Traveling coffee mugs. Reusable grocery bags. And table scraps? Think compost.
Landfill operators will launch a $2 million public campaign today to change Orange County residents’ behavior: recycle, reuse, reduce waste to keep landfills from filling up too fast.
The goal of the new campaign, “Waste-free O.C.: Save Room for Tomorrow,” is to persuade residents to cut their waste by 10 percent in 2010.
“It doesn’t take that much,” said OC Waste & Recycling spokeswoman Julie Chay. “You can really make a difference by making small changes in your habits. It’s not like you have to overhaul your life.”
Relying on reusable coffee mugs instead of disposable cups for a month, for instance, would equal about a 10 percent reduction for the year, Chay said.
The campaign centers on a new Web site, Waste Free O.C., offering advice and tips on cutting waste, and a quiz meant to reveal how much you are wasting.
The numbers add up, Chay says, although any real landfill crisis seems a long way off.
Orange County residents generate about 5.5 pounds of trash per person per day. With more than 3 million county residents, that comes to roughly 15 million pounds of solid waste per day. At that rate, the county’s three landfills will fill up by 2067.
So part of the long-range goal is to extend landfill lifetime.
A 10 percent reduction for the county as a whole would equal 1.5 million fewer pounds of waste going to landfills each year.
The public is welcome to attend OC Waste’s campaign launch today at 11 a.m. The launch will be at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill, 11002 Bee Canyon Rd, Irvine. OC Supervisors chairwoman Janet Nguyen will speak, and a Waste Management truck will be on hand to demonstrate what 10 percent of waste looks like for a typical resident.
To attend, call Chay first at 714-697-4470.
(Photo of trash haulers disposing waste at the Frank R. Bowerman landfill courtesy, OC Waste and Recycling.)