County gets recycling reprieve from state
Nevada County officials hope a two-year extension will help them meet state recycling requirements.
The county’s unincorporated areas should have been recycling 50 percent of its waste by now to comply with a 1990 law. Currently at 43 percent, the county has until Dec. 31, 2004, to make up the difference.
“We feel fairly confident that we’re going to be able to achieve that 50-percent goal …,” said county recycling coordinator Tracey Harper, whose staff has planned a series of upcoming projects to recycle and reduce waste.
The county isn’t alone.
It is among 111 of the state’s 445 jurisdictions given extra time to comply, according to Lanny Clavecilla, spokesman for the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
Counties, cities and regional jurisdictions submitted their numbers by Aug. 21, 2001, and the state waste management board has so far reviewed 380 of them.
Of those, 269 either attained the 50-percent goal or were found by the board to be acting in “good faith” toward that goal, Clavecilla said.
The cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City haven’t received state reviews yet, while Placer County showed it recycled 52 percent of its waste.
The state’s complex formula for determining recycling rates partly relies on a 1990 base figure. Nevada County got an extension because the Town of Truckee became incorporated since then, Harper said.
Among the county’s plans for reaching the 50-percent goal will be a re-use facility at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station, where contractors can drop off unneeded building materials.
Harper’s staff also plans to go “dumpster diving” to provide businesses with a waste assessment.
For businesses that don’t already recycle, she said, “We could easily cut every garbage bill by 30 percent, if not in half.”
The recycling law became effective in 1990 and required jurisdictions to recycle 25 percent of their waste by 1995. The California average was 28 percent that year.
WHERE THE WASTE GOES
How Nevada County recycled 43 percent of its waste, according to county Department of Environmental Health 2000 figures:
— 18,783 tons (33.7) were recycled, and 5,299 tons (9.3 percent) of waste wood was shipped to a biomass plant in Wheatland.
— Unincorporated areas generated 55,617 total tons.
— Of that total, 36,834 tons went unrecycled.
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