As consumers we all have an obligation to conserve our natural resources and reduce the amount of waste we dispose.  Our goal must be to recycle and reuse every product we can, and to reduce the amount of products we purchase which cannot be reused or recycled.

For the past 50 years, Americans have used convenience items and disposable goods at an ever increasing rate.

In 1960, Americans generated 88.1 million tons of garbage each year.  This equaled about 2.7 pounds per person per day. In 2000, Americans generate 229 million tons of garbage each year.  This equals about 4.4 pounds per person per day.  

Recycling is an effective method to manage the waste that is already generated and to save money on disposal costs.  In 1960 the recycling rate was 6.6% and in 2000 the recycling rate increased to 29.7%.  

More importantly, we must reduce waste generation in the first place by purchasing materials with less packaging and reusing materials as many times as possible while not buying unnecessary items.

Since 1990, Contra Costa County and local cities have reduced the waste going to landfills putting us on our way to the statewide goal of 50% waste reduction. 

Thank you for doing your part.  Your individual efforts help make an overall difference. 

Now we need to focus on creative ways to reach our goal.  To do this, the cities & county are going to need your help!

And don't forget, buying products made with recycled materials completes the recycling process. Although recyclables may be collected, unless recycled content products are purchased by consumers, creating a recyclable product market, the complete process of recycling will not work. 

Just remember to

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Phone: 925-674-7203
Fax: 925-674-7250
County Recycling Hotline: 1 (800) 750-4096 /

Contra Costa County Department of Conservation & Development
30 Muir Road
Martinez, CA 94553


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