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Source: I Love a Clean San Diego

November 26, 2014 (San Diego)--The holiday season is full of celebrations, comfort food and gifts. Along with the holiday spirit comes increased waste.  Household waste increases by more than 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Knowing how to reduce waste can save money and conserve natural resources and landfill space.


This holiday season, challenge yourself and your family to make simple changes to reduce your waste.

Recycle more. The list of what goes in your recycling is always expanding. Recent additions include rigid plastics (including clamshell food packages, plastic toys, and food tubs), aseptic cartons (including milk, juice and soup cartons) and large blocks of polystyrene (Styrofoam packaging). 

Cooking oil.  Cooking for large groups can result in large amounts of cooking oils.  While most residents know that oils, fats and grease can’t go down drains (indoor or outdoor) they’re not sure what to do with them.  Several drop-off recycling locations now accept cooking oil.  Find your nearest collection spot on

Reuse and repair. Think twice before setting aside an unwanted or broken item in the donation pile.  Making old t-shirts into new designs or reusable shopping bags or even a nostalgic quilt gives our once loved shirts a new life.  Turn old cards, magazines and packaging into new gift wrap and decorations.  Many appliances and clothing items can be repaired as well, from shoes to lawn mowers. Residents can visit to find a local repair business.

Reduce waste.  Minimize disposable gift wrapping to reduce waste, and remember to always take a reusable shopping bag with you.  Reusable bags can be used when shopping for gifts at retail stores; they aren’t just for the grocery store.

Reduce food waste. Another large component of the holiday waste is leftover food. Reduce food waste by cooking the right amounts, not over filling plates, and keeping leftovers in easily visible locations in your refrigerator.  Consider home composting.  Composting options exist to suit apartment dwellers as well as those with outdoor space.  Visit to learn more about home composting.

To find the closest drop off location for cooking oil, polystyrene (Styrofoam packaging), and other recyclables or to get recycling questions answered, unincorporated County residents can visit the County’s Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste database at or call 1-877-R-1-EARTH (1-877-713-2784).

About I Love A Clean San Diego: Celebrating its 60th anniversary, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) is the go-to organization for programs that enhance and conserve San Diego County’s environment. Through recycling, education and cleanups of the region’s most beloved areas, ILACSD provides pollution prevention programs that pave the way for a cleaner and healthier San Diego right now, and for future generations.

In 2013, ILACSD with the support of 30,505 volunteers, removed 220 tons of debris from San Diego communities, conducted 219 cleanups and gave 600 education presentations reaching 31,000 people. ILACSD is an award-winning, environmental program innovator, with recent recognition from Keep America Beautiful. The organization’s innovative programs and initiatives prove ILACSD is a leader in the environmental movement. For more information, visit

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