Stand Up to Trash Partners with Pink Recycling at Upcoming Beach Cleanup

Since its first Beach Cleanup and Lunch & Learn in 2020, Stand Up to Trash has grown its community with each beach cleanup and new partnership, now expanding into San Clemente.
The environmental nonprofit’s latest partnership with Pink Recycling offers cleanup attendees of the July 9 Beach Cleanup and Lunch and Learn in Dana Point at Baby Beach and the Ocean Institute the opportunity to bring in their recyclables and donate the refund value of their recyclables, if so inclined, to the environmental nonprofit.
The upcoming beach cleanup event will be the first time that Stand Up to Trash is partnering with Pink Recycling.
“We’ll be promoting Pink Recycling and to bring your recyclables,” Stand Up to Trash Founder and President Vicki Patterson said. “They can either get cash for it, or they can turn around and use it as a donation for Stand Up to Trash.”
Patterson explained that Pink Recycling will have a pop-up table during the event where the company will collect recyclables and share educational handouts via a QR code in order to save paper.
“It’s about introducing (Pink Recycling) and educating about what is now available in our community,” Patterson said.
Pink Recycling launched in 2021 after CEO Nallely Zuñiga noticed that there weren’t many recycling centers in South Orange County.
“It’s important to make it easier for everybody,” Zuñiga said. “We come to you; you don’t have to come to us.”
Zuñiga added that Pink Recycling goes to individual residences and businesses to pick up recyclables, calling it “Recycle at Your Door.”
The mobile recycling company offers plastic and glass bottle collection, as well as aluminum can collection, for California Refund Value (CRV) recycling to South Orange County cities.
Zuñiga added that she hopes to continue expanding the company to all of Orange County.
“Right now, we can start with South County and then expand to all Orange County and support programs like Stand Up to Trash,” Zuñiga said.
The company also offers workshops at its office in Laguna Niguel to teach youths how to prepare and separate recyclables.
Patterson added that Pink Recycling’s educational component is especially important as the world sees an increase in plastic production.
“Plastic production is increasing by 40% in the next five years, and so whatever trash we see in the ocean and even in our environment is going to expand to four times the amount, so people need to know what to do with it besides reducing,” Patterson said.
There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to recycling that many are unaware of, Zuñiga added. The company aims to educate the community to recycle effectively and save recyclables from ending up in landfills.

It’s important to make it easier for everybody, We come to you; you don’t have to come to us.

Nallely Zuñiga


The idea for a partnership between Stand Up to Trash and Pink Recycling started when Capistrano Beach resident Roberto Chavez told Pink Recycling Director of New Accounts Ana Gonzalez to check out the environmental nonprofit’s beach cleanup event last month.
“I want to say Robert is a visionary,” Patterson said. “He sees what’s out there and then puts the pieces together.”
Gonzalez chimed in that the partnership works perfectly, as the two “fit into each other’s missions.”
Gonzalez added that the partnership with Stand Up to Trash is especially important as the company works to get off the ground. The company celebrated its headquarters’ grand opening on March 30 in Laguna Niguel.
“We’re just starting this company,” Gonzalez said. “There’s a lot of passion, a lot of empowerment also behind it. (Zuñiga) wants to empower, she wants to educate, and we’re just glad that we are being invited to be a part of this.”
Pink Recycling also aims to reintegrate vulnerable women into the workplace by providing “comprehensive assistance, including job training, as well as psychological and emotional support,” according to the nonprofit’s fact sheet.
Through the partnership with Stand Up to Trash next month, Zuñiga added that Pink Recycling aims to “educate but also empower people, to be proud of making an impact and be part of the solution and not the problem.”
“That’s our message, is for people to trust us and see that we’re different from other recycling companies, and the message that we have is we just want a cleaner environment,” Zuñiga said. “We also want to provide a cleaner service for everybody.”

With each month’s cleanup, Patterson brings in a new speaker and continues to build the Stand Up to Trash community. Another of the environmental nonprofit’s partners, The Ocean Institute, provided a speaker for last month’s event in honor of World Oceans Day.
“I just feel like we’re given this opportunity; we have such great partnerships with all of our partners,” Patterson said. “All our partners do so much for us; I feel like it’s such a great platform to teach now and educate.”

“I just feel like it’s such a great opportunity to hear information; nothing is, ‘This is the only way to do it.’ We offer 31 ways to be an ocean steward, and even if you just did one, you’re doing something to help the planet,” Patterson continued.
Each Beach Cleanup and Lunch & Learn has its own theme, with next month’s theme as ‘Plastic Free July.”
Eco Now Founder Thea Merritt will also host a pop-up shop and share ways to reduce unnecessary waste.
Stand Up to Trash is continuing to grow, with new quarterly beach cleanup events launching in San Clemente near the pier starting on July 29.
“We probably get 10 (direct messages) a day, like, ‘Come to Malibu,’ ‘Come to San Diego,’ ‘Come to San Francisco,’ ” Patterson said. “I would love to; it’s just the manpower.”
“So, I think that by going into San Clemente, we’re still local,” Patterson continued. “I like the idea of slowly expanding in that way.”

Patterson added that it’s been exciting to see the nonprofit grow with community support.
“Just doing this brings everyone’s goodwill,” Patterson said. “We have this little family now, and regulars come, and then I always ask who’s new here and say, ‘Hello and thank you for coming; you’re part of our family now.’ ”
“I’m so blessed that we have so many amazing partnerships in the harbor and the city; it’s amazing,” Patterson continued.
To sign up for the next Beach Cleanup and Lunch and Learn on Sunday, July 9, visit
To schedule a free recyclables pickup with Pink Recycling, call 949.876.2307.