KJ Services Environmental Consulting

Recycling Expertise… Not Recycled Ideas!


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Keep Palms Springs Beautiful!

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Image by Jay Hooker Photography

Palm Springs, CA is world-renowned as a picturesque resort destination full of beautiful vistas and stunning landscapes. But as a popular destination for motorists and a desirable setting for fans of offroading and Motorsports, the desert around Palm Springs can also attract waste tires from vehicles that have been left by the side of the road, or simply dumped in the middle of the desert.

Since tires are no longer accepted at landfills, and can be bulky and inconvenient to get rid of, unfortunately many people find it easier to dump them illegally than contact their local city governments’ recycling program. Dumping trash in the desert is illegal, and in cities like Palm Springs, it’s a huge problem.

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The Coachella Valley Association of Governments is organizing a series of free tire collection events to combat this problem, and to help keep Palm Springs beautiful. Recent events in Indio, Desert Hot Springs, Coachella, and La Quinta have yielded over 3,000 waste tires which will now be recycled. That’s over 3,000 fewer eyesores in the Coachella Valley!

On February 28th, it’s Palm Springs’ turn to clean-up the Coachella Valley. All CV residents are welcome to bring their used tires to Palm Springs City Hall from 8am–12 noon to recycle for free.

Help ensure that all used tires are collected safely and recycled. Residents can transport up to 9 tires maximum per trip. Multiple trips are okay. Please bring passenger and light truck tires only. NO semi truck, construction equipment or agricultural tractor tires are accepted. Tires from businesses and non-profits will not be accepted. ALL tires must be removed from the rims.
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Help keep the Coachella Valley Clean and Green! For more information about this event, visit the City of Palm Springs’ website or please call 760-323-8214 or 562-944-4766.

Together, we can help keep Palm Springs looking like this!

palm_springsPhoto by Jay Hooker Photography


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A Tour of the Hyperion Treatment Plant

The Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles is the largest waste water treatment plant west of the Mississippi, processing 280 million gallons of waste water per day. The entire treatment plant is 140 acres–that’s bigger than Disneyland! The plant has the highest diversion rate among most popular U.S. cities, at 76%, but they plan to increase this rate to 90% by 2025.

We were able to take a tour of the plant’s Environmental Learning Center, a new educational campus that opened in 2013. The ELC is 20,000 sq. ft. and features three floors of interactive learning displays and activities, including a “Green Roof” and a Wetlands area. (See photos below)

The ELC is free and open to the public. It’s a great resource for school groups, community volunteer groups, environmental clubs, and just for anyone who ever wondered where their water goes after they turn off the faucet. For more info on the ELC, and to plan your own tour of the facility, visit their website.

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IMG_2836  IMG_2838IMG_2829      The Green Roof features low-maintenance succulents grown with recycled water, solar panels, skylights and a wind turbine, all designed to keep the ELC’s energy costs low.

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View of the Pacific Ocean from the roof of the ELC.

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On the second floor, there are many interactive displays to encourage kids to know what to recycle, where, and how. There are sections on electronic waste, household hazardous waste, green waste, and even bottle and can recycling.

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IMG_2883 IMG_2874 IMG_2875  On the first floor, the “Water’s Many L.A. Ways” exhibit highlights both stormwater recycling and wastewater recycling, teaching us how the water we use everyday gets treated, cleaned, reused and recycled at Hyperion.

IMG_2877   This section features a life-sized sewer pipe, the kind through which LA’s waste water flows everyday. It’s huge!

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IMG_2886Outside, the campus has a Wetlands area, which uses the wastewater recycled at the plant to create a habitat for surrounding wildlife.

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To schedule your own FREE visit to the Hyperion Treatment Plant Environmental Learning Center, contact them at (310) 648-5363, via email, or at their website.


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New Year’s Resolution: Recycle Your Electronic Waste!

If you didn’t get any new electronics this holiday, I bet you know someone who did. Christmas is the time for giving: cellphones, computers, tablets, printers, and other electronics top the gift lists of many Americans. But in with the new means out with the old. Where do these old electronics go?

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Electronic waste (or e-waste) is classified as hazardous waste–it can’t go in the regular trash. Because of components like cathode rays, lead and other chemicals, e-waste must be recycled separately, just like used motor oil or medical waste.

E-waste can be recycled in LA County at several events, both at Household Hazardous Waste Roundups and at permanent collection centers located throughout the county.

Los Angeles County HHW events in January

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But it’s not just the holidays that produce a lot of e-waste. In fact, Americans produce over 65 pounds of electronic waste per person per year! You probably have tons of e-waste around the house you may not even realize is toxic. HHW items include: computers, printers, televisions, VCRs, cell phones, fax machines, stereos, and electronic games. For a full list of where and when to recycle your e-waste (and what items are accepted) visit the LA County Department of Public Works.


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Low Water Levels Reveal Waste Tires in Lake Elsinore

An unexpected benefit of the California drought? State-wide record low water levels have revealed over 200 waste tires sitting at the bottom of Lake Elsinore. Tires range in size from car and light truck tires, to giant tractor tires–some are over 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide! The City of Lake Elsinore plans to remove all the tires from the lake while the water levels are low–something they couldn’t have done a few years ago. No one knows how the tires ended up in the lake; they could have been dumped or left behind after a construction project. The City will remove all 200 tires via crane and recycle them.

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The City of Lake Elsinore, in conjunction with Canyon Lake and Wildomar, has been hosting used tire recycling events for residents all year, and has several more scheduled for 2015. Scrap tires like these can be recycled into many other products, including rubberized asphalt, playground flooring, and exercise mats. They can also be turned into Tire-Derived Aggregate (TDA) used in construction projects. See a video about TDA here.

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Although the California drought is a very serious issue, it’s good to know that at least some benefit has come from low water levels in Lake Elsinore. There will soon be 200 fewer waste tires and more recycled rubber for the local community.


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Keep Desert Hot Springs Beautiful!

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If you have ever driven down the highway anywhere in the Coachella Valley, you have probably seen them: tires! Old, scrap tires are just thrown away on the side of the road, in vacant lots and abandoned alleys. Besides being unsightly, this is also illegal.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments has banded together to organize a series of used tire collection events in 2014 and 2015 to combat the problem of illegal dumping and help keep the Coachella Valley beautiful.

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Picture Source

The Desert Hot Springs used tire recycling event will be held at the Desert Hot Springs Public Works Yard (map), 65-810 Hacienda Ave. on Saturday, December 13th from 8am-12pm. Stop by to dispose of your used tires and help keep your city clean!

All Coachella Valley residents are welcome! Proof of residency is required.

Help ensure that all used tires are collected safely and recycled, residents can transport up to 9 tires maximum per trip. Multiple trips are okay. Please bring passenger and light truck tires only. NO semi truck, construction equipment or agricultural tractor tires are accepted. Tires from businesses and non-profits will not be accepted. ALL tires must be removed from the rims.

Help keep the cities Clean and Green! For more information about this event please call 760-329-6411 ext. 218 or 562-944-4766.

For more upcoming tire events in Coachella Valley, see this flyer.

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Simple Tips for a Green Thanksgiving

Everyone loves Thanksgiving. It’s a time to gather with loved ones and reflect on the blessings and bounty of the year. But with bounty, unfortunately all to often, comes waste. The EPA reports that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the average American household increases their waste output by 25%. Every year, the average American wastes over 100 pounds of food! That translates to higher food and energy bills for you, but also more pollution in our local landfills, our air and our water.

By following these simple, common sense steps, you can help reduce waste this Thanksgiving while saving time and money in the process.

Step 1: Shopping

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Use reusable bags! Most reusable, cloth bags are made from recycled materials, making them an even better investment. It’s also important when shopping to remember to buy items with limited packaging. Buy loose vegetables, grains and nuts instead of those that are covered in Saran wrap or packaged individually. Buying local and organic can also help reduce the carbon footprint involved in food transportation. Look for food packaging with recycled content.

Step 2: The Table

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It can be tempting to stop off at the store and pick up a bunch of paper plates and napkins for Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you’re having a lot of guests over. But one-use, disposable items creates unnecessary waste that clogs our landfills. It’s much better (and cheaper!) to use cloth napkins, silverware, glasses and plates for Thanksgiving dinner. If you must use plastic utensils, wash them and reuse them next year. Also, opting for a fabric tablecloth instead of a paper or plastic one is not only environmentally conscious, it’s also just looks nicer!

Thanksgiving dinner usually involves more guests at your home than normal. Make sure you provide guests recycling containers for bottles, cans, glass, and paper. Consider setting up a reusable container where they can clean their plates, to use later for composting (see Step 4).

Step 3: Clean-Up

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Believe it or not, using a dishwasher instead of hand-washing your dishes actually uses less water. If you have an Energy Star appliance, you may only be using 4 gallons of water per load. It’s especially important to remember on Thanksgiving to only start the dishwasher with a totally full load of dishes. Also: remember to scrape leftover food scraps instead of rinsing them; this saves water. (Leftover food scraps can be composted! See Step 4.)

Step 4: Leftovers

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Everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers. They’re kind of the best part. But storing them can sometimes be a hassle, especially if you don’t have the right containers. If you’re having guests for dinner, ask them beforehand to bring their own reusable containers for leftovers. Don’t get stuck resorting to paper plates or Styrofoam containers. Styrofoam takes more than 500 years to decompose! Unfortunately, even though some paper is recyclable, grease stains from food can disqualify paper containers from being recycled. Reusable plastic, metal and glass storage containers are sturdy, won’t contaminate your leftovers and can be used over and over again.

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The final step in having a Green Thanksgiving is composting. Pealing potatoes, chopping vegetables and cleaning out the Thanksgiving turkey leaves a lot of leftover scrapes that can be transformed into fodder for your yard or garden. If you don’t already have a compost heap, here are guidelines on how to start one. Composting is easy, reduces waste and contributes rich nutrients to the soil.

By following these simple tips, you can dramatically decrease your waste this Thanksgiving. For more environmental facts and tips for the holiday season, visit this site.


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America Recycles Day is November 15th!

On November 15th, Keep America Beautiful!

Each year on November 15th, millions of people across the country participate in America Recycles Day, a national initiative by Keep America Beautiful.

America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. Since its inception in 1997, the ARD campaign has grown to include millions of Americans.

The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash in a single day, but Americans only 35 percent of the country’s waste is recycled. America Recycles Day better informs people about the importance of recycling at home and work and buying recycled products.

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Events Near You

KJServices is proud to host TWO America Recycles Day events on Saturday, November 15th. We will be participating in used oil and filter exchange events in the cities of La Verne and Norwalk. To RSVP to the La Verne filter exchange, click here. To RSVP to the Norwalk filter exchange, click here. (Note: both events are FREE to city residents.)

To find more ARD events near you, visit the official America Recycles Day website.

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Take the Pledge

Take the America Recycles Day online pledge to find out what materials are collected for recycling in your community. Pledge to reduce your personal waste by recycling and to recycling more. Encourage one family member or one friend to take the pledge too.

Visit the America Recycles Day website to take the pledge!

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Share It With Social

Use the hashtag #AmericaRecyclesDay to spread the word. Use the hashtag #RecyclingSelfie to win one of many cool prizes! Follow KJServices on Twitter and Facebook for more info on America Recycles Day and for environmental tips and events in Southern California.