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LAGUNA NIGUEL : City Trash Recycling to Begin in January

A city-run trash recycling program for residents should be launched in January, the City Council has decided.

Mayor Thomas W. Wilson said residents have been “clamoring for a program” since Laguna Niguel incorporated in December, 1989.

“I’ve watched some of the folks trying to do the recycling at the local grocery store and at recycling bins stationed around the city and it’s bothered me that they have to do that,” Wilson told the council.

The council approved the program 4 to 0 last week, with the final contract to be presented for a vote July 7.

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No residents spoke for or against the recycling program, which will add about $2.18 to the basic trash disposal fee.

On July 1, a scheduled 1% rate increase will go into effect, bringing the regular fee for trash collection to $11.07 per household based on a current contract with Solag Disposal Co. In January, when the recycling program goes into effect, the cost will rise to $13.25 per household.

The recycling program is part of a new automated curbside trash collection agreement the city has negotiated with Solag and a partner firm.

Generally, two 60-gallon containers will be provided to each household. One will be used to discard all items that can be recycled. The other will be used for all other trash. The recyclable material will be taken to a Stanton center, where it will be separated and sold.

City Manager Tim Casey said the program will feature new trucks with robotic arms that will grab the containers from the curbside and toss them into the trucks, a method of trash collection he called “the wave of the future.”

“We have held back deliberately watching the results of other programs,” Casey said. “While this is somewhat overdue, it is such an outstanding and comprehensive program, I think the residents will find it well worth the wait.”

Only single-family homes are required to participate in the recycling program now. Voluntary options are available for apartments and businesses.

The state has mandated that all cities reduce solid waste disposal by 25% by 1995 and by 50% by 2000.

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