Recycle by City Gives Guidelines for your Garbage

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If you’re like me, you think you know what can be recycled, but are never quite sure as you toss the junk into your blue recycling bin and close the lid. Now, thanks to Larchmont area resident Tracy Bugh, there’s an easy visual guide to recycling, city-by-city, online at Recycle by City.

tracy_bughTracy Bugh has lived in Larchmont Village for the past 12 years with a career in television marketing, and only recently became a recycling guru. “Recycling had been on my to-do list for a while. I was considering doing an interactive video on it, then realized that because the guidelines differ so much city by city, a web-based interactive guide would be the best way to get the information to people.”

In researching the facts about recycling, Bugh found that because various city’s recycle differently, we’re all in a fog when it comes to where to dispose what. ” A paper cup is recyclable in West Hollywood, compostable in Santa Monica, and trash in Los Angeles,” Bugh said. It is that complicated.

“Seventy percent of people who take our quiz online think beforehand that they know what can and can’t be recycled. The quiz is set up to be a myth buster – because in fact only ten percent of people ace the quiz,” Bugh told the Buzz in a telephone interview.  I took it and scored only 60% – so much for my recycling knowledge base.

The facts are pretty startling. According to the City of LA Zero Waste Report (pg. 37), 30% (by weight) of what we put in our big blue bins shouldn’t be there. Even after recyclables are sorted and baled, according to ReCommunity in 2014  just a half-percent of contamination in a 20-ton load decreases the value of the entire load of recyclables.

We should be able to get this right, and with Bugh’s attractive website that flips pics like Vanna White used to flip letters, it’s a fun way to spend a few minutes and learn a lot. Head on over to Recycle by City (now serving West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin and Houston) and test yourself, and then bone up on how you can do your part, better.

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About Julie Grist

Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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