The city’s curbside recycling program celebrates its second anniversary in September and officials say that while the program is not perfect, it is a success.
Orange now diverts 17% of its residential and commercial waste from landfills; a state mandate requires all cities to divert 25% of landfill waste by 1995 and 50% by 2000.
The city has collected 12,911 tons of newspaper, 2,892 tons of glass and 97 tons of aluminum cans since the curbside program began in 1989, according to recycling office statistics. About a little more than half of the recyclables have been from commercial and business waste and the rest have come from residential waste, said Nanci Gee, recycling office coordinator.
About 75% of the city’s residents participate in the program on a monthly basis.
City Hall employees have also done their part, Gee said. Since an in-house recycling program began there last August, city staffers have recycled 17.5 tons of paper, the equivalent of 300 trees.
“The thing that has impressed me the most . . . is that people are very anxious to recycle,” Gee said. “They are very open to it, and all you have to do is tell them what you can collect and give them a convenient way to do it.”
While the curbside program has been successful, she said residents should be aware that there is more to recycling than dumping a pile of newspapers at the curb once a week.
For example, magazine or glossy paper supplements cannot be recycled with newspapers and should be separated, Gee said.
The city also accepts all types of food cans made of tin, steel or aluminum, Gee added.
Improvements and expansion of the recycling program also are under way.
The recycling program should serve apartment buildings by next spring, and a Spanish-language brochure on the program is in the works.
In addition, the city is looking for a way to recycle green waste, such as grass clippings, and is seeking a disposal contractor to serve small businesses, Gee said.
For more information on recycling, call (714) 744-5550.