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This joint letter is intended to provide a little more local information relevant to your Aug. 9 article “Napa’s largest recycling redemption center abruptly closes.”

As the article notes, the recent closure of the Replanet California Redemption Value (CRV) buyback center at 874 Jackson Street will, unfortunately, make it more difficult for Napa residents to redeem their CRV bottles and cans.

This is a statewide problem caused by a combination of factors, including low scrap values and issues with the current bottle bill. This letter will not attempt to get into the specifics of the current bottle bill, CRV system or potential legislative fixes to the system. Instead, this letter is meant to confirm local recycling options and facilities.

As noted in the article, there is now only one state-certified CRV redemption center within the city of Napa limits, at 2877 Solano Avenue (Blue Front Recycling), with the next closest CRV buyback center adjacent to the Devlin Road Transfer Station at 889B Devlin Road in American Canyon (south of the Napa County Airport).

Both centers will pay out for CRV bottles and cans (the Devlin Road center also pays for scrap metal).

For those who don’t choose to redeem CRV containers as well as for non-CRV material, we feel that it is important that Napa residents have complete information and confidence in Napa’s curbside recycling program.

All recyclables currently collected in the Napa Recycling & Waste Services (NRWS) program are delivered to the city of Napa-owned sorting facility operated under contract by NRWS.

The NRWS curbside program accepts a wide variety of recyclables including paper, metal (both cans and scrap metal) as well as both CRV and non-CRV glass and plastic bottles (please visit NapaRecycling.com for a full list recyclable and compostable materials accepted in Napa’s curbside program).

As part of the city of Napa’s recent 14-year contract extension with NRWS, approximately $4 million of upgrades were made to the sorting facility including a new cardboard screen, new belts, a second baler, a glass cleaning system and a sorting “robot” that can make over 80 “picks” per minute.

This has resulted in marked improvements to Napa’s sorting capabilities and the quality of the recyclables sent to market. This, in turn, has allowed Napa’s program to continue to ship and sell all the recyclables accepted in the program. Any and all recyclable materials captured during the sorting process are recycled, never sent to a landfill. Soft plastics (e.g., “film” plastics like bags, bubble wrap, shrink wrap) are contaminants to our sorting system; they tangle in the equipment and have no reliable markets. Polystyrene (commonly known by trade name of “Styrofoam”) has virtually no market from a post-consumer collection system and it has never been accepted in Napa’s curbside recycling program.

We also want to remind everyone that Napa’s curbside program accepts and recycles non-CRV bottles (such as glass wine and liquor bottles) as well as other non-CRV containers (e.g., tin-coated steel cans, plastic shampoo bottles, empty condiment containers, milk/juice cartons, etc.). Your local curbside program is the best way to get your non-CRV captured and recycled.

Finally, whether you recycle through a CRV buyback center or through your blue curbside recycling cart, please do remember that recycling does matter and does make a difference in our world. Preventing unnecessary waste in the first place through waste prevention or reuse is the best answer environmentally, but recycling is still a very positive action.

Active participation in recycling means that you help avoid landfill disposal, help achieve reduced pollution, use less energy, create more “green” jobs in our economy and help combat global climate change at a local level. That’s worth it for all of us and our shared future.

Kevin Miller, Materials Diversion Administrator (Recycling Manager)

City of Napa Utilities Department

Tim Dewey-Mattia, Recycling and Public Education Manager

Napa Recycling & Waste Services

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