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City Plans Curb-Side Recycling Pilot Project

July 31, 1986|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

Glendale city officials said that they expect to ask more than 1,000 families in the northwest section to separate recyclable materials from the rest of their trash this fall when the first city-sponsored curbside recycling project gets under way.

The purpose is to reduce the trash dumped into the city's Scholl Canyon landfill, which has become the center of a political dispute between Glendale and the city of Los Angeles.

George A. Miller, Glendale's director of public works, said that the city proposes to hire trucks owned by Burbank to pick up metal cans, glass containers and newspapers from 24 blocks bordering Burbank. The material would be taken to the privately operated Burbank Recycling Center, where it would be sold for reuse.

Miller said the voluntary pilot program, due to operate for a year, may be expanded citywide if enough residents participate. An estimated 10% to 20% of household trash is recyclable, Miller said.

Block Dumping in Canyon

Meanwhile, Glendale city officials are expected to try to block the dumping of trash collected in Los Angeles in Scholl Canyon landfill, which, although owned by Glendale, is operated by the Los Angeles County Sanitation District.

An agreement between Los Angeles County and Glendale allowing Los Angeles, Pasadena, and several other cities to use Scholl Canyon landfill will expire within three years.

Almost 1.4 million tons of trash, including refuse collected in other cities, is being dumped yearly at Scholl, said Stephen Maguin, director of the county's solid waste management department. He said the waste dumped there averages 4,500 tons a day, up from 3,000 to 3,500 tons daily last year.

The Glendale city attorney is expected to rule soon on whether Glendale legally can block the other cities from using the landfill, despite the agreement.

Closing of L.A. Landfill

Glendale Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg has introduced an ordinance, aimed at the City of Los Angeles, that would ban cities with landfills within their own city limits from dumping in Glendale. The measure will be voted on soon.

Bremberg, a member of the state Solid Waste Management Board, said that she was angered that Los Angeles could recently close its Toyon Canyon landfill in Griffith Park and other landfills within its city limits and then send its trash to Glendale.

Glendale officials said that the ban, if implemented, would exclude about 40% of the trash now dumped in Scholl Canyon and thus greatly prolong use of the landfill.

Under the proposed recycling program, two plastic barrels will be distributed by the city to each of the 1,046 households in the area roughly bounded by Alameda and Sonora avenues, Glenwood Road and Bel Aire Drive. Miller said the neighborhood was chosen because it adjoins the Burbank, which has operated a recycling program since 1982.

One-Day-a-Week Service

Recyclable trash will be picked up weekly on Fridays along the 14-mile route, Miller said. Burbank's two trucks used in the collection will be operated by employees of the recycling center, he said.

Agreements with Burbank and with the recycling center are not yet complete, Miller added.

Nevertheless, Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian said that he expects the city to launch the recycling project within 90 days.

The project is expected to cost Glendale about $35,000. The city will pay the recycling firm about $5 a ton to collect the material and pay Burbank for use of its trucks. In exchange, Glendale will receive only about $1,000 the first year as payment for material collected.

Burbank Breaks Even

Glendale officials said that they expect $12,000 of the initial cost of the project to go for a campaign to make the community aware of the advantages of recycling trash: the immediate ecological benefits in energy saved, the eventual ones in land preserved that might have gone for dumps and financial savings.

In Burbank, where curb-side service is provided for all 18,500 households, the recycling program breaks about even, officials said.

Residents of other neighborhoods besides the pilot-project area also would be encouraged to take recyclable trash to local recycling centers at markets and elsewhere.

Similar recycling pilot projects are planned to start Oct. 1 in the San Fernando Valley communities of Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Sylmar, Sunland, Woodland Hills and Encino, according to Robert Alpern, principal sanitary engineer with the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation.

Modeled After Other Programs

The recycling projects are modeled after Burbank's program and another already operated by Los Angeles in the Westside, where participation has been as high as 70%.

Miller said that he is hoping at least 25% of the residents in the selected Glendale neighborhood participate in the project.

Gene Owsley, manager of the Burbank Recycling Center, estimates that almost 200 tons of trash could be recovered in the Glendale project within a year.

The recycling center is a subsidiary of Garden State Paper Co., a San Gabriel Valley firm that is the country's largest producer of newsprint from recycled paper.

89,500 Tons

About 89,500 tons of residential trash will be collected by Glendale city trucks this year. That does not include trash collected by commercial haulers from apartment buildings and condominiums, Miller said.

More waste is being dumped in Glendale because several landfills in the county have recently closed because they are full or are unpopular with neighbors, Maguin said. Only 10 large landfills remain in the county, all of which are expected to be filled by 1990.

The county, in conjunction with Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena, in June initiated a nine-month study to determine how cities will cope with solid-waste disposal in the future.

Glendale city officials said they are considering building a waste-to-energy plant on the Scholl Canyon site.

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