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I.V. Waste Management Task Force given $136,000 for recycling programs

May 31, 2002|STAFF REPORT

California bought more than 16 billion carbonated and non-carbonated drinks in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal containers last year. More than 10 billion of those containers were recycled, saving natural resources, conserving energy and extending the life of our landfills.

To continue recycling efforts, the state Department of Conservation awarded more than $136,000 to the Imperial Valley Waste Management Task Force for recycling programs to be implemented within the next 18 months.

Selected apartment complexes, RV parks and businesses without a corporate recycling plan will participate in this phase of the Imperial Valley's recycling program. IVWMTF staff, along with interns from the public administration program from San Diego State University, will be contacting eligible businesses and multi-family dwellings starting in July to conduct waste assessments, provide informational workshops and distribute recycling collection bins. If you are interested in having your business or multi-family dwelling participate in this recycling effort, contact IVWMTF at 337-4537 for information.

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Curbside recycling began in most of Imperial Valley in 2000. The three-bin system is used for single-family homes. A different system will be required for multi-family units and businesses. Each participant's needs will be evaluated during the waste assessment so that a workable plan can be implemented.

Waste-haulers are coordinating with the IVWMTF to provide pickup and hauling of the recyclables at a lower cost than the normal solid waste collection. The goal is for all cities and counties to meet the requirements of Assembly Bill 939, enacted in 1989, which requires that cities and counties divert 50 percent of their waste from landfills.

After recyclable materials are collected, they are taken to the materials recovery facility at 702 E. Heil Ave., where they are sorted. Below the assembly line, there are large areas for plastic, glass, mixed paper, cardboard and aluminum. Any trash that is mixed in with the recyclables is taken to the landfill. For the first quarter of 2002, 41 percent of the material placed in the recycle brown bin was trash. The goal of the IVWMTF is to reduce the contamination rate of the recycled materials to below 20 percent.

The Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling administers the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act enacted in 1986. The primary goal of the act is to achieve and maintain high recycling rates for each beverage container type included in the program. Consumers pay California refund value when they purchase beverages from a retailer and are reimbursed when they redeem the container at a recycling center.

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