I live in a world of “garbage” – to the point I even make jokes about it. Corny jokes, like: “Let’s talk trashy” or “compost is so hot right now” –true classics of the field. I know I have a good one if it is met with an exasperated eye roll.

Being buried in the field (no pun intended :D) and its jargon, I always try and gauge what the average citizen knows about our programs and recycling here in the city of Napa through a variety of different friends. Each one varies in familiarity and level of understanding – so I get a pretty good read on what is really being disseminated in the community.

I recently asked one of my friends who is pretty well versed in the recycling/compost/landfill world if he had heard about the Recycle More program. His response: “Yes, I have heard of it, but don’t know what it is.” Ahhh. Well, if he doesn’t know … that leaves me to reason that many might not have even heard of it.

So what is the Recycle More program?

Recycle More is a free curbside pick-up program for electronics waste (e-waste), large scrap metal, metal appliances, household cooking oil (call in advance for container), bagged clothing and shoes, and bagged household batteries (must be coupled with another item listed above). It is available for both residential and commercial entities through Napa Recycling and Waste Services (NRWS) and Napa County Recycling and Waste Services (NCRWS), free of charge.

The city’s program started in 2013 to help collect those difficult to recycle materials that might otherwise end up on the street (don’t be a litter bug!), in the trash (it is illegal to throw e-waste in the trash), or in the blue curbside recycling cart. Over the course of five years, more than 1,500 tons have been collected. That is 1,500 tons of materials diverted from the landfill and instead recycled or reused!

It is a pretty easy, simple, and wonderful program (if I do say so myself – though note I was not working here at the time of its creation, so I cannot take any credit) – one just has to go online to www.NapaRecycling.com, click Recycle More program, and schedule your pick-up date. Once the appointment is scheduled, just place the item(s) on your curb that specific date, and ta-da! All done. You do not need to drive, haul, or worry. Usually the pick up is scheduled the same day as your normal service, if placed before noon prior to service day (though this is not always a guarantee).

My one and only rant and disclosure of the article: please schedule your appointment prior to placing your item(s) at the curb and use the program only for accepted items (that’s all they will take!). List of accepted items: www.naparecycling.com/Recycle-More

Additionally, the Recycle More program is not through your blue curbside recycling cart (which I see is confused as a donation box or a wishful recycling fountain). If you are not using the Recycle More program for reusable items like clothing or shoes, please consider donating gently used reusable items to Goodwill, the Community Projects, Salvation Army or other reputable nonprofit or charity organizations. The amount of donate-able items and e-waste I see in the blue recycling carts makes me sad and causes a lot of mechanical issues at our recycling facility.

Alright, this is where I get annoying and re-iterate two things I hope you took away from the article:

1. The Recycle More program offers free curbside pickup of all electronics, appliances, oversize metal items, bagged clothing and shoes, and bagged household batteries (when combined with other items). You must schedule a pick-up!

2. Your blue curbside recycling cart is not a donation box – please take items that can be donated to a local place accepting donations.

Happy Recycling!

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This monthly column is written by Kendra Bruno, aka Compost Girl, who is the waste prevention specialist for the city of Napa. To submit questions, email kbruno@cityofnapa.org.