precycling in santa cruz
February 2019

What is Precycling? Green Tips February 2019

By Meredith Keet, founder of The Zero Shop

I’m calling it now…Precycling is going to be the new buzzword of 2019, to sit alongside single-use as the word of the year from 2018. So what is it? Well, in- stead of purchasing an item and then figuring out whether it belongs in the re- cycling or the ol’ landfill bin, precycling is the act of considering where that item will end up before you’ve purchased it.

While grocery shopping, you may be faced with two different types of pack- aging for the same item. As someone who precycles, you may pick up each item and search for that little recycling symbol or think about which type of re- cycling your local recycling facility accepts. One of those items doesn’t have that symbol or can’t be recycled by your recycling service?

precycling in santa cruz

Choose the one that can be recycled and leave the other on the shelf. You might consider two different types of egg cartons, one plastic and one paper. Current recycling trends and market availability would encourage you to choose paper and forget the plastic. You can avoid packaging altogether when you shop in bulk or choose those items that don’t have any packaging!

First, you may need to get to know your local recycling facility to gain a better sense of what they can and cannot recycle. You may be surprised to find that many items you thought were recyclable are actually sorted out at the recycling facility and sent to the landfill.

Check out your area’s recycling facility: Santa Cruz County:, City of Santa Cruz: Consider taking a tour. You’ll never view recycling in quite the same way! Monterey Peninsula Area:

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