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The Julian News
Julian , California
July 14, 2010     The Julian News
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July 14, 2010

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12 The Julian News July 14, 2010 Questions & Answers About Our Environment Dear EarthTalk: Where do you recycle plastic stuff like sandwich bags, Saran wrap and plastic grocery store wrappers? Can they just go in with other plastics in the recycling bin? There never seems to be any information available about this. -- Renee La-Fountaine, Lake Hughes, CA The reason you don't hear much about recycling these types of plastic films is that most municipalities don't take back items intended to wrap food. One exception may be sandwich bags, which are made from easy-to-recycle polyethylene, as long as any hard (i.e. "Ziploc") components are removed and they are rinsed free of any food debris or stains. For that matter, if you are going to the trouble to wash them, you may as well dry and reuse them at home a few times before relegating them to the recycling bin. =l'here are even small countertop racks available for hanging plastic bags to dry before reusing them. Clinging plastic like Saran wrap is problematic for recyclers because the resin that it contains (to give it wrapping power) cannot be re-extracted without massive amounts of energy-- more than it takes to make it new from scratch. And given that it's usually soiled with some kind of food, used plastic wrap should EYY]] 3YYS 1EEE . E]Y 3BEE]NG. .TIEE 3] WA]]ERSYS31E] S, General Contractor Electrical Gas Gatcla'$ Genera/Contractor I New Construction I ,J, Room Additions I "':?"" . Decks I *Water#New MetersWell Electrical / mT I #New Panels odels #Additional Circuits #Fans & Lighting Over 35 Years Experience 760 765 2363 I Ph. 765 34 ! 0 Lawrence Noble, Owner PO Box 1 342 Julian Resident for 27 years ]hTLiAV r'A I cell (760) ZTI 0166 StateLic.602654 j~.J,~ ,~. .,,.v~,v I License # 678670 ,,,,,.-, Air Conditioning m ~ ~ m Painting Contractor .... and Heating 3moot 3ai g Nc & Heating Service Exterior/Interior S Reliable - Over 20 Years Experience Fully Licensed and Bonded Power Washing Free Estimates No Deposit Required- Ever Lic # 792234 Serving All of San Diego County 760 504 1414 I Borrego, Cuyamaca, Escondido, Julian, Ocotillo, Palomar Mountain, Ramona, Ranchita, Santa Ysabel, Warner Springs always just go right into the trash. Other non-recyclable plastic films include dark-colored plastic bags, bags with handles or drawstrings, and anything else designed to be wrapped around food. Since you can't even rinse or recycle these kinds of plastics, it's better to avoid them altogether and invest in some reusable containers to store leftovers. Another option is to use plastic grocery store shopping bags (though they are increasingly being phased out) to wrap your food leftovers in. Many municipalities and most stores that provide such bags accept them for recycling, so once you're done with them they can be recycled or returned to the store, after which they can be melted down and incorporated into weather- and rot-resistant window and door frames, decking (such as Trex), palettes, pipes and other long-lasting hard goods. Like with sandwich and other bags you intend to recycle, make sure plastic grocery bags are clean before you turn them in for recycling. If you are a Ziploc bag or tM. TIgV Now Forming Open to everyone over 16 Hands on instrudion "You learn by doing" Hand Tool Use, Maintenance, Sharpening Intensive Weekend Programs One-On-One Instruction Available course descriptions, schedules and costs 7 lOssesheldAia?Z11 plastic wrap fanatic but want to do the right thing by the environment, look for plastic food storage film or bags made from biodegradable polymers. Some popular brand names to keep an eye out for at Whole Foods and elsewhere are Eco Wrap, EcoFlex and BioBag. These plastics--some of which are made from agricultural scraps left over from corn crops--can go right in with yard waste or other compostables and will break down over time accordingly just ;:iiii ii i '' - g i . License No. 415453 l . . DENi i Excavation / Site Work ..... ] WINE I PA~NTI] J''", O '=0" ',! ''='' "" I Fully Llcensed and Insured "Your Complete Water Systems Clinging plastic like Saran wrap is difficult to recycle because [ License #459575 ~l ! Company Since I987 the resin it contains that gives it wrapping power cannot be [ P,O. Box 632 I extracted without massive amounts of energy - more than,it i " would take to make it new from scratch. And given that it s P. O. Box 1719 Julian, CA 92036 usually soiled with some kind of food, used plastic wrap should like cardboard or food scraps. With time major brands will undoubtedly be offering similar products. But even though there may in fact be "greener" plastic out there, reducing our reliance on disposable bags altogether should be the ultimate goal. Luckily many grocery chains are hip to greening their own operations and image, and are giving away or selling for a nominal amount reusable canvas shopping bags so customers don't have to choose between wasting plastic and paper at the checkout line. C O N TACT S :, www.; Trex,; BioBag, www. GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk c/o E/The Environmental Magazine P.O. Box 5098 Westport, CT 06881 e-mail: or submit it at: always just go right into the trash. Pictured: A 1961 magazine earthtalk/thisweek/ Bobcat Demolition Pumps/Well ad for Handi- Wrap." ~~ ~~ ~illustratin frm~~|lt'//E~~z Pt~_ _Pink Ponk Studios, courtesy Flickri "--"~ -"-"'~~( , Contractor Lie. 702741 Submersible Pumps BOBCAT WORK . Booster Pumps DEMOLITION . Storage Tanks Clara Barton was not just the nurse who founded the American Red C as . ~iJImr'~" ~ :.,;, : .--" .-~. -- Ozone Water Treatment She was also the first woman clerk in the U.S. Patent Office. The inside of a cucumber on the JERRY COZENS JUSTIN COZENS vine measures as much as 20 (760) 765-2581icense # 439493(760) 803-3749 ~#~ degrees cooler. Bull Dozer Services Dozer Work Clearing, Grading, Roads No Move In Charges Larry Herman ~ense- 93800Z-A Carpet/Flooring ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Please Compare Our Prices & Service CARPET NSTALLED . : ~, ,,~ Over 35 Years of Professional Quality Installations "l~rough0ut San Diego County '~7~-': : :: I n c Julian Interiors Highway 78 in Wynola 760-765-1605 State Lic. No. 59615*0 0000000000000000000"00000000000 Concrete - Foundations - Retaining Walls I INC. . Z049 NAME: The Mayor FIGHTING GLOBAL WARMING BY: With my friend H0rton lending a hand We helped all the Whos across the land! We insulated homes and changed lights, They're now fluorescents-so very bright. ENERGY STAR showed us the way To make a difference every day, SAVINGS PER HOME: . $400 ', 11,000 kwh ,5,800 Ibs. 002 JOIN HORTON and THE MAYOR IN THE FIGHT AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING, " and The Mayor understand how important it is for each of us to do our part. We can all fight global ~/,~ Horton warming by making easy changes in our homes, at school, and at work. Learn more at energystar.gev. ENERGY STAF i