Reduce & Reuse: Prevention and Donation
Preventing waste, or source reduction, is the first step in zero waste. Recycling and composting manage waste after it is generated, but waste prevention reduces the amount of materials generated in the first place. Waste prevention means taking advantage of reduction, reuse, and donation opportunities to get the most environmental and economic benefit possible. The first step to achieving zero waste is to look at your current consumption habit and reduce as much as possible. By purchasing only what you need, you are able to eliminate unnecessary waste from being generated.
After you reduce and eliminate the purchasing and acquisition of any unnecessary “stuff”, the next step is to reuse as much as possible. Switching to reusables instead of single-use not only benefits the environment but also your wallet! If you look around, there are many single-use items you use every day that can be replaced with reusables. Some common everyday items that you can replace with reusables include water bottles, mugs, eating utensils, and bags. It may also help to start your own “zero waste kit”, and get in the habit of carrying these at all times.
- Reusable bag
- Reusable napkin
- Beeswax wrap
- Reusable water bottle
- Reusable coffee tumbler, bottle, mug
- Mason Jar
- Reusable produce bag
- Reusable utensils
- Reusable straw
If you no longer want/need something, the best thing you can do is to donate it. This ensures that your unwanted item does not end up in the landfill and that the person on the receiving end will save money and resources by not buying it new. There are various local thrift stores that will accept gently used items that are in good condition. Please make sure that all items are clean, dry, and in good working condition. Please call before donating to confirm items accepted and hours! Do not leave “free boxes” at the curb. Items left outside become garbage, costing the City and therefore you, thousands of dollars annually. If thrift stores don’t/can’t take your items, make sure to take it to the appropriate disposal site.
|Angels of Hope||1309 10th St.|
|(707) 822-5019||Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm|
|Arcata Presbyterian Church||11th & G St.|
|(707) 822-1321||Tues & Fri: 12:30pm-4:30pm|
|Clothing Dock||1109 11th St.|
|(707) 822-8288||Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm|
|Companion Animal Foundation||88 Sunny Brae Center|
|(707) 826-7387||Tues-Fri: 10am-5:30pm|
|Discovery Shop (Benefits American Cancer Society)||2942 F St. Eureka, CA||(707) 443-2155||Mon-Fri: 9:30am-5:30pm|
|Food for People||307 W. 14th St.|
|(707) 445-3166||Mon-Fri: 9am-4:30pm|
|Humboldt Furniture||1085 K St.|
|(707) 825-1004||Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm|
|Hospice Shop||575 H St.|
|(707) 826-2545||Mon-Sat: 12pm-4pm|
|Reusable Office Supply Exchange (ROSE)||Warren House 53 (HSU)|
|(707) 826-4162||Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm|
|Rescue Mission Thrift Store||1030 Broadway|
|(707) 443-2523||Mon-Sat: 10am-5:30pm|
|SCRAP Humboldt||101 H St.|
|(707) 633-8349||Mon-Sat: 11am-6pm|
|Tin Can Mailman||1000 H St.|
|(707) 822-1307||Mon-Fri: 11am-4pm|
|The Works||210 C St. Eureka, CA||(707) 442-8121||Mon-Sat: 11am-6pm|
|Willow and Rags||761 8th St.|
|(707) 822-7577||Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm|
Polysterene Foodware Ordinance
As of October 1, 2015, Arcata stores and food providers can no longer sell or dispense Styrofoam containers or coolers. This includes polystyrene foam cups, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, coverings, hinged or lidded clamshell containers and foam coolers which are not completely encased in more durable materials. The new law applies to any person, group or business dispensing food or drink, regardless of whether they are charging for it, and any business selling polystyrene foam food containers or ice chests.
Polystyrene foam crumbles into small pieces and is easily blown into streets and waterways that flow to Arcata creeks and Humboldt Bay. Birds, fish and wildlife often mistake the particles for food, causing impaired intestinal tracts and sometimes starvation and death.
Alternative food containers are available in paper and plastic, and reusable containers have also been gaining in popularity. Items excluded from the ordinance include pre-packaged foods such as raw eggs and meat, and ramen noodles packaged in a foam cup. For more information about the polystyrene ordinance please refer to the Polystyrene Ordinance FAQs (PDF).
Reusable Bag Ordinance
Retail stores may not provide single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. Plastic carryout bags are banned. Customers may bring their own reusable bags or purchase reusable bags from stores.Paper bags must contain a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content, be 100% recyclable, and show other information. See the Reusable Bag Ordinance (PDF).
Reusable bags must be made of machine-washable fabric, be able to carry 22 pounds 125 times over a distance of 175 feet and not contain heavy metals in toxic amounts.
Paper or plastic bags provided for use inside the store to package bulk items such as fruit, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items; wrapped meat or frozen foods; as well as covered bakery goods, etc. are allowed.
The Reusable Bag Ordinance applies to all retail establishments in the City of Arcata including all stores that generate sales or use tax pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law.
The ordinance does not apply to restaurants. For more information please refer to the Reusable Bag Ordinance FAQs.