VALCORE Recycling celebrates 25 years of service to
Vallejo and Solano County
by JANE BOGNER
SUNDAY, May 21, 2006
Twenty five years ago the Vallejo Beautification
Advisory Commission (BAC) and local environmentalists
saw a need to clean up litter. This group tossed ideas
around about how to get people interested in keeping our
city clean year-round and how to reward them for their
Consequently, in May of 1981, Vallejo Community
Organizations Recycling (VALCORE Recycling) was founded.
Nonprofit volunteer groups would work together in
partnership with the city of Vallejo and Vallejo Garbage
Service to keep the city clean and provide a place for
people to recycle their cans, bottles and newspaper. The
carrot to these groups was that a portion of the money
earned from selling these recyclable materials would be
returned to the groups.
get the ball rolling, Vallejo Garbage provided one
corner of their yard at 38 Sheridan Street as a place to
collect and sort materials for recycling.
1981, VALCORE opened on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
accepting newspaper, glass bottles and aluminum cans.
Reusable wine bottles were carefully stacked in a
shipping container that was hauled to Richmond for
reuse. Vallejo Garbage hauled the glass bottles and
newspapers to market while each group was responsible
for hauling their aluminum cans to Reynolds.
Early groups included the Sierra Club, BAC, First
Presbyterian Youth Program, Meals on Wheels, the Vallejo
Peace and Environment Center, Vallejo Architectural
Heritage Foundation, and Boy Scouts Troop 27. These
groups would rotate staffing the site and weighing all
the donations for the day. Members of the BAC as well as
individual members from the community would also take a
new facility on Broadway was completed, the Sheridan
Street site was offered for use as a permanent drop off
members wanted the site to be open more hours but without a
paid staff, they had to be creative. They contacted the
Vallejo City Unified School District=s PACE (Positive Approach to Consumer Education) program
offering them a place for job training for developmentally
disabled students during the week. PACE accepted the
challenge and VALCORE was open three days each week. In the
Fall of 1986, Crest Adult School came in for two additional
days giving Vallejo citizens five days each week from 10
a.m. to l p.m. to bring in their recycling. Today, Solano
Diversified Services has replaced PACE and their crew opens
the recycling center each weekday morning at 9 a.m.
the California State legislature passed AB 2020 putting a
deposit (California Redemption Value - CRV) on carbonated
soda and beer containers. VALCORE was able to become a CA
certified buy back center and was open an additional 30
hours each week.
are, twenty-five years later, open to the public six days a
week for CRV buy back along with our donation drop off
option for a variety of recyclable materials including
aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, books, cardboard, household
batteries, cell phones and more.
continues to work with the city by teaching composting
classes, organizing the annual Coastal Cleanup and Earth Day
events, and providing crews that recycle CRV cans and
bottles at local events. We also conduct recycling tours for
school children and write this bi-weekly educational and
environmental column that keeps Vallejoans informed about
recycling opportunities locally and worldwide.
Board wants to recognize the following people who started
this community based recycling center: Arvid
and Clare Blomdahl, Monty Hart, Tony Woicekowski, Fran
Demgen, Kathy Hoffman, Kenn Browne, Curt Swanson, Candice
Cullin-Payne. (My apologies to names omitted.)
all the groups who joined VALCORE over the years. Through
their efforts, logging approximately 73,000 hours of
service, we estimate that Vallejo has diverted over 3
million pounds of recycling from our local landfill.
planning several celebrations for our anniversary year, so
stay tuned for details.
VALLEJO COMPOSTING CLASSES
will conduct a free backyard and earthworm composting class
on June 10 at 38 Sheridan from 10am to Noon. We will give
away a BioStack compost bin to two lucky Vallejo residents
at each workshop. The class is sponsored by the City of