A public-private partnership encouraging the recycling of plastics from California beaches has brought its campaign message to San Diego County: ``Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle.''
The program was organized by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Arlington, Va.-based American Chemistry Council and nonprofit environmental organization Keep California Beautiful. The organizations have put their slogan on newly installed recycling bins and signs in the county.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said the partnership's recycling program will help to improve the area's quality of life. He spoke at an April 2 news conference at a site overlooking the beach at Torrey Pines State Reserve.
The program will address litter, marine debris and ``the lack of opportunities for away-from-home recycling,'' said Greg Babe, operating committee chairman for ACC's plastics division, and president and chief executive officer of Bayer MaterialScience LLC in Pittsburgh.
In San Diego County, the partnership has added bins and signs at four state beaches. The partnership began placing bins in November and has introduced the program at five beaches in San Luis Obispo County and six in Los Angeles County. Upcoming sites for the program will include ocean beaches in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas and the banks of the Los Angeles River.
ACC is budgeting $3.5 million per year for its entire recycling and litter prevention programs, including staffing, said Sharon Kneiss, vice president of ACC's products division. The California bin program is ``a first step in making recycling more accessible,'' with ACC planning to establish programs elsewhere, perhaps in the upper Midwest and Northeast.
So far, ACC has invested nearly $700,000 for signs, advertising and 619 new bins in California.
In addition to plastics, the bins are designed to accept glass, aluminum and paper for recycling, said Christine Flowers-Ewing, executive director of Sacramento-based Keep California Beautiful.