• Pew Research Study Finds Social Norms Shape Recycling Views - Thursday, January 5, 2017 at



  • An article in the December issue of Biocycle reports the findings of a Pew Research survey that found social norms shape how we think about recycling. 

    According to the study, 28 percent of Americans say they live in areas that strongly encourage recycling while 22 percent say they do not. The rest of Americans are somewhere in the middle.

    Not surprisingly, in a Columbia study cited in the Pew report, California, with its potent recycling policies and messaging, had the highest recovery rates for municipal solid waste in the nation (53.4 percent) followed by Maine (51.5 percent) and Washington (50.1 percent). States with the lowest rates were Oklahoma (3.7 percent), Alaska (4.5 percent) and Mississippi (4.8 percent).

    Bottom line: when recycling is seen as a priority, the public responds by recycling more. That means it's important that we keep getting the word out that recycling saves valuable resources and helps protect the environment. This effort is making an impact. An EPA study included in the Pew report shows that the amount of waste Americans generate each day has fallen from 4.7 pounds per day in 2006 to 4.4 pounds in 2013. Americans are now recycling or composting 1.51 pounds of waste each day. That's good news!

    To read the full Pew Research report, click here.

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  • New Year Brings New Gardening Opportunities - Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at



  • While January and winter weather means an end to gardening activities in many parts of the United States, it is prime time to plant in southern California.

    Plant fruit trees: A variety of bare root fruit trees are at nurseries ready to be planted in January. Varieties include apricot, blueberries, plum, apple, pear, peach and raspberries trees. Give the trees a boost by adding organic compost planting mix to the soil to increase soil aeration and to keep in moisture.

    Add Artichokes: Add artichoke plants to your garden. Plant them 4 feet apart. They start their growing process in winter and begin sprouting artichoke heads in spring. These hardy, perennial vegetables can produce artichokes year after year.

    Plant Garlic Cloves: Separate cloves from a garlic bulb. Plant them with the pointy part up the clove up--and about 7 to 8 inches deep. Garlic plants will soon poke their heads from the soil and grow during winter. They can easily withstand cold winter nights. The new garlic bulbs with their juicy cloves will be ready for harvest in late spring or early summer.

    Keep Applying Mulch To Cut Down On Weeds: Every rainfall (no matter how infrequent) means more weeds in the garden. Weeds seem to go more quickly than any vegetable or flower plant. To keep weeds under control, make sure you have a several-inch layer of mulch wherever weeds may appear. If weeds are already taking root, remove them before covering the area with mulch.

    Plant Wildflowers From Seed: First, rake the flowerbed area. Sprinkle California poppy and other wild flowers and cover gently with soil. Sow more seeds just before a rain to encourage continued flower production in spring.

    Move Living Christmas Trees Outside: Living Christmas trees should stay indoors for as little time as possible. Once planted outdoors, pine trees can easily grow 40 to 50 feet tall. Their strong root system, over time, will spread and can easily crack concrete walkways that stand in their way. Make sure you plant your tree in a location that can accommodate such a large tree.

    Purchase A Rain Barrel: Don't let rainwater roof runoff go to waste. Many cities and counties offer rebates when purchasing rain barrels. These barrels can typically hold 50 gallons of water--water that can be used to irrigate your garden.

    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Get Your Christmas Trees Ready for Recycling - Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at


  • Now that Christmas is over, it's time for your Christmas tree to begin a new phase of its life.

    First, you'll need to remove all ornaments, hooks, lights and tinsel and then cut the tree in three or four foot sections. Next, place the tree in your green recycling barrel. Flocked trees can be recycled since the flock is now made out of paper products.

    Agromin will receive an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 Christmas trees after the holidays. We'll remove any remaining ornaments and decorations and then put the trees through a grinder. The wood chips will eventually be turned into mulch and then used on farms, in parks, along roadsides and in consumer and commercial products.

    By recycling your Christmas tree, you'll not only keep it out of the landfill, but enable it be recycled into environmentally-friendly mulch that will contribute to the growth of new plants and trees. You'll be closing the green recycling loop!

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