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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

City of Davis awarded funds for new recycling bins

NADIA DORIS / AGGIE

CalRecycle donates $197,851

The City of Davis will soon have new recycling bins throughout town thanks to a $197,851 grant awarded by the State Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

“The funds will be used to purchase new recycling bins for the Downtown core area, parks and greenbelts and to purchase a few solar compacting trash/recycling units,” said Jennifer Gilbert, conservation coordinator for the City of Davis Public Works Department in an email interview.

With new bins, waste overflow and crew maintenance will be reduced. Currently, many of the existing bins lack clear labeling and are too small to allow items to be placed inside, causing bins downtown to regularly overflow with waste. Because of the excessive amount of waste production, park crews spend hours each day managing this waste issue.

“Our parks crews spend 5 hours a day, 7 days a week emptying bins from Downtown Davis. Within hours of the bins being emptied, they are overflowing again,” Gilbert said.

To help relieve crew workers and reduce waste production in the city, Gilbert suggested that residents divert personal waste into recycling and organics bins at home and at work.

In downtown Davis, the new grant funds will also go toward solar powered bins. Solar powered bins crush waste to reduce overflow and, once full, alert the city through a messaging system that the bins can be emptied. It is grant funds like these from CalRecycle that make purchasing new and innovative waste solutions a possibility in Davis and throughout the state.

Each year, CalRecycle, a department within the California Environmental Protection Agency that oversees waste handling and recycling programs, is able to award grants to hundreds of public and private entities throughout the state.

According to the CalRecycle website, “During the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, 172 grants were awarded totalling up to $36,926,744.”

Gilbert said that in the future, if the recycling program receives more grant money, they will allocate more funds toward dedicated outreach.

Members of the campus community are also working hard to address waste reduction and waste production. The Waste Reduction and Recycling program, coordinated through the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, wants to help the campus reach its zero waste goal of diverting trash from landfills by 2020.

“In the last fiscal year, UC Davis had a 73% diversion rate, 4th among other UC campuses. We need to improve our diversion rate as the goal approaches, but we need everyone to help,” said Sue Vang, program manager for Waste Reduction and Recycling in an email interview.

To help the campus reach its goal, Vang recommended that students make an effort to compost more — not just food, but napkins and other items as well. She’s hoping that she can bring more composting collection services to the Coffee House later this spring.
Written By: Anya Rehon — city@theaggie.org

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