Thursday, June 18, 2015

Seniors Hear About Organics Recycling

This morning Scott Carroll, General Manager of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District, and Mike Silva from CR&R Environmental Services presented the final public outreach workshop to a very small group of seniors at the Costa Mesa Senior Center.  Fewer than a dozen of us geezers showed up to hear their presentations, but we all stayed awake and asked good questions.  Each of the other four recent meetings played to packed houses - in a couple cases standing-room-only - so this turnout was not unexpected.
Although I've attended the earlier version of this presentation several times, this is the first time for me to hear the current pitch, with the current numbers.  I'm not going to bore you with all that stuff - you can visit the CMSD website, HERE, which has ALL the information you'll need to know about this change in how our residential waste will be handled.   There's a link on the website to an excellent video presentation from the Town Hall held on June 2nd, too.
(click image to enlarge)
In a nutshell, instead of just dumping all our household waste - trash, green waste, recyclables, etc. - into a single cart each week as we do now, once the new carts are delivered over the next few weeks we will be required to sort our waste.  Green waste and food scraps will go into the new cart - the one with the light green lid - and everything else will go in the old one.  As Silva said in response to one of the questions today, "Don't overthink it."

This new process - the CMSD is the first company to sign up with it and, as a result, will ALWAYS have the lowest rate for this process - will end up costing each ratepayer about $1.72 per month.  That charge will be assessed on your property tax bill.  The new facility in Perris will eventually end up costing around $100 million when fully built-out.  The initial phase, which will be processing our waste, will cost around $30 million, part of which will be offset by grants received.  The objective is to reduce the stuff being taken to landfills.  We are running out of landfill space.  Presently Costa Mesa diverts over 50% of it's trash from landfills.  The goal of this process is to divert AT LEAST 75% once it's implemented.

I've provided some slides from the presentation.  These and others are shown in the video presentation.  If you're really interested, take a few minutes to watch it.  The direct link to it is HERE.   
(click on the images for easier viewing)
The Team
 The Goal
 The Incentives
On the way home I stopped at the CMSD offices at 628 West 19th Street - kind of just across the street from the Senior Center - and picked up my brand new counter top, dishwasher-friendly food scrap bucket.  If you choose to use one of them, the CMSD has them for free.  Or, you can just wrap your potato peelings, steak bones and other food waste in newspaper and toss it into your Organics cart. 
Then I stopped at Mother's Market at the corner of 19th Street and Newport Boulevard and got a box of COMPOSTABLE bags to line the bucket.  Similar products are marked "biodegradable", but should NOT be used in this process.  You can use newspaper if you wish, but I wanted to be sure Mother's actually had this product on hand since the CMSD information lists it as a supplier.  I chatted with the managers and told them to stock-up!  This box of 25 cost $5.00.  I showed the gift card, since that might be a nice gift for your friends... give them a $5.00 gift card and they can buy a box of bags.
And, per the conversation today, if you choose NOT to put your food scraps into the new Organics Recycling cart, it's OK.  There will NOT be trash police patrolling the streets, inspecting your trash.  Here's a nifty chart from the CMSD website that shows what kind of waste should go into which cart.
(click on the image to enlarge)
What WILL be happening, though, is that we'll have twice as many trash truck trips through our neighborhoods.  One truck will pick up your trash, while another will pick up only the Organics.  If you're only using one can each week now, soon you'll be using two.  The schedule for distribution of the new carts is shown on this nifty chart, HERE.  It's a PDF file and looks like this, but much bigger.
So, neighbors, the distribution of the new carts begins next week through August 14th and the collection of trash using them will follow the next week after distribution.  If you need another Organics cart, just call the CR&R at 949-646-4617.

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Anonymous CM Resident said...

Lowest rate? That is what we were contractually obligated to get, until the sell-outs at CMSD threw that out the window and signed us up to be the first suckers to pay for CR&Rs shiny new facility, where we pay them to produce the fuel for their vehicles. Coincidence that the lowest-rate clause was removed right before Newport got a better rate from CR&R? Instead of discount for providing CR&R fuel for their trucks, we get a rate increase, along with more wear and tear on our streets and more air pollution. You can't make this stuff up.

Too bad you are pals with some of the CMSD guys, otherwise you would tear them apart.

6/19/2015 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Actually, I've followed this from the beginning and, while it amounts to a small rate increase, it goes a long way to reducing our footprint in landfills. And, in fact, the ratepayers will see NO increase for several years because the sound fiscal practices of the CMSD Board and Management have resulted in a surplus that will be used to defray the costs. The Newport Beach contract is irrelevant - it does NOT involve this Organics Recycling at all. They just signed up Los Angeles, at a higher rate than we'll be paying. This is the wave of the future and NOBODY will get a lower rate than we will be paying. Seems like a good deal, but it's going to take some adjusting on our part as we go from one cart to two each week. I guess your final comment doesn't surprise me, considering the source.

6/19/2015 01:31:00 AM  

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