Waste Reduction Guide

Recycling and reusing items is great, but an important and often overlooked element is reducing the amount of waste we generate. Taking steps to reduce waste helps reduce landfill use and saves natural resources. Here are some things you can start doing today to reduce waste:

  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Choose products that use less packaging
  • Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper
  • Store food in reusable containers instead of disposable ones
  • Fill a reusable container with water for travel instead of purchasing
    individual bottles
Opt Out of Telephone Book Deliveries

Would You Like to Stop Telephone Book Deliveries toYour Home or Office?

If you find you have no use for the phone books that are delivered each year to your home or office — canceling these deliveries has never been easier.

In response to growing public interest in opting out of receiving phone directories, the yellow pages industry created the National Consumer Choice and Yellow Pages Opt Out website: www.yellowpagesoptout.com

This site allows you to choose which directory publications you can cancel in your zip code.


Reduce Your Junk Mail

You can reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by ordering a FREE Junk Mail Reduction Kit. It contains pre-addressed postcards that can be filled out and mailed to key agencies that will remove your name from mailing lists.

Click HERE to request a free kit online, or call the Recycling Hotline at (562) 570-2876.

The bulk of your junk
Businesses and organizations subscribe to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), giving them access to the largest mailing list in the country. Completing and mailing the list-removal postcard in the Junk Mail Reduction Kit will eliminate the largest portion of your junk mail.

After receiving the postcard, the DMA will remove your address from its list and it will remain "deleted" for 5 years. It may take 3 months or more for your request to take effect. If you want to remain on some mailing lists, such as a particular catalog, notify them individually.

Unaddressed mail
Stopping the bundles of unaddressed flyers that come to your mailbox is a 2-step process. First, send the kit's detachable postcards to ADVO and Harte-Hanks. That will stop the address card that goes with the flyers. If you continue to get the flyers even without an address card, call the supervisor at your local post office and tell them you received unaddressed mail. Point out that you have specifically asked to be taken off the lists.

Protect your information
Avoid participating in sweepstakes and contests unless you can request to not have your name added to a mailing list. When completing warranties, product registrations, or questionnaires, don't include personal information.

Hand-Delivered Flyers
You can significantly reduce the amount of doorstep flyers by using a “No Advertisement” doorhanger, like the one available FREE from www.litterfreelB.org.

Credit card offers
To reduce credit offers from any of the 4 major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, or Trans Union), call the Credit Reporting Industry Pre-Screening Opt Out number: 888-5-OPTOUT.

To learn more about preventing waste, check CalRecycle's Waste Prevention World site at www.calrecycle.ca.gov/reducewaste.

Buy Recycled: It Closes the Loop

It’s simple economics. The value of recycled materials is driven by market demand. As consumers, we must choose products or packaging with recycled content, so that the materials we recycle are put to use, and markets are sustained.

Recycled materials used in manufacturing products or packaging fall into two categories: “pre-consumer” and “post-consumer”.

Pre-consumer is often referred to as “mill scraps”. It is recycled internally at manufacturing plants.

Post-consumer refers to materials that are used by consumers then returned, through recycling programs, to the manufacturing process.

Many products or packaging that use “post-consumer” content, will indicate so on its packaging, sometimes with a percentage (the higher, the better). Pre-consumer is good, but “postconsumer” is the source that helps keep recycling programs for consumers sustainable. At the very least, you may see the following symbols. Here’s what they mean:

Recyclable Recycled content

If you’re having a hard time finding products, it never hurts to ask. Ask retailers to stock products with recycled-content, or ask manufacturers to provide recycled-content products.

Products that typically include recycled materials

  • Packaging: Boxes for foods such as cereal, crackers and cake mix. Bottles containing liquid laundry detergent, dishwashing liquids, shampoos and household cleaners.
  • Paper products: Facial tissue, toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, greeting cards, writing paper and corrugated cardboard shipping boxes.
  • Plastic products: Coat hangers, desk accessories, storage organizers, patio furniture, playground equipment and toys.
  • Automotive: Re-refined motor oil, retread tires, rebuilt/remanufactured parts and used cars.
  • Garden supplies: Hoses, planters and mulch.
  • Clothing and accessories: Tennis shoes and hiking boots. Clothing fabric made of recycled plastic bottles.
  • Home maintenance: Carpeting, door mats, roofing, wallboard, paint, insulation, gutters and down spouts, siding and flooring.
  • Office supplies: Copier and printer papers, notepads, remanufactured toner cartridges,bulletin boards, rulers, scissors, pencils and refurbished office furniture.


Additional Efforts

Waste Reduction is the best option, before recycling. Discover ways to reduce your waste [MORE]

Recycle all items accepted in the Residential Recycling Program, not just a few. [MORE]

Donation Options

Nonprofit Shops/Thrift Stores:

Goodwill Industries Store Locator http://www.goodwill.org/

Salvation Army Store Locator http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/

American Cancer Society Belmont Shore Discovery Shop 5235 E. 2nd Street, LB 90803 562-621-6787 Hours:   Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri, 10am – 6pm  Wed,10am – 7pm  Sat, 10am – 3pm  Sun.12pm – 5pm http://discoveryshop-belmont.org/

AMVETS Thrift Store 3315 E. South Street, LB 90805 562-470-6805 http://www.amvetsnsf.org/stores.html Hours: Mon – Sat, 9am – 6pm

Assistance League of Long Beach Thrift & Vintage Shop 2100 E. Fourth Street, LB 90814 562-434-7121 thriftshop@allb.org (email) Hours:  Monday, 10am – 4pm   Tuesday-Saturday, 10am – 6pm http://www.allb.org/thriftshop.htm

The Feed Store 2001 E. 4th Street, LB 90806 562-433-7500 Hours:  Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, 11am – 6pm  Fri, 11am – 7pm   Sun 11am – 5pm http://www.gratefulhearts.org/new/the-feed-store

Long Beach Rescue Mission Thrift Store 1430 Pacific Avenue, LB 90813 562-591-1292 Email: info@lbrm.org Hours: Mon – Sat, 8am – 4pm http://www.lbrm.org/how-you-can-help/thrift-store

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store 2750 Pacific Coast Hwy, LB 90804 562-494-9955 Hours:  Mon – Sat, 9am – 6pm   Sun, 10am – 5pm http://www.svdpla.org

School Supplies and Uniforms:

Operation School Bell/ Assistance League of Long Beach 6220 East Spring Street, LB 90815 562-627-5650  Monetary donations for purchasing  new school uniforms for  families in need  Donations of new backpacks  and new school supplies  are welcome http://www.allb.org/osb.htm

Pet Supplies:

City of Long Beach, Office of Animal Care Services/spcaLA P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village 7700 East Spring Street, LB 90815 (24-hour emergency service) Hours:  Wed thru Fri, 10am – 5:30 pm  Sat and Sun,10am – 4pm  Mon, Tues, Holidays, Closed http://www.longbeach.gov/acs/ donations_and_volunteer_o pportunities/default.asp Food Service:

Food Finders 2301 E. 28th Street, Suite 303 Signal Hill 90755 562-598-3003 Hours: Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm http://www.foodfinders.org/

Food Bank of Southern California 1444 San Francisco Avenue LB 90813 562-435-3577 Email: info@foodbankofsocal.org Hours  Mon - Fri, 7am – 3:30 pm http://www.foodbankofsocal.org/

Environmental Services Bureau
Winner Nation’s Best Solid Waste Management Program Award