What Goes Where: Recycle & Compost List

Why recycle & compost? If you don’t sort your trash, we all pay. The costs are part of our coupon. If your entry needs a large landfill container because recyclable items aren’t separated, you waste $500 to $1000 a year. It will increase. By 2020, the State of California will require all trash companies to divert 75% of the waste they haul – or they face huge fines which will be passed on to us.

How you can help… If you’re like many Rossmoor residents, you want to put trash in correct containers but, at times, you’re unclear about what goes where. Here are answers to questions Rossmoor residents have asked:

AEROSOL CANS & PROPANE CYLINDERS. They are flammable, even when empty. See HAZARDOUS WASTE below.

APPLIANCES. See HAZARDOUS WASTE. Rapid Recycle, (925) 671-8088, will remove for a fee.

MATTRESSES & BOX SPRINGS: Bay Area Recycle, (925-465-5576), will remove for a fee.

BATTERIES. Small batteries go in box just inside Gateway entrance. See HAZARDOUS WASTE.

BOOKS. Put paperback and hardback books, phone books, and spiral notebooks in RECYCLE (container or bin with blue lid). Give books, books-on-tape and DVDs in good condition to a local library or thrift store.

BOTTLES, CARTONS & CANS. Remove lids before putting in RECYCLE. Make sure bottles, cartons and cans are dry. If necessary, invert and air-dry.

CAPS, LIDS & PULL TABS. Metal lids go in RECYCLE. Flip-top tabs (e.g., from aluminum cans), plastic lids, rings and caps go in LANDFILL (container or bin with black lid).

CARDBOARD BOXES. Breakdown and flatten so they fit in RECYCLE. If a box is big or hard to break down or if you have several boxes, take up to MOD Corporation Yard/Dumpster Site. Leave room for your neighbors!

CELLOPHANE. Cellophane bags and wrap go in LANDFILL. Envelopes with cellophane windows go in RECYCLE. (Cellophane crinkles.)

CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS. Residents can bring recyclable debris to MOD. If you see construction debris being dumped in a trash enclosure, immediately email alterations@rossmoor.com with as much information as possible. If Mutual Operations is closed, call Securitas, (925) 988-7899.

DIRT. MOD accepts dirt if it’s in a pot or bag.

DVD & CD DISCS. Recent DVDs and CD discs go in LANDFILL. Discs older than 20 years often contain toxic chemicals and should NOT go in landfill. BEST BUY will accept them. Cut discs with personal data in half. Do NOT try to break in half – they splinter.


FOOD WASTE. If you don’t have COMPOST (green container), put compostable trash in LANDFILL. Food scraps (raw and cooked); bones; corks; flowers, plant trimmings; leaves; tissue paper; paper plates, towels, napkins, other soiled paper; and pizza boxes go in COMPOST. Loose waste is preferred, but food scraps in a paper bag, newspaper or compostable bag are OK. (Biodegradable bags are NOT!) To keep container from getting grody, put newspapers or dry leaves at bottom before adding food waste.


GIVE IT AWAY. Here are some options: — WALNUT CREEK FREECYCLE is a resource for giving stuff to others rather than throwing it away: https://www.freecycle.org — LEFTOVERS THRIFT SHOP, a non-profit thrift store at 2281 Olympic Blvd, Walnut Creek, accepts secondhand clothing, housewares and collectibles. — GOODWILL, 2536 N Main St, Walnut Creek, accepts pre-owned clothing, furniture, housewares.

HAZARDOUS WASTE. Aerosols & propane cylinders; ammunition; anything with an electric cord (small appliances and lamps); automotive products (used motor oil, antifreeze); batteries; electronics (TVs, computers, DVD player, cell phones); paint (all types); fluorescent light bulbs (straight or coiled); pesticides and household cleaners; thermometers and other products with mercury can be picked up by AT YOUR DOOR, http://wmatyourdoor.com or 1-800449-7587. If the scheduler balks at picking up small appliances, assert the pickup is in Walnut Creek.

ITEMS LEFT OUTSIDE CONTAINERS. Your mutual is billed extra if trash containers are overflowing or if items like furniture or folded boxes are left outside containers. This increases your monthly coupon.

LIGHT BULBS. Standard, LED and halogen light bulbs go into LANDFILL. Fluorescent light bulbs (straight or coiled) are HAZARDOUS WASTE.

MATTRESSES & BOX SPRINGS: Bay Area Recycle, (925) 465-5576, will remove for a fee.

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. John Muir Clinic, Goodwill and others accept everything from hospital beds to walking canes. RACORSE NETWORK in Oakland, (510) 251-2273 both accepts and gives them to the uninsured, disadvantaged, ill and elderly.

MEDICATIONS & NEEDLES (SHARPS). Sharps, which go in RED BOX, must be in a hard container (not a soft, plastic baggie). Keep medications in their original container (but mark out personal information), put in a sealable plastic bag, then put in BEIGE BOX in the lobby at Gateway. (Keep lids on tubes. Put medication patches in a baggie or the original box.)

OVERFLOWING CONTAINERS: Your mutual is billed extra if trash bins are overflowing. Having the lid up makes it easier for raccoons to get in and leave a trail of trash. Plus raccoon pee stinks! If your entry’s container is overflowing and needs an extra pickup, call Mary Ann at MOD, (925) 988-7650. (A fee is charged for extra LANDFILL service.) If RECYCLE containers are often overflowing, your mutual director can order twice a week pickup for free.

PACKING MATERIAL. See PLASTIC BAGS for instructions on bubble wrap and air pillows. Bag the peanuts. Put Styrofoam and other packing material in LANDFILL. Or bring clean packing material to the UPS Store at Rossmoor Shopping Center.
PAPER. Cash register receipts, metallic paper and carbon paper go into LANDFILL. Paper napkins, towels, plates, cups, “to go” cardboard boxes and tissue paper go in COMPOST. Shredded paper in a paper or see-thru plastic bag, other clean paper and Post-its go in RECYCLE.

PLASTIC. Soft plastic goes in LANDFILL. All hard plastic (with or without numbers) goes in RECYCLE. Items must be EMPTY and DRY, not perfectly clean, just dry. Plastic cannot be bonded to metal or paper (NO bubble-padded mailers). Republic Services wants all RECYCLE items to be loose (not inside a paper or plastic bag) – except for the bags of plastic bags or shredded paper.

PLASTIC BAGS. Bag the bags! Put clean, dry, plastic bags; plastic wrap; popped bubble wrap; and popped plastic air pillows in a plastic bag. You don’t need to remove paper labels. Before putting in RECYCLE, knot the top of the plastic bag to form a plastic “pillow.”

PRINTER INK CARTRIDGES. Drop off at the Computer Center in Gateway Complex.

SELL IT. You can sell stuff on CRAIGSLIST or use HOME CONSIGNMENT CENTER, 1901 Camino Ramon # F, Danville.

STYROFOAM. All Styrofoam goes in LANDFILL.

TRASH HAULERS. Couches, mattresses, carpeting, and other large items don’t belong in the black, blue or green containers. If MOD won’t accept them, they need to be hauled away. Trash haulers who have good reviews on Yelp.com include Rays Hauling, Vets Move Junk, East Bay Hauling, Lamorinda Hauling, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and All American Hauling.

What Goes to MOD? MOD accepts cardboard boxes, grass cuttings, tree and shrub trimmings, wood products, plywood siding, decking, tree logs, furniture that is not upholstered, dirt in a pot or bag, and recyclable construction material from residents. Be ready to show your Rossmoor ID to staff at the site.

More Information…Recycle and landfill posters are in the Rossmoor phonebook, pages 18 and 19. RecycleSmart has a more detailed list: https://www.recyclesmart.org.

Trash, Recycle or Compost, DOWNLOADABLE

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