In our celebration of the Triduum and joy of the Easter season, we journey through the Paschal mystery of Jesus’ passion, resurrection from the dead, and glorious ascension, by which Christ accomplishes the work of our salvation, so that we might enjoy everlasting life….

Continuing with our coverage of the seven goals of Laudato Si, this month’s goal is The Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles, which directs us to restore the earth’s natural rhythms by living simply and using resources and energy responsibly. According to the Laudato Si Action Platform, sustainable lifestyle actions could include “reducing waste and recycling, adopting sustainable dietary habits (opting for a more plant-based diet and reducing meat consumption), greater use of public transport, active mobility (walking, cycling), and avoiding single-use items. Such behaviors contribute toward the harmonious completion of creation for our own good, that of our neighbors, and future generations.

But knowing “what to put where” can be one of the biggest barriers to adopting sustainable practices at home and at work. California legislation has pushed waste collection service providers to facilitate the diversion of as much trash as possible away from the landfill and into recycling or composting efforts. While differences have existed among providers as their equipment has caught up to the enacted policies, today, the rules for disposing items into the black trash, blue recycle, and green compost bins are fairly universal across the San Diego region:

Green bin for organic waste — plant/yard trimmings, food, and paper (even soiled paper)
Blue recycle bin — metal, glass, dry paper products, and HARD plastics with chasing arrow symbol
Black trash bin — everything else, to include soft, flimsy plastics and rigid compostables that appear to be plastic
What NOT TO DO:

Do not put plastic bags in either the blue or green bin — they are not recyclable nor compostable and become tangled in the sorting machinery.
Similarly, do not put “tanglers” such as hoses, Christmas lights, and wire coat hangers in the blue or green bins; these items go in the black bin.

All types of batteries are considered hazardous waste in California and are not allowed in landfills. Battery and electronics recycling locations can be found at “I Love a Clean San Diego’s Waste Free SD” site, https://wastefreesd.org.

Some key tips:
Stock your shelves with compostable items instead of single-use plastics, which cannot be recycled. Better yet, use real dishes and silverware!
Compostable items that are rigid and look like plastic must go into the black trash bin, as they decompose at a slower rate than other compostables. They still offer the benefit of breaking down in the landfill, but cannot go through compost machinery alongside other organic items.
Create labels for bins with pictures of the commonly used items in a space to make it easier for proper disposal.
For large events, consider posting volunteers near trash receptacles to guide people gently to the right container.

From the Southern Cross