76% of Landfill Trash Could Be Recycled: Audit - NBC 7 San Diego

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76% of Landfill Trash Could Be Recycled: Audit

More trash ending up in landfill

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    76 Percent of Landfill Waste Could Have Been Recycled

    A city audit shows that nearly 76 percent of the waste in our landfill could have been re-used in some way. NBC 7's Consumer Bob reports. (Published Thursday, May 7, 2015)

    The Miramar Landfill in San Diego is filled with trash that shouldn't be there. 

    A city audit study says 76 percent of materials in the landfill are either recyclable or could be recoverable for other uses.

    Jose Ysea with the city of San Diego says more needs to be done to education the public.

    "Life has gotten so fast people are just not thinking," said Ysea. They are "not taking that extra step to the recycling bin."

    Much of the problem is in neighborhoods where only 24 percent of potential recyclable materials are put into the blue bins. The rest ends up with the regular trash. 

    Once it goes into the black bins, it goes straight into the landfill.

    Walking through the landfill, you can see bottles, cans and cardboard everywhere -- items that should have been recycled. San Diego recycling now accepts much more including stryrofoam, milk cartons, metal and rigid plastic.

    Why can't the city force people to recycle?

    "There is an enforcement component where we can go and look in the bins and we can fine you," said Ysea, "but you know that's not what we want to do."

    Instead the city hopes recycling campaigns and information will encourage more people to use their blue bins.

    For a list of what you can recycle and where, click here.