A general manager of a fast-food restaurant on West Pacheco Boulevard received recognition Wednesday for carrying the recycling baton in Los Banos.
Allied Waste recognized Marci Kalinin of Taco Bell for her efforts to push the newest recycling initiatives.
"Recycling should be important to everyone, because we're only here for a short amount of time," Kalinin said. "We want the earth to survive to pass on to our kids."
Allied Waste will donate $500 to the Los Banos Unified School District in Taco Bell's name in recognition of Kalinin's efforts.
The fast-food eatery generates a large amount of cardboard, Kalinin said.
"To me, it's a no-brainer," Kalinin said. "It's better for us, it's better for them, it's better for the environment, it's better for the landfill. How can the businesses not want to participate?"
The commercial sector is responsible for at least 68 percent of all trash within California, much of it potentially recyclable, according to the California Department of Recycling Resources and Recovery, or CalRecycle. A new law in 2012 requires commercial businesses, multifamily complexes and public entities that generate four or more cubic yards of trash per week to implement a recycling program.
Allied Waste's recycling representative Erik Limon said the 100 businesses in Los Banos involved in the program keep five tons of recyclable trash a week out of the landfill. The waste and recycling company works with 170 businesses total.
"Every commercial business has the opportunity to do it," Limon said.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos