BEN LOMOND -- Mount Hermon residents were inadvertently left out of a yard waste pickup program in the fall, but they'll have a chance to take advantage of the free program next month.
At the Jan. 15 Board of Supervisors meeting, county leaders unanimously approved an amendment to a previously existing contract with the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, which operates the program, adding new dates to the schedule. The amendment adds Mount Hermon residents, and sets the next pickup event for Feb. 1-2.
In an effort to ease air pollution resulting from backyard burns, the air board launched the "Free Yard Waste Cleanup Days" series in November. Over six days, 470 residents brought 174 tons of yard waste to be chipped, ground and recycled at the Ben Lomond Transfer Station, according to Amy Clymo, supervising air quality planner with the regional air board.
The original contract called for the next event to be held on Friday-Saturday combinations in April. But the board received $26,000 in grants to operate the program on a contractual basis with the county, Clymo said, and since not as much waste was collected as expected, that left extra money to operate next month's event.
Yard waste must be generated at residences within the district's newly designated San Lorenzo Valley Smoke Sensitive Area. That includes Mount Hermon, as well as parts of Ben Lomond, Brookdale, Boulder Creek, Felton and Lompico.
Event days may be added or deleted "upon mutual agreement between district and contractor," according to a staff report.
This year's burn season runs through April 30.
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