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Davis

Davis, California

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Improving waste disposal

JEREMY DANG / AGGIE

New trash, recycling bins installed in downtown Davis

As a part of the grant received by the State Department of Resources, the old concrete trash and recycling bins downtown have been replaced with new ones, which are made of recycled plastic from post-consumer products.

“In some of the areas of the downtown, bins regularly overflowed with excess waste,” said Jennifer Gilbert, the parks coordinator, in an email interview. “The new bins feature large color pictures of what can be placed in each bin, and each bin has a side for recycling and a side for trash.”

The new trash and recycling bins have also cut down on time needed to empty them.

“[The crew used to spend] 5 hours a day, seven days a week, emptying the sidewalk trash and recycling bins from Davis,” Gilbert said. “Within hours of being emptied, they would be overflowing again.”

Mayor Pro Tempore Brett Lee predicts that clearer labels on these new bins will allow for responsible waste disposal behavior from Davis residents.

“I think the level of education will go up,” Lee said. “And again, the good thing is that when they [the people] are in front of the container, it will have two compartments — the recyclables and the non-recyclables.”

Lee also added that the City of Davis is planning to expand the project if successful.

“One of the important ideas is that if this is successful in downtown, the idea is to place these receptacles in [the] city’s parks uptown and in other areas,” Lee said.

Tammy Rominger, the parks supervisor, had similar ideas regarding the new trash and recycling bins.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a long-term solution because educating the people is a big part of it,” Rominger said. “Education’s going to help with long-term. Everybody works together to ensure that we are doing the best we can for the environment.”

Gilbert also referred to the potentially detrimental effects that throwing things away can have on the planet.

“People often think that when they are done with something, they throw it ‘away,’” Gilbert said. “There is no ‘away.’ All waste goes somewhere, and where it goes is important. Your disposable coffee cup could be composted, the lid recycled — or it could all get buried in a landfill for hundreds of years. Each action you take has long-term impacts.”

Lee predicts that the disposal of trash and recycling can still be improved in the city of Davis.

“It’s not so much that it [trash and recycling disposal] is a problem, it’s just that we can do better and we can make it easy to do better,” Lee said. “Are we going to stop global warming by this? Probably not. But this is definitely a step in the right direction. Once these are in place, people will wonder ‘Why would we have done it any other way?’”

 

Written by: Rabiya Oberoi — city@theaggie.org

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