Posts Tagged ‘Earthwize Recycling’

Menlo for Hard Core Recyclers

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Menlo Recycling pays top dollar

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Every time that I took a turn in my Honda, the cans and bottles made a musical sound in my trunk. But when I hit the brakes, I realized that all of those cans likely toppled everywhere, and it was time to recycle.

But the only day that I can run errands is on Mondays, and EarthWize in Valle Vista and San Jacinto are closed that day.

The clerk at PIP Printing in Hemet steered me to Menlo Recycling, just a couple of blocks away on Buena Vista and Menlo. Let me just say one thing: Menlo Recycling is a serious recycling place, located in a warehouse with guys driving forklifts, so you probably don’t want to go there if you’re prissy or feint of heart.

It’s not like EarthWize Recycling which boast clean, metal trailers, with helpful clerks and are conveniently located next to Stater Bros. grocery stores. The problem with that arrangement is that I always spend all of my recycling money in Stater Bros. and generally only get about $8 for my trunkload.

When you drive up to Menlo Recycling, go directly to the back and get in line. (It’s kind of like the traffic flow at Strawberry Creek Shopping). Don’t do as I did and go in through the open exit. People get pretty excited when you do that–even if you’re a newcomer!

Once inside, grab your own large bins and start filling them, separating your plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles. Nobody waits on you, so you help yourself. All around me were people busying themselves with their recycling. It wasn’t a social gathering at all!

I filled my bins and looked around to see if they had left their caps on. I heard before that at some recycling centers, they make you take off the caps. I didn’t want to do that since I had more than 100 plastic bottles.

Cash and receipt

“No, honey, you keep the lids on,” said the woman ahead of me in line. “They weigh a little bit more, and every bit counts!”

She was sort of talking to me like I had never recycled before. Maybe because my bag broke and I had to chase down a couple of loose bottles. She also informed me that I didn’t need to crush every bottle, which was a relief.

But, behind me to my right was a guy putting auto parts into his bin, which was a metal bin instead of a plastic one. He was taking his time about it, sorting through boxes and dumping what looked like chunky pieces into this huge bin. Where was all of his cans and bottles, I wondered!

Then it occurred to me that he was recycling scrap metal!

So what the heck is considered scrap metal?  The first I heard of it was a sign past the bridge in Valle Vista that reads: “No-No Scrap Metal!” I imagined that, in the dark of night, people were stealing bumpers from his rusty old cars and getting top dollar. Scrap metal referred to big chunks of metal like you’d find in junk yards. It’s not those tiny nuts and bolts that the guy behind me in line was putting into his cart.

The same lady was a wellspring of recycling information.

“First of all,” she told me, “EarthWize doesn’t pay top dollar, and Menlo Recycling will honor any PennySaver or other recycling coupons–as long as they’re local. I once got $2 for one coupon.”

“It’s hard to say what scrap metal they’ll take,” she continued. “Sometimes, you just have to bring it in and see. But for some metal, they only pay 2 cents a pound! I once got only $2 for a light metal ladder!”

The guys ahead of us were weighing metal strips that cover the bottom of doorways. Another guy had what looked like rusty brake drums. His total came to 75 pounds. In metal recycling, the heavier the piece, the better.

She said that she’s recycled her pots and pans because the finish was gone.

Maybe this metal cart will fetch some money at Menlo

“Copper wire pays great, but it’s hard to find,” she said. “There’s copper in refrigerators, but you have to take them apart first, and that’s a lot of work!”

She said that ladders, wheelbarrows, computer parts, tools and even bags of screws are some things she’s recycled.

Maybe I should add metal to my recycling repertoire. I do a lot of walking and have come across metal bumpers and parts that would likely fetch a pretty penny!

When it came to my turn, I put the bins onto a huge scale, while the guy with the laptop was calculating the amounts. I ended up with a grand total of $18.98! That’s more than I’ve ever gotten before!

I had cash in hand and felt a little giddy about my scrap metal prospects! Maybe I could recycle that shopping cart that my sister gave me that’s rusting on my deck! And what about some of the bags of nuts and bolts that I never use?

Have places like Menlo Recycling always been around, or have just sprouted up during these hard economic times? It reminded me of the 2001 economic crisis in Argentina (when I lived in Chile) where folks were stealing metal from public sculptures. At first, it was the gold, then the copper, and then finally, the entire bronze statues!

Menlo receipt

This prospect of metal recycling appealed to me not just to clean out my shed, but to help clean up the Idyllwild environment.  I’ll start with the shopping  cart, the screws and the bumper that I saw in the bushes.  If they take those, and give me a good price, then I’ll be hooked!

I wonder what kind of music my trunk will make when I add heavy metal to the mix?

Menlo Recycling is located at 445 E. Menlo in Hemet. Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays.

Posted signs list prices and limitations of scrap metal recycling, including the need for a valid driver’s license.

For more information, call (951) 766-8520 or visit

EarthWize Recycling is conveniently located in Valle Vista and San Jacinto next to Stater Bros. groceries. On their web site, there’s lots of fun facts about recycling. Visit

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

New CRV Policy for Recycling Center

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Andrew from Earthwize had to announce the company's new policy on milk jugs

By Marcia E. Gawecki

On Monday, Jan. 16, Earthwize, the recycling center near the Stater Bros. in Hemet, announced a new policy.

They are no longer taking non-CA CRV plastic milk jugs or 100% juice containers.

“We just got an email this morning saying that it’s our new policy,” said Andrew, who has worked at Earthwize for four months. “It’s got to say ‘California CRV’ on it, or we can’t take it.”

Before Monday, Earthwize would allow recyclers to intermingle their non-CRV milk and juice jugs with their other CA-CRV plastic bottles. For example, empty milk jugs would be mixed and weighed with Coke and Pepsi containers.

You can tell what is recyclable and what isn’t by looking for the ‘CA CRV’ redemption symbol printed on the bottles.

“The milk jugs would add more weight and give them a little bit more, but not much,” said Andrew.

According to Earthwize’s overhead sign, the company would pay $1.43 a pound for mixed plastic bottles (including CA CRV and non-CRV) or $1.54 a pound for pure CA CRV plastic containers. That is, until Monday.

Taking these recyclables without California CRV was more of a courtesy for our company, Andrew said. He would just store them in a separate container the back and someone would pick them up and dispose of them.

Andrew explains the new policy to a customer

“We’d get about 100 of those plastic jugs a day,” he said. “They were taking up a lot of space.”

Andrew thinks the new policy may be a space saver for the company, but more than likely, it was the State of California that determined the new recycling policy.

“The state evaluates all of the recycling centers, from time to time,” Andrew explained. “Then they take into account all that is recyclable and what isn’t.”

The State of California sets the policy, our company doesn’t, he added.

The state must’ve determined that penny glass (wine bottles) weren’t cost-effective either. Most recycling places won’t take them now, but the Transfer Station in Idyllwild will.

Each person who came up to the Earthwize recycling center in Hemet that morning got the verbal announcement about the new policy from Andrew. Most of them took it in stride, but one guy got angry.

“What am I supposed to do with all of them now?” he asked Andrew.

“They are supposed to take them back with them, but a few people dropped them into my trash bins when I wasn’t looking,” Andrew said.

Hopefully, Earthwize will revise their sign soon, so Andrew won’t have to make their new policy announcement 100 times a day.

Andrew points to the former Earthwize price for mixed plastic bottles

He didn’t seem to mind, however.

For more information about Earthwize and their recycling policies, call (909) 605-5770 or visit

Earthwize is based out of Ontario, California, but has recycling centers all over the state. The closest one to Idyllwild is at the bottom of the hill, next to the Stater Bros.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.