Low Waste Tips: Spring Cleaning!

As the rain subsides and the weather gets warmer, it’s time to start spring cleaning and decluttering for the year to come. There are a variety of ways you can utilize zero waste practices while you spring clean to ensure your efforts are beneficial for both you and the planet! 

Before you begin cleaning, set your intentions. Thinking in advance about what exactly you want to remove, reorganize, and reinvent the less likely you are to make impulse purchases and disposals. Often the most eco-friendly thing you can do is to use what you already have! Some alternative uses for items could include: 

  • Reusing storage bins in a different area 
  • Saving jars and other miscellaneous containers for storage and to repurpose

Repair > Replace 

Before buying something new, try to repair the item. Do you have a friend that knows how to mend old clothing? Could your local electronics store fix an old computer? Can you remove the stain from the shirt you want to donate? Even if you choose not to keep these items, by repairing them you can re-sell them on an online marketplace platform or donate them.  

Donate and Re-Sell 

Once you have finished decluttering, evaluate what items can be resold or donated. As a general rule, items that are donated must be usable in their current state. Items broken beyond repair, clothing with large holes or stains, and other miscellaneous unusable items should not be donated. 

For information on different Encinitas Donation Centers, visit the ‘Textile Recycling’ Tab on the City’s Recycling webpage

Reselling and donating items online is another great option for giving old items a second life. Sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, Buy Nothing Facebook Groups, and For Days all allow you to resell or donate items to specific people at your convenience. If you have a large number of items, try holding a garage sale! 

Waste Sorting 

After you have donated, resold, and repaired as many items as possible, what should you do with items that have reached the end of their lifespan? Knowing what can be recycled in your curbside recycling bins is crucial in ensuring everything goes where it belongs. For example, shredded paper can be recycled if placed in a clear plastic bag for easy identification, glass bottles and jars can be recycled if they are empty and dry, and most spray bottles used for cleaning can be recycled. If you have questions on specific items, visit wastefreesd.org and enter your item into the search bar. A list will populate of local organizations that can recycle your item. 

Have questions about what the City of Encinitas is doing to move towards Zero Waste? Visit the City’s Trash and Recycling Webpage to access helpful resource guides, receive answers to common questions, and more. 

Shred Event

If your spring cleaning efforts lead you to discovering old documents or electronic waste, bring them to the City of Encinitas’ and EDCO Shred Event on May 6th, 2023. This event will take place from 9am-12pm at the Encinitas Civic Center. Vehicles will be able to enter the parking lot from D street only.

This free document shredding event allows you to recycle your items properly with minimal effort. Document shredding is limited to two banker’s boxes (10”x12”x15”) per household. Electronic waste recycling acceptable items include computers, monitors, central processing units (CPUs), laptops, computer components, printers, scanners, fax machines, VCRs, radios, and cell phones. Free mulch will also be available for Encinitas residents (while supplies last). This is a self-serve, self-loading, and self-haul service, so please bring your own cans/bags, gloves, and shovel—there is a limit of 3 cans/bags per vehicle.