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Helping create a sustainable Santa Clarita

Posted: December 11, 2008 9:12 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Often at the city of Santa Clarita, we are asked for easier ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

The city appreciates the concern residents have for creating a sustainable environment in our community. The following are a few suggestions from the city: 

* You guessed it, recycle! Recycling beverage containers is one of the easiest things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

As part of the city's residential contract with Blue Barrel/Waste Management, residents can receive additional recycling or greenwaste carts at no charge. City residents diverted more than 25,500 tons from the landfill in 2007 through residential recycling.

Please continue separating recyclables from your trash.

* Reusable bags
Currently Californians are using more than 19 billion plastic grocery and merchandise bags each year. Six billion of these bags are used by Los Angeles County residents; this equals out to about 600 per person a year.

About 45,000 tons of plastic bags are going into our landfills from Los Angeles County residents.
Only 5 percent of plastic bags are being recycled. It costs California taxpayers more than $25 million to collect and landfill all the discarded plastic bags each year. Reusable bags are an excellent option for everyone.

Generally these bags are made of recyclable material and typically hold three to four times as much as a plastic carryout bag.

Reusable bags are lightweight, durable, washable and are easily accessible.

Reusable bags do not generate hidden costs like paper and plastic bags do.

There is only a one-time direct cost for the reusable bag and this purchase will last for years.

* Hit the trail!
The city encourages you to take advantage of our bike lanes and trails. If you work locally, consider biking or walking to work on the 60 miles of trails and paseos here in Santa Clarita.

Not only will you save money on gas but you can exercise during your commute. Visit for a map of the trails and more information. Also, please remember proper bicycle safety measures when riding. 

* Free pickups
Another city program to keep harmful substances out of the environment is the annual Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) pickup program.

City households may receive free door-to-door collection of antifreeze, car batteries, latex- and oil-based paints, motor oil and filters.

The pickups are limited to one per household every 12 months and are available on a first come, first served basis.

To schedule a free collection of the items listed above, please contact Curbside Inc. at (800) HHW-PKUP (800-449-7587). Between July 2006 and July 2007, almost 34,300 pounds were collected through the city's curbside HHW pickup program.

If you also have bulky items in your garage, take advantage of our free bulky-item pickups through Waste Management.

All city of Santa Clarita households with trash service are entitled to four bulky-item pickups per year with a maximum of three items per pickup at no charge.

Please provide Blue Barrel/Waste Management with at least 48 hours notice in order to have the items picked up on your regular collection day.

Waste Management can be reached at (661) 259-2398. City residents may also drop-off unlimited bulky items at Blue Barrel/Waste Management's facility located at 25772 Springbrook Road, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at no charge.

* Be water wise
Our city has joined with the local water purveyors to achieve a 10-percent across-the-board reduction in water use.

There are easy practices each of us can utilize at home when it comes to water conservation.

Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalk.

Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from these areas since using a hose to clean a driveway can waste several gallons of water.

Make sure your sprinkler systems and timing devices are operating properly.

Broken or poorly adjusted sprinklers may go unnoticed since they are often set to operate during early morning hours.
Make sure sprinklers are not watering the driveway or sidewalk.

Finally, don't forget to shut off your sprinklers when it's raining.

We hope this information has been helpful.

We appreciate you taking the time to keep Santa Clarita clean and environmentally friendly.

City Councilwoman Marsha McLean is a resident of Santa Clarita. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. For more information log on to


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