City works with businesses to turn their trash into treasure

City works with businesses to turn their trash into treasure
Carlsbad by the Sea Hotel is one recent successful venture that Global Disposal reached out to assist with their recycling program. Photo by Trever Perkins

CARLSBAD — The City of Carlsbad and its residents have made great strides in working toward sustainability. Now the city is looking to its businesses to do their part. Avecita Jones, the city’s recycling program manager said. “While residential recycling has become mainstream, the bigger challenge ahead for local governments is to increase recycling by commercial businesses.” 

Global Disposal, a city contractor, assists large businesses to help them divert more or strengthen their recycling programs. Jillian Oxendine, recycling consultant with Global Disposal, Inc., said the partnership with the City of Carlsbad is an important step in helping many commercial businesses in the city establish or strengthen their recycling programs. “This partnership ensures sites are compliant with state and local mandates as well as it helps businesses create unique opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle more than they are currently doing.” 

Additionally, when possible, the city seeks to find alternative ways to divert waste by working with nonprofits to donate items with people and organizations who need them. “There is a network of people wanting to do the right thing and do as much as they can to keep waste out of the landfills and reuse more,” Oxendine said.  Waste is viewed not as something to be thrown away, but as a resource out of place. By finding new uses for that waste — or donating it to someone who can reuse it – businesses can do their part.

One recent successful venture was with the Carlsbad by the Sea Hotel. “Global Disposal reached out to them this summer to assist them with their recycling program,” Jones said.  Major renovations at the hotel resulted in a large number of bulky items that needed to be removed from the property. “Carlsbad by the Sea donated approximately 150 pillows, 100 coffee makers, 20 mattresses/beds, 20 mini-fridges and a number of chairs,” Oxendine said. “These items were donated to the U.S.-Mexico Binational Committee and will be directly helping the 3,500 flood victims in Sinaloa, Mexico who are relying on temporary housing.” Thanks to Carlsbad by the Sea donation several shelters found valuable treasures on the items received.

When mattresses can’t be donated, Oxendine said, they can be recycled. “Recycled mattresses are used to make fiber for scrap metal, wood chips, clothing and foam products,” she said. “A great resource for people looking to recycle a mattress is www.byebyemattress.com.”

Oxendine also stressed the importance of reusing items. “So many different items that might not be able to be recycled in a traditional sense can have alternative uses,” she said. “Just because we might have outgrown or don’t have a use for an item anymore doesn’t mean it should be tossed, someone else may have it.”

Global Disposal continues to work with other businesses in Carlsbad to increase recycling.  Another Carlsbad business is following suit by donating a large number of office furniture items to a local charity rather than sending it to the landfill.  Those donations, in aggregate, will enhance the business recycling program and reduce its disposal costs.

Jones said the city’s goal is to provide resources to its businesses and help them find more ways to recycle more! “Businesses want to be more sustainable and keep the city beautiful,” she said.

To learn more about the city’s recycling programs and to see how your business can increase its sustainability, visit www.carlsbadca.gov/services/depts/pw/environment/trash/commercial.asp.

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