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Changes to the Grey Bears Recycling Program

Grey Bears Chanticleer Campus no longer accepting Mixed Paper, Styrofoam, Cardboard, Appliances or any commercial loads.

SANTA CRUZ, June 15, 2023­­— Starting July 1, Grey Bears Recycling Program will no longer be accepting Mixed Paper, Styrofoam, Cardboard, Appliances, or any commercial loads at its Chanticleer location.

We will continue to accept aluminum cans, plastics, broken down scrap metal and wire, brown, clear and green glass bottles, e-waste. All recyclable materials are still accepted at Ben Lomond and Buena Vista materials recovery facilities operated by Grey Bears under contract with Santa Cruz County and the City of Santa Cruz Dimeo facility.

Recycling remains a core value of Grey Bears. However, as the recycling market has changed, we must also consider how to best support our priority mission of helping Seniors and our community live healthy, meaningful lives.

Due to California’s regulatory focus on local jurisdictions overseeing and ensuring direct to consumer services for recycling of most materials, including food waste, Greenwaste provides curbside services to most residences throughout the cities and unincorporated Santa Cruz County. The only exception is for certified “self-haulers,” who utilize various materials recovery facilities for both garbage and recycling.

These changes have reduced Grey Bears volume while market prices paid to Grey Bears by recycling companies have also decreased. For example, Grey Bears receives $40 per ton of cardboard while it costs $130 per ton to prepare for sale and pick up. This has resulted in growing significant losses to Grey Bears that impact our ability to operate and maintain focus on the healthy food program for seniors.

In addition to weekly curbside recycling service, all Greenwaste customers in Santa Cruz County receive four free bulky item pick-ups per year to support residential appliance waste needs.