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Green for the New Year  

Lookout Staff

January 4, 2011 --The city's making it easier than ever to to live up to your green resolutions this year.

Starting in January, a host of new rebates will help you transform your garden from a money pit into a source of cash. And in February, “haz-mat” workers will come right to your doorstep to collect the batteries and chemicals you used to have to drive down to the city dump.

Not only are sustainable landscapes harmonious with local canyon and beach flora, they save money and effort in gardeners' costs and water, says Andrew Basmajian, environmental outreach specialist with the city's Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

And his department is backing his words with cash.

Applicants who register on or after January 10 will have a chance at a $5,000 “sustainable landscape makeover.”

More modest grants include $1,000 “cash for grass” to help residents replace grass with more environmentally friendly ground cover, and $500 awards for irrigation products and rainwater collection systems.

The cash won't last forever, Basmajian warns, so applicants are urged to register as soon as possible.

And what to do with all those batteries piling up on your kitchen counter? Easy, says Basmajian.

Call 1 (800) HHW-PKUP (1.800.449.7587), from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or e-mail hotline@curbsideinc.com.

You'll get a collection kit along with instructions, and a collection date when you'll leave the filled kit on your doorstep. It's that simple. City workers will show up and take care of the rest.

This service will be offered for free starting February 1, and will be available to homeowners and renters alike.

Called the Household Hazardous Waste Door-to-Door Collection, it's a pilot program, set to be made permanent in June if all goes well.

To get more information on these and the many other green programs the city has to offer, go to www.sustainablesm.org

 


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