We recycle to resolve the problem of excessive waste in our landfills. In 1989, the State of California passed the Integrated Waste Management Act. Assembly Bill (AB-939) which required all cities and counties to implement programs to reduce landfill tonnage by 25% by the end of 1995, and 50% by the end of 2000. The City of Visalia has met that challenge.
Prior to recycling, we discarded more than 500 million containers made from aluminum, glass, plastic, and paper per year. Products made from these materials do not decompose thus remain in their original composition for millions of years. When we recycle these commodities, they are reused to make new items.
Cans made from recycled aluminum save 75 to 95 percent of the energy used to produce them from raw materials. Every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, and 7,000 gallons of water. Five recycled plastic soda bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.
In Visalia, our beautiful community is filled with trees and lush landscapes, which generate large amounts of green waste. Green waste is a great portion of the recyclable materials that ended up in our landfills. Fortunately, we now recycle green waste into compost, which is then placed in our gardens, where it decomposes and enriches the soil.
The City of Visalia salvages approximately 1,150 ton of recyclables and 2,500 tons of green waste per month in our residential and commercial operations.
Recycling begins with all of us in our homes. Much of what we use is simply thrown away and we forget that it is actually recyclable. One of the ways the City of Visalia assists the recycling process is by providing a recycling container to its residents. A brochure explaining how to use it is available below.
This is only the beginning... To make recycling truly effective, we need to purchase items made from recycled and environmentally safe products. Our recyclables are made into products like tissue, writing pads, egg cartons, carpets, sweaters, sleeping bags, jackets, benches, tables, and construction materials.
The City of Visalia is continuing to look for more ways to recycle.
If you are interested in beginning a recycling program in your home, school, or business, please contact the Visalia Solid Waste Department at (833) 268-2455.