A lot of people think that the recycling can marked ‘Cans and Bottles’ is the place to put unwanted plastic, but not all plastics are recyclable. The following plastic items are not recyclable. Styrofoam: ​including pellets, molded blocks, dinner plates, bowls, cups, and food packaging. All plastic cutlery: knives, forks, spoons, etc. Clamshell food containers​, no matter what kind of plastic they are made out of. Non-rigid plastic food packaging, ​like​ potato chip bags and​ any kind of​ pliable plastic packaging. Plastic 6 pack rings. Juice boxes. ​Many of these products say they are recyclable and have recycling symbols on them; however, these products are not recycled because its just not practical. For example, juice boxes are made out of layers of paper, metal foil, and plastic, all glued together. It costs too much to separate these materials, and nobody does.These products will not get recycled if you put them in your recycling can. All these products should go in your regular garbage can​ instead​.

Free Junk Removal

Junk haulaway services are always busy in college towns at the end of the school year. Hauling away bulky items, like furniture, can be very expensive, but did you know that the cities of Berkeley and Oakland offer free bulk junk removal? Every house and apartment in Berkeley and Oakland is entitled to one free bulk waste pickup a year. They will take away almost anything, including mattresses, box springs, sofas, and other things that are too big to fit in a garbage can. This is a really valuable free service! If you live in Oakland, give me a call if you want a bulk junk pick-up. In Oakland, the owner of the property has to make the appointment. If you live in Berkeley, go to: Berkeley Free Bulk Waste Pick-Up. At this web site, you can make an appointment yourself for a free pick-up and see a complete list of what they will take away and what they won’t take away. For example, they won’t take away boulders, explosives, or plutonium. Hopefully, you don’t have any plutonium in your apartment, but this is Berkeley, so one can never be sure.

Styrofoam Pellets

styrofoam3NEVER PUT LOOSE STYROFOAM PELLETS IN YOUR GARBAGE CAN!! When garbage collectors empty garbage cans into their truck, they turn the cans upside down. When they do that, loose styrofoam pellets can get blown all over the neighborhood in even the slightest breeze. Styrofoam pellets are made out of petroleum. They do not biodegrade; they do not fall apart in the rain; and they do not get eaten by squirrels. They hang around in the environment for a long time. Styrofoam pellets should always be put into plastic bags and sealed before placing the bags into your garbage can. If you have a lot of styrofoam pellets, you can drop off bags of them at most packaging stores at no charge, where they will get reused. The UPS store in downtown Berkeley will accept bags of styrofoam pellets if they are clean and there is nothing else in the bag. Loose styrofoam pellets in your garbage can are a disaster waiting to happen!