Researchers are sorting through your trash

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SAN DIEGO – Local researchers are finding out more about San Diegans by sorting through their trash.

“We’re taking the trash and sampling it into about a 100 different categories,” said San Diego recycling specialist Chelsea Klaseus.

It’s part of a yearlong study that looks to find out more about resident’s waste habits.

“The goal is to find how to improve recycling among our residents and ultimately increase the life span of the city’s landfill, slated to last until the year 2022,” Klaseus said.

The $335,000 study is being paid for by the city’s recycling fund.

Klaseus said the garbage collected thus far has telling evidence about how San Diegans are living.

“There’s a very big difference in the socioeconomic status of our residents – from very rich to very poor,” said Klaseus.

Among the items sampled were food containers of different brands.

“Something else you can tell about a community is how healthy it is or just how unhealthy it is.”

The last waste composition study was 12 years ago.

In that study, researchers found an excess of cardboard and glass, items that are often recycled today.

Once the study wraps up, the information gathered will be used to craft new recycling ordinances citywide.


  • Bob Craig

    We need more enforcement of recycling. Those that are aware and care are on board, those who don't care need to be pushed/pulled to comply. About 70% of discards can be recycled and the black cans are overflowing with recyclables, unacceptable.

  • ilacsd

    We have a one stop resource for recycling and hazardous waste disposal info at Recycling can be confusing for some people because every jurisdiction in San Diego has different rules, our database and hotline search by your zip code to give you accurate and up to date information. Almost anything in your house can be recycled these days!

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