Second "Organics Recycling" Workshop Plays To Packed House
The Costa Mesa Sanitary District held the second of what now may turn out to be a series of workshops for ratepayers on the proposal being considered by the Board of Directors to make a change in the way we - and their hauler, CR&R Environmental Services - handle our waste.
As was the case with the first one, which I reported HERE, there was a good turnout of interested folks. In fact, as you can see from the accompanying photos, it was standing room only at the Neighborhood Community Center Saturday morning.
CR&R WENT FIRST
This time around Scott Carroll, General Manager of the Sanitary District, flipped the agenda. After an introduction, Mike Silva from CR&R Environmental Services spoke first, providing a detailed overview of the process being proposed. That slide show can be viewed HERE.
THEN CMSD PERSPECTIVE NEXT
Then Carroll took over and gave the Sanitary District perspective, including how we might be required/requested to change the way we handle our household waste. He also addressed the costs associated with this change, projected at $1.81 per household per month. The overall cost mentioned to the Sanitary District slightly exceeded $500,000 per year. You can view the slide show he used HERE. This time around all questions were held to the end, which made for much more understandable presentations and better questions.
WHAT IT MEANS
In a nutshell, instead of simply dumping all our household waste - green waste, recyclables, food waste and just plain old trash - into the same container (carts), we would be asked to place the green waste and other "organics", like food waste, grease, certain plastics, etc., into a specific cart and everything else in one of those we presently use. Each household would be permitted to have two each without additional charge.
This all comes about because of legislation that requires greater diversion of our trash from landfills - we're just flat running out of space. It seems not so much of IF we have to make this kind of change, but WHEN. Silva told us they've asked the CMSD to be the first to use their new Anaerobic Digestion System, located in Perris, California, and that we would be guaranteed the lowest rate of any city participating as this process signs up more municipalities. It will add, under the current proposal, roughly $20.00 per ton to the cost of processing the "organic" waste. Organic waste represents approximately one third of the total waste, so the increase does not go up for the other waste materials.
MORE MEETINGS? MAYBE...
Carroll, impressed with the second large turnout, indicated that there may be more such meetings to further take the pulse of the community on this issue. The Board is scheduled to meet on January 23rd to discuss this issue, but he implied that they may not vote on it until more meetings are held. He also indicated that the meeting in two weeks MIGHT take place at the Neighborhood Community Center instead in the cramped facilities at CMSD Headquarters on 19th Street.
MANY SPEAKERS, GOOD QUESTIONS
More than thirty speakers stepped to the microphone and asked questions important to them and others in the audience of approximately 75 people. They included concerns about how we physically handle the food waste, how already crowded streets near multi-family units will manage more cans on trash day, increasing the number of trucks on the streets, etc. I'm not going to list them all. Scott Poetter, field representative for lame-duck Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, stepped to the microphone to ask politically-charged, snarky questions of Carroll about Newport Beach rates and other irrelevancies.
VIDEO COVERAGE, TOO
Barry Friedland, who provides Costa Mesa-oriented video clips on his Costa Mesa Brief YouTube channel, HERE, was there to tape the meeting. I presume, although I'm not sure, that it will be available for viewing at that site within a week.
NOW WAITING FOR THE BOARD
I guess now we just have to wait to see if more of these meetings will be scheduled, and when. And, of course, we'll look forward to any word from the Board about their decision on this efficient, but costly, change.