic mugs/plates
  • Fluorescent bulbs, light bulbs
  • Glass dishes, drinking glasses
  • Mirrors
  • Plate/window glass
  • Porcelain
  • Pyrex dishes

In California you can also earn money back for recycling glass beverage containers. Typically, individuals will receive five or 10 cents back for each qualifying bottle returned to a participating retail store or recycling center. To find a recycling center near you, visit Earth911.com.

For more information on the City of Torrance curbside recycling program, visit the Torrance Public Works webpage.

Free Sandbags Available!

Prepare for El Niño!

With El Niño approaching, sandbags are the most effective and inexpensive defenses. Street Maintenance provides free sandbags to residents in Torrance residing in single-family homes and duplexes only. During storms, Street Maintenance orders and fills sandbags for Torrance residents. Each resident can pick up a maximum of 25 filled sandbags at no cost at the City Yard, depending on availability.

Please call Public Works at 310-781-6900 before coming to the City Yard to make sure a crew is available to help load the sandbags into a truck or car. Also, be sure to bring some form of ID (Driver’s License) to show residency within the City of Torrance.

During after-hours storm emergencies, Torrance residents may call the Torrance Fire Department at 310-781-7042 for information on sandbag availability.

Visit this Torrance Public Works webpage for more information.
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Image: Sand bags (Michael Marquand / Getty Images)

Medicines and Sharps Disposal – Consumer Survey

Attention LA County Residents!

Unwanted and expired drugs in the home can be dangerous. They can cause accidental poisonings in children, the elderly, and pets. Unwanted and expired drugs can also cause harm or even death when used by curious teens and young adults. Used needles, syringes, and lancets (sharps) can cause accidental injuries and infections if they are not properly disposed.

Los Angeles County is working to make it easier for residents to safely dispose of unwanted medicines and sharps. To do this in the best possible way, your input is needed. Please fill out this short survey to let us know which disposal options would work best for you and to share your thoughts on this issue. The survey is in English and Spanish and will close on January 11, 2016.

English survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/medicinesandsharps
Spanish survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/medicamentosyagudos

Click here to view flyer.

For more information on the County’s efforts please visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/pharma.htm

Christmas Tree Recycling!

Your Gift to the Earth!

It’s that time again to recycle your Christmas tree! The City of Torrance will recycle Christmas trees as part of your curbside collection for those unable to use the green waste container during December 28, 2015, through January 14, 2016.

Trees can be up to six (6) feet long without needing to be cut. Then, place the tree at the curb at least four feet from your automated containers by 7:00 a.m. on your regularly scheduled collection day between December 28, 2015, and January 14, 2016. A separate truck will collect the trees to use as mulch and landfill cover.

Christmas trees put out for collection before or after the recycling collection dates, flocked trees, or trees not put in the green waste container, must be cut up and placed in the automated refuse container for removal.

Note: The large item collection program will not be available during the curbside Christmas tree recycling program. Remember that it takes at least a week to schedule the large item pick up, so please plan accordingly. For further details visit the Public Works Christmas Tree Recycling webpage.

For those not serviced by Torrance Sanitation, LA Sanitation offers several tree drop-off locations. Drop-off locations are open for ONE DAY ONLY, please visit the webpage for the date, locations, and all the details.

For more information, call City of Torrance Public Works Department at 310-781-6900.

Below is a list of other recycling options:

  • Bird feeders: Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter. (Make sure all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel strands are removed). Eventually (within a year) the branches will become brittle and you can break the tree apart by hand or chip it in a chipper.
  • Mulch: A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch in the garden. If you have a neighbor with a chipper, see if he will chip it for you.
  • Paths for hiking trails: Some counties use the shredded trees as a free, renewable and natural path material that fits both the environment and the needs of hikers!
  • Living, rooted trees: Of course, next year, you could get a rooted (ball and burlap or containerized) tree and then plant it in your yard after Christmas. (It’s a good idea to pre-dig the hole in the late fall while the soil is still soft, then plant the tree into that hole immediately after Christmas.) Living trees have a better survival rate in mild climates.

Carton Recycling!

When the contents are gone, let the carton live on!

The Carton has a simple, classic design that has been part of daily life for generations. What makes these cartons such a smart choice today? Cartons are light-weight, recyclable and made mainly from paper, a renewable resource. Classic yet current – cartons help meet our present needs without compromising tomorrow’s resources.

Cartons are a type of packaging for food and beverage products you can purchase at the store. They are easy to recognize and are available in two types—shelf-stable and refrigerated.

Cartons are mainly made from paper in the form of paperboard, as well as thin layers of polyethylene (plastic). The shelf stable ones have also a thin layer of aluminum. Shelf-stable cartons contain on average 74% paper, 22% polyethylene and 4% aluminum. Refrigerated cartons contain about 80% paper and 20% polyethylene.

Products in Shelf-stable Cartons

  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Soy and grain milk
  • Soup and broth
  • Wine

Products in Refrigerated Cartons

  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Egg substitutes
  • Soup and broth

In Torrance, Cartons are recyclable through our Curbside Recycling program. Shelf-stable and refrigerated cartons are accepted! When you recycle cartons you are doing more than keep them out of landfills. You are contributing to a new product, conserving energy and protecting the environment.

Cartons when recycled become toilet paper, napkins, tissue paper, and even building materials. When the contents are gone, let the carton live on! Sign up at CartonsLivesOnCA.org to get a FREE recycling refrigerator magnet and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Click the video to learn more about what Cartons become when recycled.

October is Children’s Health Month

Protecting Children this October!

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is devoting Children’s Health Month to the issues of climate change and children’s health. We believe that a public health response to these issues, combined with raising awareness in the general population about the threats and how to prepare for and respond to them, is the best way forward.

We know that living with climate change will have consequences for our health, and we know that these consequences will be different for children than for adults. Across the country, children’s health will be affected – but not always in the same ways.

Some climate change related developments will be particularly challenging for children with asthma and allergies, as heat, air pollution, and a longer allergy season all combine to worsen symptoms. Some children live in parts of the country where drought is present; others will see more rainfall and storms. Biting mosquitoes and Lyme disease-carrying ticks are expected to be more problematic for children as the climate continues to change.

Across the country, children who live in poverty will face even more challenges as the climate changes, thus requiring appropriate public health awareness, preparation and response.

The EPA has developed an action step for each day of October to help keep your children safe.

The EPA is also hosting a number of nationwide Children’s Health events. Local Children’s Health Month Event:

  • Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit and Exposition
    This summit provides an opportunity for participants to learn how to create healthy and efficient learning environments. EPA Region 9 staff will provide a panel presentation about what measures can be undertaken during energy efficiency upgrades to create healthier school environments. EPA Region 9 staff will also have an outreach table with information on various healthy school topics including indoor air quality, lead paint hazards, PCBs, integrated pest management, and more. This event is open to the public. Please see the summit website for information on how to register.
    Date: October 28 – 29, 2015
    Location: Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA
    More Information: Please contact Eric Canteenwala (canteenwala.eric@epa.gov) or at 415-972-3932.

For further information on the EPA’s Children’s Health Month visit their website.