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LOS ALAMITOS : Automated Recycle Plan Called a Success

A new automated trash collection system has given a much-needed boost to the city’s year-old recycling program, Mayor Ronald Bates said this week.

The city introduced the automated system Oct. 24. Recyclable products and common rubbish are collected separately, each in a 100-gallon container. The program covers the city’s 2,500 single-family homes.

City residents in November recycled 25% more of their trash than they had in October, and two-thirds more than they had been recycling a year ago, a city report says.

The city recycled 28% of its waste last month, exceeding the 25% minimum the state will require of all cities, starting in 1995.

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Bates said the city is seeking ways to improve its recycling efforts in apartment complexes--which make up half of the city’s residential units--and in industrial areas. In those areas, where recyclable products are commingled, participation in the program has been much lower than in single-family residential neighborhoods, he said.

However, Bates said, he is pleased with the overall recycling success, and he expects that it will expand dramatically when the so-called “green ways” phase begins next year; grass clippings and other organic materials will be separated from the waste stream to be converted into compost. Then Bates expects that the city will soon be recycling more than half of its trash, as the state will require of cities starting in the year 2000.


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