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There is an exciting new opportunity for Santa Cruz residents to becomeMaster Recyclers” through a free-of-charge City training program that begins Feb. 6. In just six weeks participants will graduate as community champions with certification to educate and empower friends, neighbors, schools, businesses and other groups to waste less and “recycle right.”


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Hands-on training from City of Santa Cruz staff and other local waste professionals will address waste prevention, recycling processes and markets, Zero Waste concepts, Extended Producer Responsibility, household hazardous waste, repairing and repurposing items, and green consumer tips.


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Two field trips will provide a behind-the-scenes look at sorted and baled recyclable material, large and small scale composting systems, and electronic waste management.




The program grew out of interest from folks attending our Recycling Center tours who want to help improve Santa Cruz waste reduction by educating the public on contamination—the largest Santa Cruz (and nationwide) recycling issue.


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Although most Santa Cruzans care about recycling correctly, we find many garbage items in blue bins such as greasy pizza boxes, milk cartons, cans and containers with food in them, diapers, wipes and toothpaste tubes. If one very contaminated recycling cart getls picked up, it can contaminate an entire truckload of recyclables. These contaminated loads have to be discarded into the landfill.


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Graduates from our new Master Recycler Training Program will help reduce such contamination by teaching proper recycling to the entire community. Master Recyclers agree to put their new skills into practice through a minimum of 20 hours of service. They will be invited to support Earth Day and reuse and repair events, serve as neighborhood resources at block parties and as waste monitors and outreach coordinators at special events.

Advanced registration is required for the Master Recycler Training Program. Applications will be accepted from all Santa Cruz residents at least 18 years of age and are due by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1. Applications can be downloaded at

Any questions, please contact Leslie O’Malley at or (831) 420-5593.

We hope to see you on Feb. 6!

What: Master Recycler Training Programa City of Santa Cruz class series to certify Santa Cruz residents as community champions of waste reduction and recycling.

When: Tuesdays, Feb, 6 – March 13, 6 – 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays, Feb. 10 and 24, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown Santa Cruz location.

Application and more

City Beat

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