SOLEDAD — Tri-Cities Disposal is reporting that the City of Soledad is making a difference in reducing its environmental impact by having a 69 percent diversion rate for recycling, trash and yard waste.
Elia Zavala, contracts and grants analyst for Salinas Valley Recycles, spoke about the Tri-Cities Disposal collection data for 2016 concerning the City of Soledad at the city council meeting Nov. 1.
The State of California has a diversion goal of 75 percent by 2020. Tri-Cities is the hauler disposal and recycling as well as providing education through outreach efforts. The City of Soledad makes up approximately 50 percent of the Tri-Cities Disposal service population area of approximately 51,500.
"In 2016 Tri-Cities collected over 17,000 tons of material, the city of Soledad contributed over 6,000 tons," said Zavala. "The diversion rate for residential is 43 percent and Tri-Cities overall diversion rate is 42 percent for residential. This is really good."
There was a 6 percent increase in recycling in comparison to 2015 and yard waste increased by 21 percent from 2015. Trash collected saw 1 percent increase. Tri-Cities Disposal increased its Soledad service base by 15 more residential customers in 2016.
For the commercial sector, Tri-Cities collected over 15,000 tons and the city of Soledad contributed almost 4,000 tons. Soledad's commercial diversion rate was 16 percent and Tri-Cities overall 20 percent.
"Businesses are not required to recycle through the hauler," said Zavala. "They can do their own hauling services, so most of the businesses do have recycling programs but they are not reflected in the hauler’s reports."
In comparison with 2015 data, the commercial sector had a 16 percent increase in recycling. A decrease in yard waste collection with 2 percent. Trash collected increased by 8 percent.
"The increases in collected tonages in recycling and trash are an indication of economic improvements and an increase in commercial development," said Zavala.
The Commercial sector had 11 more commercial customers who were served by Tri-Cities Disposal in 2016.
Tri-Cities Disposal received a grant this year to develop a composting operating for $1.7 million and purchasing a de-packaging system to help the agricultural industry to divert the bagged produce.
The data provided by Tri-Cities does not include self haul, donations or other recycle or reuse efforts by resident or commercial businesses.