Are you one among us still pausing at the bank of trash bins with a bag in hand asking yourself “What goes where?” After years of conditioning our brains that blue is the garbage can, many of us must stop each time and tell ourselves, “No, gray is for garbage.”

One disposal customer recently asked me, “Why did they do this to us? When I drop garbage in the bottom of the blue bin, I do not do a head dive after it.”

That frustrated customer may be dumpster diving soon. When instituting the different three-bin system, Mid Valley Disposal promised a lenient break-in period. The leniency period is coming to a screeching halt. Mid Valley Disposal sent notifications that now there is a Contamination Fee in Dos Palos.

Fees will be applied for those who do not sort organics from recycling material. The first infraction will be an educational warning. Subsequent infractions will have increasing penalties.

The only items that go into the blue recycling bin are flat paper and cardboard, clean aluminum and tin cans and foil, and clean glass jars and bottles. Plastic is limited to numbers 1, 2, and 3 recyclable plastic bottles and containers.

Please note that plastic bags are not recycled. Do not wrap or bag recyclable material in plastic. Reduce waste and recycle without bagging in plastic. Thin plastic could jam sorting machinery.

The green bin is for organic materials that are compostable. In this bin, yard waste is comingled with food waste. Breads, fruits, vegetables, eggshells, nutshells, and cooked meats are layered between leaves and clippings.

The gray container is for garbage. All materials not compostable or recyclable go in the gray can. This includes Styrofoam and treated wood.

Mid Valley Disposal is providing a Clean Up Event in Dos Palos on the morning of Oct. 1. The drop off location is 1937 Blossom Street in Dos Palos. Proof of Dos Palos residency is required.

Please separate materials. Note that the categories differ slightly from previous years. These are metals, appliances, electronics, furniture, mattresses, wood, green waste, and general trash. Car tires dismounted from rims are limited to four.

Each household is limited to one small truck or small trailer. Vehicles and equipment move in a small area. Drivers be aware of potential hazards. Please stay alert for objects in motion and sharp edges.

Certain items will not be accepted including construction and demolition materials or hazardous and medical waste. Do not take automotive waste including used motor oil or oil filters and antifreeze. No batteries are accepted.

Household and yard care items that are not accepted include herbicides, pesticides, sprays, paint, thinner, and lacquer. Do not take fluorescent light tubes or bulbs or mercury thermostats.

Check with MVD for a list of household hazardous waste item that are accepted at landfills. Call (209) 723-4481 ext. 210. Covered loads can be delivered to Billy Wright Landfill, 17173 South Billy Wright Road.

The City of Dos Palos Clean-Up Event is cost-free to residents. Mid Valley Disposal is a privately led waste management and recycling company serving Dos Palos and other communities. They do onsite vermi-composting and make and distribute products made from recycled materials.

 For questions about the proper sorting of material, call MVD Recycling Department at (559) 567-0520. For disposal information visit

The City of Dos Palos reminds us to throw away trash responsibly. Whenever possible, recycle or repurpose items. Reduce food waste.

Take some time for this weekend for the Eagle Field Hot Rod Gathering. Remember, children under 14 get in free at this family event. Make it a no-cooking weekend as plenty of food is available at the races. Eagle Field is at 11100 W Eagle Avenue, Firebaugh.

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email