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City May Hit Recycling Standard

Posted: March 1, 2008 1:09 a.m.
Updated: May 2, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita appears poised to meet the state-mandated recycling requirements for the first time since the law went into effect in 2000, according to figures released by the city on Friday.

The city's 2006 preliminary trash diversion rate came in at 54 percent, up from 45 percent in 2005.

"This is a big deal for us," said Travis Lange, the city's environmental services manager. "Now the push is, we've got to do this every year."

A state law mandated that cities divert at least 50 percent of their trash from their landfills by year 2000. The law, however, granted an extension to cities like Santa Clarita whose diversion rates stayed below the required number. The state gave the cities through 2004 to get their numbers up to 50 percent.

Santa Clarita's preliminary rate from 2005, however, was 45 percent and the state has the ability to fine the city $10,000 a day if the final numbers are below 50 percent. Because the 2005 number is not yet official, however, the city has not been fined.

Lange added that cities with numbers below 50 percent may still be found to be in compliance if they show significant improvements in their recycling programs. The city is working to gather that information for the California Integrated Waste Management Board's review.

Lange credited city staff and the City Council for supporting recycling programs but said, "It also comes down to the decision that everybody makes when they go to throw something away."


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