The city of Ventura's curbside recycling program, which involves about 5,000 residences, will expand Monday to include the remaining 15,000 households that get their trashed picked up.
Thirty-five-gallon barrels for recyclables are being distributed to residents as part of the voluntary program, which is funded entirely through fees collected by E.J. Harrison and Sons Inc., the local rubbish hauling company, said recycling coordinator Eric Werbalowsky.
Residential pickup fees increased July 1 about $2 a month to $25.14. About $1.60 of the increase will be used to pay for the recycling program. The remaining 40 cents will be applied toward the increased cost of dumping waste at the Bailard landfill, said Edward Garman, the city's revenue manager.
The light-blue barrels will hold flattened cardboard boxes, plastic containers such as the kind used for milk, water and soda, glass containers, metal cans and newspaper. Mirrors, Pyrex, panes of glass, compost and high-grade paper will not be accepted in the pickup, Werbalowsky said.
More than 75% of the homes of the 5,000 residences that now receive curbside recycling service participate in the program, Werbalowsky said. As a result, the amount of trash brought to the landfill has dropped by about 14% since the program began in October, according to Werbalowsky.
By 1995, the city hopes that at least 25% of its trash, or 87.5 tons a day, will be diverted from landfills.
To reach that goal, the city wants to include commercial businesses in the recycling effort. A pilot program to recycle trash generated by residents who live in apartments, condominiums and mobile home parks is also being developed.
"We're going to get these programs set up as soon as we can. It all depends on how much cooperation we get from the community," Werbalowsky said. Meanwhile, the city is focusing its effort on residential customers.