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Got Cardboard?

Do you have large cardboard boxes? Please don’t place them in the trash or even in the recycling carts! Large cardboard boxes that do not easily fit into the recycling cart are collected separately for recycling if they are prepared properly:
  1. Remove all packing material and make sure your boxes are completely empty.
  2. Flatten the cardboard boxes.
  3. Place the flattened boxes on the ground next to your recycling cart for pick-up.

Recology Davis will collect properly placed cardboard boxes on your collection day. Cardboard is collected for recycling and is recycled separately from other materials. As such, cardboard boxes will not be collected if they are full of packing material even if it’s paper. Paper packing materials should be recycled with other papers not with cardboard.

Remember that pizza boxes with grease and/or cheese on them are not recyclable and should be placed in the organics cart for composting. More information about cardboard recycling.
As discussed in the item below on mulch, you can also use cardboard for sheet mulching as a way to remove unwanted turf in a landscape! Learn more about sheet mulching.
For more information on waste reduction and recycling, visit

Fall is the Time to Plant!

With its shorter days and cooler weather, fall is the best time of the year to plant. In the fall, the soil is moist, weeds are not as prolific, and cooler temperatures put less stress on new plants. As you plan your landscape for the year, consider going beyond water-wise landscaping and work to create a sustainable landscape that is more environmentally friendly, requires less maintenance, generates less yard waste, reduces water run-off, improves wildlife habitat, and fosters healthy soils.
When creating a sustainable landscape consider:
  • Integrating compost: mix your soil with compost to improve soil health and productivity.
  • Adding mulch: information on the benefits of mulch is provided in the “Why Mulch” section below.
  • Harvesting rainwater: reduce stormwater runoff and keep water onsite for general gardening uses.
  • Utilizing greywater: consider using water from your washing machine to supplement your irrigation needs.
  • Creating pollinator and wildlife habitat: choose plants that attract and support native pollinator and wildlife species.
  • Plant Choice: choose the right plant for the right place and watch them grow!

For more information on sustainable landscaping and water-use efficiency, visit our green gardening page.

Planning Irrigation for Your Landscape

If you’re thinking about fall planting, be sure to consider how you will water your plants. When planning or adding to your landscape:
  • Consider plant water needs and hydrozone (group plants by water usage) to irrigate your landscape most efficiently.
  • If you have not already, consider switching to drip irrigation to provide water directly to plants and reduce runoff.
  • Check the batteries in your irrigation controller. Irrigation controllers sometimes revert to factory settings after even a brief power outage. Check the batteries in your controller every six months and replace as needed to ensure your controller continues to run properly.
  • Check soil moisture. The soil may look dry on the surface, but can still be wet at root level. Use a soil moisture meter or screwdriver to go down a couple of inches into the soil, and see if the soil is still moist.
  • If you have spray heads, make sure they are adjusted to avoid overspray onto walkways or driveways.

Careful water-use management is the best tool to use for sustainable landscaping. You can sign-up for AquaHawk, the City’s online water-use portal, to track your water usage and see how much water is used for irrigation. You can even set notifications and be alerted if you have a potential water leak. Visit for registration information.

Why Mulch?

Mulch has many benefits in the landscape. Mulch helps to:

  • protect the soil from erosion
  • conserve water by reducing moisture evaporation from the soil
  • reduce weed populations
  • prevent soil compaction
  • keep soil temperatures more moderate during our warm summers
  • provide a “finished” look to your landscape

One specialized way to use mulch is in sheet mulching, an environmentally friendly way to remove turf in your landscape without any digging. The sheet mulching process involves covering the turf with layers of cardboard or newspaper to exclude light and then adding layers of compost and mulch. This method adds organic matter to your soil and does not require the disposal of any turf. More information on sheet mulching with cardboard can be found on the City’s water conservation page.

Make the Swtich to Rechargeable Batteries

There’s an easy way to save money and reduce the amount of toxic materials you generate every year -switch to rechargeable batteries!
You already use rechargeable batteries in your home every day with your cell phone, laptop, electric toothbrush, a cordless vacuum. All of these products use rechargeable batteries. As the name suggests, when their batteries run low, you can recharge them!
You can also find AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V rechargeable batteries! Instead of single-use batteries that need to be safely recycled once they drain, a rechargeable battery can sit in the charging cradle and be ready to use again in a few hours! You can use them instead of single-use batteries in most products.Rechargeable batteries can last longer on each charge than disposable batteries when used in high-drain devices like digital cameras. This means you need to change batteries much less frequently, and they can last for years when recharged regularly as directed.
You can recycle single-use batteries at multiple locations in Davis, however, reducing waste in the first place is better than recycling, especially if it’s a toxic product like a battery.
Information on recycling batteries in Davis
For more information on rechargeable batteries, visit CalRecycle’s webpage

More Resources

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This content has been crossposted with permission from the Greener Davis program.