SOUNDING OFF:Outside haulers hurt city's recycling efforts

As was recently discussed at a Laguna Beach City Council meeting, the "diversion rate" — or amount of material that is kept out of landfills due to recycling or waste reduction — within the city has fallen short of the 50% mandate from the state.

As of 2004, the latest figures available, the city's diversion rate is 46%.

There are two clear obstacles to helping the city reach this diversion goal: "illegal haulers" and recycling among businesses.

Waste Management of Orange County is the contracted waste hauler for the city of Laguna Beach, which means we provide services and programs for the city's residents and businesses, and we also implement recycling programs to ensure materials we collect from places such as construction sites are taken to a facility to be sorted and recycled, rather than straight to the landfill.

When someone hires another company, not only does this violate the contract, but it can also hurt the city's recycling rate when the hauler takes the material directly to the landfill.

It becomes a double-whammy if the material is from a construction and demolition project, because not only is it not being recycled when many of the materials can be, but it also weighs a lot and further detracts from the city's recycling progress.

Waste Management is proud to provide free recycling for businesses in the city, and we believe this is a key area that, with active participation, can positively impact the city's diversion rate. We can provide containers to fit the space constraints of different properties.

We are consistently impressed with the efforts our residential customers make to be good recyclers. We also participate and provide free recycling for a variety of community events.

We look forward to working with the city to help increase recycling among businesses, and we remind all of our customers that the best way to support the city's recycling goals is to work with the city's contracted hauler, Waste Management, to ensure that your material that can be recycled will be.


  • Sarah Huoh is public relations manager for Waste Management of Orange County.


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