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TUSTIN : City to Award Efforts at Waste Reduction

City officials are launching an environmental awards program that encourages commercial and industrial establishments to improve their waste management. The program is part of the city’s effort to reduce landfill usage in compliance with a recent state law.

The law, which was approved by the state Legislature in 1989, requires California cities and counties to cut their landfill use 25% by next summer. A 50% reduction in landfill use must be achieved by the year 2000. If these goals are not met, cities and counties will face fines of up to $10,000 a day.

The new Business Environmental Awards will be presented each quarter and focus alternately on the themes of reduce, reuse and recycle. A fourth award will be presented around the time of Earth Day for the best comprehensive approach to waste management.

Sponsoring the awards are the city of Tustin and its contracted waste hauler, Great Western Reclamation.

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Katie Pitcher, an administrative assistant with the city Public Works Department, said the program is designed to increase public awareness about the pressing need to reduce waste, and to get as many local companies involved as possible.

The most obvious way for companies to manage waste is through recycling, Pitcher said, but there are other approaches as well.

One of these is to reduce the amount of raw material used such as through innovative packaging or more efficient production methods. This type of conservation will be the focus of the first Business Environmental Award. Another way to reduce waste, Pitcher said, is through operational changes that conserve water or energy, or improve air quality.

All participants in the program will receive a window decal, “so their customers can see they’re an environmentally responsible company,” Pitcher said.

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Award winners will be presented with a glass trophy that Pitcher describes as “very artistic, very pretty.” The first award will be presented by Mayor Thomas R. Saltarelli and a representative of Great Western Reclamation at the Sept. 19 City Council meeting.

“Hopefully it will be successful and we will continue to do it every quarter,” Pitcher said.

Application forms for the awards program are available at Tustin City Hall, 300 Centennial Way; Great Western Reclamation, 1800 S. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana, and the Tustin Chamber of Commerce, 399 El Camino Real.

The application deadline for the first award is Sept. 2. Additional information is available by calling (714) 573-3173 or (714) 558-7761.

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