Public and commercial services around CSUN offer unique ways to recycle everyday items


Gary’s Recycling Center in Northridge will pay cash for all recyclable CRV beverage containers consisting of plastic, aluminum or glass. Customers may drive up and park near the waste bins to receive assistance in unloading their recyclables. Photo credit: Trisha Sprouse / Daily Sundial

Fredy Tlatenchi

Gary's Recycling Center in Northridge will pay cash for all recyclable CRV beverage containers consisting of plastic, aluminum or glass. Customers may drive up and park near the waste bins to receive assistance in unloading their recyclables. Photo credit: Trisha Sprouse / Daily Sundial

New technology and new ways to amuse ourselves give us new materials to recycle. Companies in the San Fernando Valley dedicated to preserving the environment are creating new ways of reusing old materials.

SA Recycling company has been standing strong for 50 years with multiple centers throughout the Southern California area, offering both commercial and public recycling services that accept anything as miniscule as a single aluminum can to bigger items such as refrigerators.

“Pretty much anything that sticks to a magnet we will recycle,” said Eddie Venegas, manager of the SA Recycling center in North Hollywood. “We follow all the standards and policies provided by the Department of Toxicology and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. It’s something that many other recycling centers fail to live up to.”

Venegas has several suggestions when bringing aluminum cans for recycling. Washing and crushing allows for more cans in a single load and the typical center will pay up to five cents more per pound.

The company maintains a strong relationship with John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in the Go Green Initiative. The initiative is meant to provide schools the needed tools to cultivate a community centered on conservation, protecting resources and good health.

SA Recycling has also donated recycled materials and sponsored events for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

“When we recycle, customers might see the materials return in different forms like buildings, a car or something completely new,” said Venegas.

The Green Electronics Xchange is a newcomer to the recycling industry, with a two-year track record and three establishments in Los Angeles County. Their services allow customers to exchange their used or broken electronics for cash. If the electronic device is not broken beyond use, a company emblem will be placed on it, and it will be sold at a discounted price.

The emblem represents several things: the item in their hands is being reused and is promised to be returned at the end of its life to the company so it can then be broken down for recycling.

“We accept iPads, phones, laptops, even big-screen televisions,” said Chris Sabeti, CEO of Green Electronics Xchange. “When a consumer comes in, we research our database and sales prices of online buyback companies. With a percentage of the sales, we create partnerships with organizations like Tree People.”

Tree People is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that aims to inform individuals about combining technology with flora and people to help cities revitalize through more natural means.

“Tree People is local and we honestly believe that change must begin within our company,” said Sabeti. “If we went to a larger organization, we wouldn’t see the changes and neither would the youth we are trying to reach out to.”

The Green Electronics Xchange conducts fundraisers with youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and local schools, giving 100% of the funds to the organizations.

At CSUN, the Associated Students has established over 200 recycling locations for students and faculty alike.

The AS Campus Recycling program has managed to recycle over 210,000 pound of bottles, cans and plastic from the campus since its inception in 1991.

AS Campus Recycling requires all on-campus buildings, businesses and offices to recycle their cardboard as well. Since 1992, about 2.4 million pounds of cardboard have been collected, according to its website.

The program also offers dorm inhabitants cell phone and inkjet recycling containers located outside of their resident advisors doorway. Former dorm resident Elizabeth Ramirez, a senior majoring in English, credits her recycling habits to being raised in a green-friendly household. “It’s tiring  to remind people all the time about properly throwing away material. I see it all the time on campus and can’t nag everyone. But for Earth Day, I relax because I know that all the commercials and groups in the city are doing their job for me.”

These are some of the many recycling centers in the San Fernando Valley:

1. SA Recycling
8250 Tujunga Ave.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
(818) 767-4388
Recycles: Scrap metal, appliances, cans, cars

2. The Green Electronics Xchange
6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd. #9217
Canoga Park, CA 91303
(818) 835-1401
Recycles: Only electronic devices such as iPads, iPods, televisions, phones. No kitchen appliances or cans

3. Albor Recycling Center
19011 Parthenia St., Ste. F
Northridge, CA 91324
Recycles: Only plastic bottles, glass, and aluminum. No paper or cardboard

4. Gary’s Recycling
16904 Parthenia St.
Northridge, CA 91343
(818) 679-1232
Recycles: Aluminum, glass and plastic containers

5. RePlanet Recycling
18555 Devonshire St.
Northridge, CA 91324
(877) 737-5263
Recycles: Aluminum, plastic bottles and cans