Residential Recycling

Five R’s of Responsible Waste Management - REDUCE, REPAIR, REUSE, RECYCLE, AND ROT

Many communities in California offer curbside collection or drop-off sites for certain recyclable materials. Collecting materials is only the first step toward making the recycling process work. Successful recycling also depends on manufacturers making products from recovered materials and, in turn, consumers purchasing products made of recycled materials.

Do your part--"close the loop" and buy products made of recycled materials whenever possible.  To discover the many different and innovative ways to recycle, please take a look the Five R's below to find out how easy it is to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, and rot your waste at home.

If you commit to these five actions, there is little that must be thrown away. Choosing to follow the Five R’s ensures that resources are saved and/or reused, and the volume of waste is reduced. By keeping these actions in mind when purchasing, using, and disposing of materials, you will have done more than your share to keep our county clean and beautiful.

REDUCE the amount of trash you create

  • Buy the right size for the job

  • If you buy it, use it up!

  • Buy products with less packaging

  • Using less paper in the first place means you’ll save money, fewer trees will be cut for paper pulp, less energy and water will be wasted in the manufacturing process, and fewer greenhouse gasses will be produced. Develop a habit of thinking ahead about what you use; it may affect your purchasing needs.

  • When printing a document, consider whether you really need the whole document. Instead of printing multiple pages, you may only need one or two.

  • If you do need to make printed copies, try to fit either two or four pages on one paper if possible. Then simply cut the stack in half or into quarters on a paper cutter.

  • When photocopying, only make the necessary number and copy on both sides whenever possible.

  • Use fewer sticky notes by keeping an Outlook or on-line calendar.

  • When proofreading a document, try to do it on your computer screen instead of printing a hard copy to mark up. It will save you time, ink/toner, and paper.

  • Check to make sure that you only receive copies of newsletters, newspapers, and magazines that are really necessary. Share these periodicals with others. Sign-up for electronic newsletters when possible.

  • Purchase items in refillable containers and buy in bulk whenever possible.

  • Buy products in concentrated form, such as cleaners, juices, and drink mixes.

  • Use bulk bins at the grocery store.

  • Use a cloth bag when you go shopping for groceries. Think of all the plastic bags you won’t need over a years’ worth of shopping!

  • Avoid disposable or single use products such as batteries, razors, cameras, eating utensils, plates, and cups.

  • Rent items that you rarely use, such as power tools and lawn equipment. Many hardware stores rent these items inexpensively.

  • Stop junk mail at the source!

  • See additional information contained in the Waste Guide.

  • Look for merchandise with little or no packaging when making purchases.

REPAIR items if possible

  • Many items that we would normally throw out can be repaired, upgraded, or reused. This is usually cheaper than buying a new one and saves the space of disposing of the old one. These items include tires, shoes, furniture, lighting fixtures, lawnmowers, electronics, clothes, and automotive parts.

  • Consider reupholstering, refinishing, or donating old furniture to be used again.

  • Have large appliances repaired instead of buying new ones.

REUSE items a couple of times if possible

  • Use the blank backs of copies for scratch paper.

  • Reuse envelopes, folders and boxes when possible.

  • Bring your own plate, silverware and coffee mug to work instead of using disposable ones. With a little soap and water, you’ll be good to go for next time!

  • Shop at and donate items to thrift stores or consider having a yard sale for unwanted household items.

  • When buying a new product, take into consideration its potential life span. Will it last a long time, and is it able to be repaired if broken?

  • Reuse food containers and buy durable storage containers to store leftovers instead of using foil, plastic bags or wrap.

  • Purchase products in attractive bottles, jars, and boxes that you can use again.

RECYCLE everything you can

  • Take the next step and begin purchasing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content paper for your copying needs.

  • The following are a few items commonly found around the home and office that can be recycled.

    • Copy/printer paper

    • Manila/file folders

    • Soda/water bottles and cans

    • Food cans (soup, tuna, etc.)

    • Phone books

    • Notepads (with wire removed)

    • Dry food boxes (crackers, etc.)

    • Magazines and newspapers

    • Aluminum foil

    • Cardboard

  • For a complete list of recyclable materials, please contact your trash service hauler. If your trash service hauler does not provide recycling for a particular material, please contact the Riverside County Department of Waste Resources at 951-486-3200, check your local yellow pages for a recycler, or check out the Waste Guide for recycling options for many different waste streams. Prepare your recyclables according to the directions given by your recycling provider. This will make it easier and less costly for them to continue providing these services.

  • Use the information in the Waste Guide to recycle as much as you can!

  • For local recyclers in your area, go to: http://www.Earth911.com or 1-800-CLEAN-UP.

ROT organic materials

  • Set up a compost pile to compost yard trimmings.

  • Attend a free workshop on composting. See additional information on our Composting page.

  • Set up a worm composter to recycle your fruit and vegetable scraps into a rich, valuable plant food.

  • See the Residents tab of the Organics page in the Waste Guide for additional information on recycling organic material.

Field level help.