The Solid Waste Division plays an active role throughout the community by providing household hazardous waste and used oil programs, landscape management workshops, tire recycling amnesty events, and distribution of California Refund Value (CRV) beverage container recycling bins and educational materials.
Tips for Teachers
For educational materials, classroom presentations, or resources please contact the Source Reduction/Planning unit of Solid Waste at (209) 468-3066

Green Home

Reduce

Reuse
Choose re-useable products instead of disposable. Use real dishes, glasses and silverware instead of disposables. Use dish towels that can be washed and re-used instead of paper towels.

Recycle
Find out what recycling resources your trash hauler provides and recycle everything that they allow. Many City recycling programs allow residents to recycle used oil, oil filters, batteries and even small appliances through their normal trash collection service. Check with your City or local waste hauler for details, special procedures and conditions.

Donate Instead of Dispose

Close the Loop
Buy products with recycled content or reconditioned items. Look for paper products, anything from copy paper to paper towels and napkins, that contain post-consumer content. Use reconditioned toner cartridges for your copier or printer if possible.

Dispose of all Waste Materials Properly
Different waste streams contain different hazards that must be managed. Some of these items include:

Conserve Water
Install low-flow devices whenever possible to reduce water consumption. You can find low-flow toilets, faucets and shower heads at your local home improvement store.

Water landscapes only after sundown. Check sprinklers regularly for output and to make sure that they are watering the landscape and not driveways or sidewalks.

Conserve Energy

Use Fluorescent Bulbs
Fluorescent lights last many times longer than incandescent bulbs and use much less energy. Fluorescent bulbs do contain mercury, so they must not be thrown in the garbage and must be disposed of properly.

Seal Ducts
Air conditioners and heaters, when utilized, consume more energy than most other appliances. If ducts are not sealed properly, hot and cold air is wasted in crawl spaces, in wall and in attics making your HVAC work harder to provide less than optimal results. Ducts that are over ten years old that have not been maintained are sure to have leaks that may be costing you hundreds of dollars per year.

Use Rechargeable Batteries
Instead of using disposable batteries, invest in some rechargeable batteries and a charger. Using rechargeable batteries can save you a lot of money over their useful life. Plus having fresh batteries is just a charge away. While rechargeable batteries work well in many devices, be sure to check the manufacturer's recommendations before using these batteries in a device for the first time.

Buy Quality Products
The old saying that "They don't make products like they used to" is actually a true statement. Many devices manufactured nowadays have a limited lifespan and are meant to be disposed of in a few year's time. By spending a bit more, you can invest in products that have a longer useful life

Buy Energy Star Appliances if Possible

Burn Clean
Burn only on approved burn days. New wood stoves are efficient and burn much more cleanly than old models.

Buy natural products whenever possible

Walk or Ride a Bike

Do a Waste Audit
Be aware what your office or workplace consumes and throws away. Most of us are pretty busy at work, if you can’t do everything “green” (and believe me, most people can’t) just do the things that are going to have the most impact. If your office generates a lot of waste paper, find ways to reduce this waste stream and recycle the rest. If your office throws away a lot of beverage containers, start a recycling program. When everyone does a little, it ends up helping a lot.

Use Less Energy
If your office has a lot of windows, leave the lights off and use the natural lighting nature provides. There's no reason to ignore a free light source and your company’s electric bill will be lower. Tell the boss that you’re saving him/her money, they like that. Here are some other tips to use less energy:

  • Turn off lights when not in use.
  • Shut down computers at the end of the day.
  • Turn off printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices that are only used occasionally.
  • Buy Energy Star rated products if possible

 

Go Digital
Everyone has a computer these days, so go electronic and ditch the paper, save for that birthday card for Grandma Florina’s 90th birthday. Other ways you can march into the 21st century are:

  • Resist the temptation to print everything
  • Keep electronic files instead of paper files, if possible
  • Send email instead of letters when possible
  • Eliminate blank pages from documents before printing
  • Email electronics documents when sharing or reviewing.

 

Ditch the Disposables
Try to steer clear of disposable products whenever possible.


When Possible Buy Recycled Content Products
Close the recycling loop by purchasing products made with recycled content. Easy ways to close the loop include:

  • Buy recycled content copy paper with at least 30% recycled content
  • Buy paper towels, napkins that contain recycled content

Reuse shipping and Packing Materials
Don’t throw away shipping boxes, padded envelopes, packing peanuts or bubble wrap! Save them for reuse or recycling. If you cannot use them, find someone who can. Many stores that offer shipping services will accept packing materials and boxes from the public for reuse, after all it saves them money

Carpool
Share rides to work, home and when going to lunch. If you have room in your car or want to join a carpool, visit CommuteConnections website and register to join. 

Bike to Work
People who bike to work are supergreen!

Use Natural Materials Whenever Possible
Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper or cloth towels in the bathroom and kitchen, and provide biodegradable cleaners for the custodial staff.

Bring your Lunch
Bring lunch to work in reusable containers and use washable utensils instead of disposable ones. By making yourself healthy meals and snacks, you are more likely to eat them and not as likely to grab a burger at the fast food joint down the street.

Get Others in on the Act
Share tips around the office. Try to always demonstrate a positive attitude about recycling and never scold others for improper disposal. Coach them in a positive way and remember it takes a while to change behavior.

Recycling at school is easy... and cool!
Here are some tips on how your school can be green:

Start a Recycling Program
Do a "waste audit" and check out what people are throwing into the garbage can at school. Chances are that there is a lot of paper and beverage containers that are going to waste. These two items are easily recycled and by recycling these two materials, your school can have a huge impact on the environment.

Start a Green Club or Conservation Club
Start a Green Club at your school and look for ways for the school to conserve resources and lessen environmental impacts. This club can perform an environmental audit on the school and spearhead programs such as recycling, energy conservation, water conservation and other issues.

Install Low-flow Devices and Conserve Water
Install low-flow devices whenever possible to reduce water consumption. Ask maintenance people to only water landscapes after sundown. Check sprinklers regularly for output and to make sure that they are watering the landscape and not driveways or sidewalks.

Use Less Energy
If your office or classroom has a lot of windows, leave the lights off and use the natural lighting that nature provides. There's no reason to ignore a free light source and your school's electricity bill will be lower. Here are some other tips to use less energy:

  • Turn off lights when not in use.
  • Shut down computers at the end of the day.
  • Turn off printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices that are only used occasionally.
  • Buy Energy Star rated products if possible

 

Close the Loop
Buy items that contain recycled materials, especially items like copier paper, paper towels and napkins. When you buy recycled, you ensure that manufacturers will continue to recycle materials to make new products.

Recycle "Green Waste"
Green wastes are comprised of just about any organic material, but what usually comes to mind are grass clippings, autumn leaves and tree and bush trimmings. Many schools have large outdoor areas and grassy fields. When the landscape is maintained and the lawns are mowed, does this material get recycled or is it just thrown in the dumpster? Many waste haulers have (and some Cities require) haulers to provide special green waste containers for organic materials. By utilizing a green waste bin for landscape materials, schools can often reduce the size of their waste bin or the frequency of waste pick-up, saving hundreds even thousands of dollars annually. Call your local waste hauling company and ask for green waste and recycling bins if available. If green waste bins are unavailable, start a compost pile and use the finished compost on the landscape to enrich and fertilize the soil.

Avoid Disposable Products
Most disposable items end up going straight to the landfill. Avoid single-use and disposable items unless they can be recycled. If disposable trays are used in the cafeteria, see if they can be recycled and start a program to do just that.

Carpool
Share rides to school, home and when going to lunch.

Walk or Ride a Bike to School
People who walk or ride a bike to school are supergreen!

Use Natural Materials Whenever Possible
Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper or cloth towels in the bathroom and kitchen, and provide biodegradable cleaners for the custodial staff.

Start a School Garden

Plant a Tree

Bring your LunchBring lunch to work in reusable containers and use washable utensils instead of disposable ones. By making yourself healthy meals and snacks, you are more likely to eat them.

Carry a Re-useable Beverage Container

Get Others in on the Act
Always have a good attitude about recycling and never scold others for improper disposal. Coach them in a positive way and remember sometimes it takes a while to change behavior.

Use Native and Indigenous Plants
Native and indigenous plants are already accustomed to San Joaquin County's unique climate. These plants require little water, little fertilizer and very little care.

The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 All Star plants. These plants are tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. Many of them are California native plants and support native birds and insects. We are pleased to recommend these great plants for valley-wise gardens. Most of these All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout California.

Xeriscaping
The word xeriscaping is greek for "dry landscaping." Xeriscaping or xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening without the use of or minimal use of irrigation. It is generally a practice promoted in regions that are subject to frequent droughts. Under these drought conditions, xeriscape plants will tend to survive and thrive, while more ornamental plants may be stunted or unable to survive.

Use Pesticides and Fertilizers Properly and in the Right Amounts
If a little is good, then more is better is definitely not the mentality to use when it comes to pesticides and fertilizers. Always follow the manufacturers instructions when it comes to application methods and amounts. Be particularly careful not to over water your lawn or landscape after applying pesticides and fertilizers. Remember, everything that goes down the storm drain eventually leads to the Delta. Poisons from pesticides have ill effects on the ecosystem of the Delta not to mention that two-thirds of all Californians get their drinking water from the Delta!

Use Less-Toxic and Non-Toxic Pesticides
Keep your kids and pets safe by using non-toxic and less-toxic pesticides in the home landscape and garden. These days, there are a lot of effective non-toxic and less-toxic pesticides for sale at your local nursery or home improvement center.

The San Joaquin Master Gardener Program is a program that is under the University of California Cooperative Extension that is designed to assist residents with landscape and gardening issues. The Master Gardener's IPM or Integrated Pest Management program features tons of information how to deal with pests, diseases and fungus effectively. You can find the Master Gardeners at many County events. You can contact the Master Gardeners at 953-6112 for more information.

The Our Water, Our World Program is a program that helps to identify non-toxic and less-toxics methods of pest eradication. Some San Joaquin home improvement stores are involved with this program. The Our Water, Our World program distributes information sheets on effective pest control and uses special shelf labels to help customer identify of non-toxic and less-toxic pesticide choices.

Use Natural Fertilizers
There are many natural fertilizers available at your local local nursery of home improvement center. These fertilizers range from steer and chicken manure to fertilizer blends made from natural materials and targeted towards different plant categories such as roses or vegetables. Natural fertilizers tend to release nutrients slowly and feed plants over a longer period of time than chemical fertilizers. Natural fertilizers may also help to amend poor soils by enriching them with organics.

Chemical fertilizers give plants a jolt of instant nutrition but there may be some downside to that. Chemical fertilizers can burn plants if not used properly, may build up salts in the soil over time and can also produce new vegetative growth quickly that the plants root system may not be able to adequately support.

Compost
Stop throwing away kitchen scraps and improve your soil by starting a compost pile. Click on the links for more information on composting.

Watch the Watering
Check your irrigation system every month or so to make sure that you are indeed watering your landscape and not the sidewalk or your neighbor's car. Take care of any irrigation issues such as broken spray heads promptly. Use a moisture meter to help you determine when and how much to water your landscape.

Water Only After Sundown
Irrigate only after sundown to avoid water loss through evaporation.

Rain Barrel
Every home should have at least one rain barrel, if not three or four. If just 100,000 people out of San Joaquin County's estimated 700,000 population were to have just one 55 gallon rain barrel, it would save 5.5 million gallons of water every year! Remember that rain barrels breed mosquitos, so contact San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control to get some free mosquito fish. Goldfish work pretty well, too and cost only a couple of bucks per dozen at you local pet shop.

Plant an Herb Garden
Many herbs, once established, grow like weeds with many even surviving through San Joaquin winters. Oregano, thyme, rosemary and tarragon are good all year round candidates while basil, marjoram and cilantro are good warm weather choices that tend to die back in the winter but usually leave behind a few seeds for the Spring. Using herbs in your cooking can help your food to taste great without adding that seasoning in a jar (that ends up being mostly salt anyway).

Plant a Victory Garden
If you have a large landscape or even if you have a small one, plant a vegetable garden. Grow your favorites and you will likely be eating the best tasting vegetables that you have ever had for the cost of a few packages of seeds and some care. Tomatoes and peppers are local favorites for both the taste and the money that you save versus buying them from the store. Many other vegetables, melons and fruits do very well in San Joaquin's climate. Have questions or need some help with a gardening issue? The San Joaquin County Master Gardeners are here to help. Call the Master Gardeners Hotline at 953-6112.

Grasscycle
Ditch the bag and grasscycle. It's easy, keeps your lawn looking great and best of all - no more heavy bags of grass clippings to dispose of. Click on the links for details.

Solid Waste Administrative Office
1810 East Hazelton Avenue
Stockton, CA 95205
Phone: (209) 468-3066
Fax: (209) 468-3078
Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Email us with questions at: solidwaste@sjgov.org
Integrated Solid Waste Manager
Desi Reno