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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Cap On? Cap Off? The Cities Respond

Uploaded: Jun 22, 2019

So, I spent the week opening bottles with lids made of one material (plastic, metal) and bottles made of another (glass, plastic) still wondering: Cap on? Cap off? I also spent the week reading your comments, thankful for the time folks put into their answers and the knowledge I gained, but also wondering if there is anywhere society can go these days to have a conversation / discussion that doesn’t include belittling and insulting people who think or act differently. I hope The Food Party! continues to be that place. Readers please note: a blog that has the word party followed by an exclamation point in the title means we are here to have a good time (and we are serious about that effort). Thanks for supporting the goal.

I also spent time calling around to San Mateo and Santa Clara county recyclers and heard what I thought I might: confusing, uncertain responses. Every person who answered the phone had not heard of the issue of bottle caps getting in the way of the processing system, but still answered the question whether to leave the cap on, or take it off. Their reasoning was mostly if the top is made of a material they recycle - leave it on. If they don’t recycle the material the cap is made of, take it off and throw it in the garbage. Honestly, I don’t think anyone felt confident about their response.

In sum, I was told to leave the cap on for all of San Mateo county, but did not get the same blanket answer for Santa Clara county.

Mountain View – leave on the cap
Cupertino – take it off
Sunnyvale – take it off
Portola Valley – leave it on
Woodside – leave it on
Los Altos Hills – leave it on
Menlo Park – leave it on
San Carlos – leave it on

If you decide to call, it would be interesting to hear what answer you get.

Please let us know.

- thanks Brainy Quote

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Jun 22, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Also remember The Food Party! tagline: "If it ain't fun, it don't get done!" Complaining puts up walls to forward, higher-vibe movement. Having fun together builds bridges.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Jun 22, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Who do I call, you might be asking? Good question - I had the same one. I googled recycling and the name of the town, found the first list that recycled for the town. And asked for the individual city. I was surprised that everyone, but one person, who answered the phone "knew" the answer. I don't think anyone knows the answer, and thus, dear readers, the reason for the question in the first place. Toot toot!

Posted by thanks, Laura, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Jun 22, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Perfect - thanks for the help!

Posted by reduce that footprint , a resident of Escondido School,
on Jun 24, 2019 at 1:06 pm

reduce that footprint is a registered user.

Laura -- Thanks so much for helping your readers answer the question of "Cap on? Cap off?" each time we are putting a plastic bottle in the recycling container! Anyone who is a faithful recycler has probably asked that question. . .

My question is: I don't see Palo Alto in your list of cities at end of your blog.
-- Probably that was in your previous post, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only reader who would be grateful if you could you could edit your list for your faithful readers' reference by adding whatever the answer is for Palo Alto!

My comment beyond thanks is that in bigger picture, the best answer for the planet, of course, is to reduce the number of plastic bottles in your life as much as possible. Millions of consumers using single use plastics when most of the time a reusable container would be feasible means billions of bottles made from fossil fuel byproducts end up in trash or in our oceans -- only a tiny fraction are recycled. The scary prognosis for health of marine life due to our unsustainable use of plastics is real -- and is already threatening fisheries all over the world.

Again, thanks for encouraging constructive, friendly dialogue -- that's always helpful to moving forward.

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