South Tahoe Refuse rates rise, while curbside recycling on its way | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Tahoe Refuse rates rise, while curbside recycling on its way

Elaine Goodman

A 4.33 percent rate increase took effect Wednesday for South Tahoe Refuse customers who live in the city, and the company also has proposed a rate hike for El Dorado County residents.

And in news that city residents likely will be happier to hear, the refuse company will launch a long-sought curbside recycling program in January.

The rate increase for city residents was approved unanimously by the South Lake Tahoe City Council last week.

During the meeting, the refuse company was asked why trash pickup times can’t be later in the day. Many residents prefer to place their trash out in the morning to prevent wildlife getting into it at night.

South Tahoe Refuse President Jeff Tillman responded that making the rounds earlier saves time ” and therefore money ” because traffic is lighter. And more importantly, it’s safer to have the garbage trucks out at that time of day, they said.

“You guys are doing a good job,” Mayor Mike Weber said in approving the rate increase.

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South Tahoe Refuse, which also serves the basin portion of unincorporated El Dorado County, is seeking a rate increase from the county.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to hear a presentation on how the company is meeting its recycling goals on Tuesday, and might then set a date for a public hearing on the proposed rate increase.

A 4.33 percent rate increase recently was approved by Douglas County for the basin portion of the county, Tillman said.

Meanwhile, the refuse company is gearing up for the launch of its curbside recycling program for city residents.

In the “blue bag” program, residents will be able to put their recyclables out on their regular garbage day in blue bags provided by South Tahoe Refuse. Recyclables allowed will include aluminum cans, tin cans, glass bottles and newspaper, among other items, and can be mixed within the same bag.

The recyclable material will be cleaner when refuse workers receive it in the blue bags, and they’ll be able to sort it more efficiently, said John Marchini, operations manager for the company’s materials recovery facility.

The program will begin Jan. 1 in certain parts of the Al Tahoe neighborhood and Sierra Tract, and will be phased in to the rest of the city around Earth Day, Marchini said.

Also in the works is a green-waste program, which is in a conceptual phase, Marchini said.

The idea is to pick up residents’ yard waste on specified days ” not regular trash days ” process it at the new resource recovery facility, then send it to other companies to use as compost or biomass fuel.

The money South Tahoe Refuse receives for the material is expected to be nominal, Marchini said, but the company no longer will need to pay someone else to process it.

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