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Marion MacArthur, left, of Concord, looks on as Rudy Elizarraraz, right, of the Contra Costa Waste Services in Pittsburg, unloads her car of metal after she brought it in during America Recycles Day at Mt. Diablo Recycling Facility in Pittsburg, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Bay Area News Group)

PITTSBURG -- As the holiday season quickly approaches, the Mt. Diablo Recycling Center is launching a new Winter Camp program to encourage recycling. The program is inspired by the mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle, respect the Earth and recover."

The camp, open to the public of all ages, will be from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 26 and 27 at the Pittsburg Facility.

"We are offering the first ever Winter Camp to not only have a fun activity to do over the Thanksgiving holiday week, but also to educate families about the increased impact that we all have on the environment at this time of year," said Nicole Impagliazzo, community relations and public outreach manager for Garaventa Enterprises.

During this time of year there is a 25 percent increase in household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Impagliazzo said.

"We want to inspire the community to consider how they can reduce their waste volumes and to recycle and reuse as much as they can," she said.

While the words "recycle" and "reuse" have been part of national campaigns for many years, few may not think about what can be done to "recover" items that go to the landfills.

Adrianna Medina, recycling coordinator at Mt. Diablo Recycling, explains that to reduce the amount of garbage in the landfills it is important to "remove marketable material from the waste stream."

A good example of this would be wood that is taken to Mt. Diablo's recovery facility to be ground up and processed into wood chips that is later used as fuel for bio mass energy facilities.

"Essentially, it means making sure items do not go in the landfill and using them to benefit the earth," Impagliazzo said.

During the Winter Camp visitors will learn how all the items that are recoverable and how easy it is to recycle. Impagliazzo said that the public also will see the "Big Blue" machine that separates paper, plastics cardboard and tin, and learn about all of the other items that can be recovered and recycled at the facility.

"I think many people are amazed to find out items such as construction materials, yard waste and more can be recycled or recovered," she said.

One of the biggest contributions to waste this holiday season is wrapping paper. While most holiday wrapping paper can go into the blue recycling cart. Impagliazzo suggests that you try to avoid wrap that is metallic in texture. She also suggests trying to purchase recycled paper when buying wrapping paper.

"Reusable gift bags made from paper are a great option too or use newsprint, tissue paper or craft paper to reuse paper and save money," she said.

She also said to please reuse ribbon, as ribbon cannot be recycled.

For more information and tips, visit their website at www.ContraCostaWaste.com or call them 925-473-0180. The Mt. Diablo Recycling Facility is located at 1300 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg. To reserve a space at one of the camp days, email adriana@garaventaent.com or call 925-682-4518.

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