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Recycle Your Christmas Tree This Holiday Season

City of Torrance Offers Free Christmas Tree Recycling!

From December 27, 2016 through January 12, 2017, City of Torrance residents will be able to recycle their Christmas trees along with their regular curbside collection.

Trees must be unflocked (no fake snow), less than six feet long (without cutting), and undecorated (no stands, tinsel, or ornaments). 

How-To: 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 Monday, December 27, 2016, and Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Other Options: Christmas trees put out for collection before or after the recycling collection dates, or flocked trees (with fake snow), must be cut up and placed in the regular (black) trash container for removal. Unflocked Christmas trees six (6) feet or smaller can be placed directly into the green waste container and will be collected during normal collection times.

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 multifamily homes, businesses, and those not serviced by Torrance Sanitation, LA City Sanitation offers free tree pick-up and several tree drop-off locations. Please visit their webpage for the dates, locations, and all the details.

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

What happens to my Christmas trees when they’re recycled?

  • The City of Torrance chops up the Christmas trees they collect and turn them into mulch and landfill cover. The City offers free mulch giveaways year-round at Lago Seco Park. Visit the Public Works Department for more details.
Is there a more eco-friendly, sustainable option for Christmas trees?
  • Yes! You can “rent” a living Christmas tree (one that has not been chopped down) and have it delivered to your home or business for the holiday season. You can visit Living Christmas for more details.

Waste Prevention!

Waste reduction at home!

Waste prevention (or source reduction) means eliminating waste before it’s created by purchasing products with less packaging, reusing goods instead of throwing them away, using up products completely and eliminating waste whenever possible. Waste prevention saves resources, promotes efficiency, reduces pollution and may even save money.

A few ways to stop waste at the start:

  • Compost yard waste and kitchen scraps
  • Buy reusable rather than disposable products
  • Bring a shopping bag to the store
  • Buy in bulk when possible
  • Avoid individually wrapped or single-serving products
  • Choose products with refillable or reusable containers
  • Buy fresh produce at local farmers’ markets without packaging
  • Reduce the amount of unwanted mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waste reduction (or prevention) is the preferred approach to waste management because waste that never gets created doesn’t have waste management costs. Visit CalRecycle for more information on how to reduce waste at home.

 

HHW & E-Waste Collection!

Dispose of HHW & E-Waste Properly!

Hazardous and electronic waste is any discarded material that threatens public health, safety, and the environment due to its chemical nature. Throwing these materials in the trash, down storm drains, on the ground, or in the sewer system puts oceans and groundwater at risk.

The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works provides free, one-day, periodic collection events. Make sure to visit us on June 18th at American Honda!
The City of Torrance will be hosting a HHW & E-Waste collection event from 9am to 3pm.

THINGS WE WANT YOU TO BRING…

  • Motor oil, antifreeze, paint, paint thinner
  • Turpentine, cleaners with acids or lye
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Household and car batteries
  • Sharps or used needles
  • Expired pharmaceuticals and mercury thermometers

THINGS WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO BRING…
  • Explosives, ammunition or radioactive materials
  • Waste from businesses will NOT be accepted
  • Trash or old tires
  • Household and car batteries
  • Sharps or used needles
  • White goods such as washers, stoves, refrigerators or air conditioners

In addition, all residents of Los Angeles County may utilize the City of Los Angeles S.A.F.E. permanent collection centers (various), the Antelope Valley Environmental Collection Center (in Palmdale) or EDCO Recycling and Transfer Center (in Signal Hill) to properly dispose of HHW/E-Waste FREE of charge.

FREE PERMANENT DROP-OFF FACILITY NEAR TORRANCE
S.A.F.E. Collection Center
1400 North Gaffey St.
San Pedro, CA 90021
The San Pedro site is open SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS from 9:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M. except Holidays and rainy days.

February 18th is National Battery Day!

Recycle Batteries For A Chance To Win A Prize!

Give a little love back to our planet and join the City of Torrance and Call2Recycle in celebrating National Battery Day on February 18th for a chance to win a prize!

Call2Recycle is hosting a contest throughout the month of February in celebration of National Battery Day! Eight lucky U.S. recyclers will win $250 to add to their satisfaction of having properly disposed of their batteries, just post a picture of yourself recycling a used household battery. For more details, visit call2recycle.org/nationalbatteryday.

The steps are easy:

  • 1. Visit one of Call2Recycle’s retail partners’ locations to drop off your used batteries for recycling, or find another recycling location near you through their collection site locator.
  • 2. Take a picture of yourself recycling a battery at one of the collection sites.
  • 3. Submit your photo through Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #NBD2016Recycle2Win, or post it here, anytime between now and February 29.

Why is battery recycling important?
Recycling batteries is good for the environment! It keeps them out of landfills, where heavy metals (like lead, cadmium, zinc lithium and mercury) may leak into the ground when the battery casing corrodes, causing soil and water pollution.

The City of Torrance and L.A. County offer free collection and drop-off programs for residents to get rid of unwanted batteries. PLEASE NOTE, to tape positive (+) end of batteries before taking to a collection site or event. Listed below are a few battery-recycling sites in the City.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center or Event

  • Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Collection Center
    1400 Gaffey St. Los Angeles, CA 90731
    Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-3pm
  • Torrance HHW/E-Waste Roundup Event
    Saturday, June 18, 2016
    American Honda – 1919 Torrance Blvd.
    Hours: 9am-3pm
  • Visit CLEANLA.com for additional information and a complete list of permanent centers and upcoming events.
Designated County Library Drop Off Site Call2Recycle – Rechargeable Battery and Cellphone Collection
  • Lowes – 22255 S. Western Ave.
  • Lowes – 2700 Skypark Dr.
  • Home Depot – 24451 Crenshaw Blvd.
  • Best Buy – 3675 Pacific Coast Hwy
  • Verizon Wireless – 24329 Crenshaw Blvd.
  • Please contact collection sites for hours of operation and regulations. Visit Call2Recycle.org for more information on rechargeable battery and cellphone recycling.

Curbside Collection Program!

Gray, Green, Black Bins… What goes where?

The City of Torrance curbside collection program makes residential trash and recycling easy. The program consists of one Black, Gray, and Green bin. What do the colors represent?

The Gray bin is for recycling of plastics, glass, and paper. Items such as aluminum cans and foil, plastic bottles and containers, cardboard, empty food boxes, egg cartons (cardboard only), glass bottles and jars, junk mail, magazines and brochures, metal coat hangers, newspapers, phonebooks, and tin cans. Do not place liquids, napkins, tissue paper and anything soiled with food into Gray bin.

  • Tip: Please rinse out containers, but be sure all liquids are drained from containers before placing in recycling bins.
  • Tip: Labels can be left on the containers. Lids can be recycled in the bin, but please take them off the containers.

The Green bin is for recycling yard waste including grass, leaves, wood chips, tree branches, sawdust, garden trimmings, green plants, and weeds. Material cannot protrude from the top of the containers more than 2 or 3 feet.

  • Tip: Recycle your Christmas trees any time in your green waste container. Cut up your Christmas tree to meet green waste collection requirements.
  • Tip: Leave your grass clippings on the lawn – it’s a good source of nitrogen and acts as a fertilizer. You can also recycle your green waste and food waste at home to create your own compost. Go to www.smartgardening.com to learn more.

The Black bin is for trash only. Trash items include food waste, soiled toiletries/food containers, cigarette butts, diapers, sponges, styrofoam, waxed paper, palm fronds, cactus, ice plant, and yucca. Do not place dirt, rock, sod, concrete, construction debris, hot ashes, liquids, electronics, and hazardous wastes into Black bin.

  • Tip: If you need additional capacity, leave the lid open and place a securely closed additional 30-gallon trash bag on top of your other waste.

Visit the City of Torrance’s Residential Curbside Collection webpage for more information.

Recycle Used Oil and Filters!

It’s Quick, It’s Easy and It’s the Right Thing To Do!

Every year approximately 13 million gallons of motor oil that has been sold to the public is unaccounted for. California has no record of that motor oil being recycled. What happens to it? Maybe it is disposed of improperly… thrown down the storm drain, poured down the drain, poured on to a patch in the back yard, or thrown into the garbage.

  • Did you know that used motor oil never wears out? It just gets dirty and can be recycled, cleaned, and used again. If these contaminants reach the ground, they can seep into our water supply and cause serious pollution. If they are released into our storm drain system they get washed away with the next rains directly into the ocean!
  • Yes, used oil is very recyclable. Used oil can be re-refined or processed into fuel oil.
  • Oil filters contain used oil and steel. Both are valuable nonrenewable resources.

When you take your used oil to a certified center for recycling, you are protecting the environment, and conserving a valuable resource. That’s a winning combination!

Find a Certified Collection Center in the City of Torrance!

For more information on used oil and filter recycling visit CalRecycle.

Storm Drains are for Rain!

Keep the Drains Clean!

Everything that goes in a storm drain comes out in the ocean!

Unlike water that goes to the sanitary sewer system, storm water is not treated or filtered before it is discharged to the ocean. Polluted runoff can have harmful effects on wildlife and the recreational uses of streams, creeks and beaches.

Do not dump trash, debris, or liquids down the storm drains, gutters, or streets.

There is plenty we can all do to help!

  • Keep trash and litter out of drains, especially cigarette butts. In fact, 32% of litter at storm drains is tobacco products. Always throw your litter in the garbage.
  • Remember to scoop your pet’s poop. Unscooped poop gets carried by overland water contaminating our waterways. Carry a pet waste bag with you on walks and dispose of them properly.
  • Keep cars well maintained to prevent leaks. Do not dispose of automotive fluids in the street, gutter or in the garbage. It is illegal! Visit 888CleanLA.com for the location of a center that recycles these fluids or go to a local household hazardous waste roundup.
  • Do not overwater lawns. Overflowing water will cause toxic fertilizers and pesticides to run into the street, down the storm drain and into the ocean. Please use fertilizers and pesticides wisely, not before a rain, and water carefully. There are also biodegradable and environmentally-friendly products for outdoor cleaning and landscape maintenance.
  • Do not sweep, wash, or blow grass clippings or other lawn debris into the street. They can clog catch basins. Properly dispose of green waste by placing into the green bin provided by the city.

You can keep your community clean, protect our area waterways and make the beaches safe by following these simple steps. Help keep the City of Torrance beautiful!

Composting!

From Garbage To Your Garden!

Compost is the single most important supplement you can give your garden soil.

With compost, you are creating rich humus for your lawn and garden. This adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain moisture in the soil.

Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can and offers a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers.

Composting is free, good for the environment, and explained by this simple formula:

Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost


  • Air. Like most living things, the bacteria that decompose organic matter, and the other creatures that make up the compost ecosystem, need air. Compost piles need spaces for air to flow. Occasionally turning your pile moves new material into the center, and helps improve airflow into the pile.
  • Water. Compost microbes also need the right amount of water. Too much moisture reduces airflow, causes temperatures to fall, and can make the pile smell; too little water slows decomposition and prevents the pile from heating.
  • Carbon ingredients. The microbes that break down organic matter use carbon as an energy source. The most common high-carbon ingredients are leaves, straw, and corn stalks. These ingredients are called browns.
  • Nitrogen ingredients. Microbes need nitrogen for the proteins that build their tiny bodies. Ingredients high in nitrogen are generally green, moist plant matter, such as leaves, or an animal by-product, such as manure. These ingredients are called greens.

Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio
The secret to a healthy compost pile is to maintain a working balance between these two elements. A healthy compost pile should have much more carbon than nitrogen. A simple rule of thumb is to use two-thirds brown and one-third green materials. If in doubt, add more carbon!

Once your compost pile is established, add new materials by mixing them in. Mixing, or turning, the compost pile is key to aerating the composting materials and speeding the process to completion.

A new composting bin is now available through the City of Torrance Public Works Department


The Envirocycle mini composting bin is great for small areas like patios. Comes fully assembled Spins in place on its own base for aeration. Made with a high percentage of Post-Consumer and Post-Industrial recycled plastic (BPA Free).

Go to Envirocycle.com for more information about the bin.

To purchase ($70 each, Torrance residents only, cash or check only), contact Public Works at 310-781-6900

Christmas Tree Recycling!

Your Gift to the Earth!

With the holiday season now over, the year’s largest waste period is in full swing. The largest item of waste being the Christmas Tree!

Did you know approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year? So, what can we do to help?

Well, from December 26, 2013 through January 9, 2014 the City of Torrance will recycle Christmas trees as part of their curbside collection for those unable to use the green waste container.

To recycle unflocked Christmas trees curbside, remove all tinsel, ornaments and stands. 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 26, 2013, and January 9, 2014. A separate truck will collect the trees to use as mulch and landfill cover.

Another alternative for next holiday season is investing in an artificial tree that you can use for years and years. Not only will you save the environment a bit of grief, but you will also save money. Not to mention not having to think about throwing a whole tree away every January.

For more information, call City of Torrance Public Works Department 310-781-6900 or click here to go to the City of Torrance Christmas Tree Recycling webpage.

Reuse!!

Reuses for Rubber Bands

Stop carelessly tossing rubber bands and start reusing them with the help of these inspirational ideas.

We each accumulate a fair number of rubber bands. They are wrapped around our mail, the broccoli we buy in stores or at farmers markets, the newspapers delivered to our homes and many other everyday items. Rubber bands are not compostable or recyclable, but don’t throw them away because they can be reused.

One of the most innovative ways to reuse rubber bands is rubber band lamps (see above). Made by Bath, England-based Orchard Studio, these lamps are created from reclaimed rubber bands and are cool and colorful.

Another designer, Christiane Diehl of Hanover, Germany, reuses rubber bands to make rubber band jewelry (right).

Here are some ideas you can use at home for reusing your rubber bands:

  • The United States Postal Service (USPS) reuses rubber bands. You can leave them out for your mail carrier or take them with you the next time your visit your local post office. You can even bundle them and drop them into any blue USPS-designated mailbox.
  • Wrap a rubber band or two around the lid of a jar to make a stubborn lid easier to open.
  • Keep a desk drawer more organized by using rubber bands to wrap around pencils, pens, markers and crayons.
  • Keep your sewing basket better organized by wrapping rubber bands around your spools of thread to keep them from unraveling and tangling up.
  • When mixing up cake, pancake or muffin batter, wrap a rubber band around the top of the handle of your spoon to stop if from slipping into the mixing bowl.
  • Secure rubber bands around the shoulder areas of a hanger to help keep clothing from sliding off the hanger.
  • This rubber band maternity trick helped me through two pregnancies. Continue using your jeans throughout your pregnancy by threading a rubber band through your jeans buttonhole and then around the button.

Do you know of other rubber band reuse ideas? Feel free to share them in the comments section!