Curbside recycling is heading to your neighborhood.
Local garbage hauler Westside Waste Management Co., Inc. will roll out a voluntary program around the first of the year that will put Taft in line with recycling efforts already underway in other Kern County communities.
“As of the first of the year we will start picking up recyclables at the curb,” said Julie Calvin, spokesperson for WWM. “It’s all about the Cal Recycle program to reduce the amount of trash we take to landfills. It’s going to be interesting to see how people react to it.”
The 95-gallon blue containers have been ordered, she said, and will be distributed to residents on a voluntary basis.
“This is strictly voluntary,” she said.
Bakersfield initiated mandatory curbside recycling.
“Over there the blue bins are free to customers.”
In Taft, since the program is voluntary there will be a monthly fee.
“The fee is on top of what you pay on your property tax bill,” Calvin said.
The fee is $6.50 per month and paid directly to Westside Waste Management.
“There will be a bi-monthly pick-up – every other Wednesday,” Calvin said.
Westside residents who would like a recycling bin will have to come to the company’s office at 274 E. Cedar St. next to the Little League baseball complex and sign up.
“You will pay for the first three months of service and we will bill you after that,” Calvin said.
She’s not too worried that scavengers will raid the blue cans before they can be emptied, although she expects some poaching.
“Scavenging is only about 10 percent of what hits the recycling centers, so it’s more like a pesky fly than a major problem. It’s just bothersome. There’s not a lot that can be done to stop it. The police don’t want to bother with it.”
The city has an ordinance prohibiting scavenging but enforcement is spotty.
Scavenging can be mitigated if residents roll the bin out to the curb the night before or day of pick-up.
The blue bins are designed for cardboard items like corrugated boxes, cereal boxes, egg cartons and the like, bottles and jars, paper products such as junk mail, newspaper, magazines, phone books, office paper, metal (aluminum, tin, steel) containers, and plastic containers such as beverage bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles, and food containers.
But NOT plastic bags, Styrofoam containers, waxed cartons or paper, rubber or hard plastics, garden hoses, rope or cords, toys, mirrors, tempered glass, ceramics, electronics, household batteries, sharps containers, light bulbs or hazardous waste.
Page 2 of 2 - Westside Waste will collect items left in the blue bins and take them to a material recovery facility where they are processed and separated by type of material.
They are then baled and shipped to various markets for recycling.
Taft is joining eight other county communities that have adopted curbside recycling.
The others are incorporated and unincorporated Bakersfield and the cities of Arvin, California City, Delano, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Shafter and Wasco.
Calvin reminds local residents of the two drop-off recycling locations that operate on a buy-back basis: J & D Recycling at 1021 Fourth St. and 1277 Kern St. and BARC Recycling at 274 E. Cedar St.
In addition, Westside Waste Management makes available large recycling bins at its facility, 274 East Cedar St.