In March 2015, the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority will begin a new era in waste management. This local government agency manages the garbage and recycling programs for Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Alamo and the Danville. It also happens to be where I work.
I'm really proud of the all the progress that the waste authority has made in reducing materials going to the landfill. In 2010 our communities diverted approximately 58 percent of their waste from landfills. Although this is a great accomplishment, we're looking at even higher goals in the coming years. This is especially true, given that the State of California has set a new target of reducing and diverting 75 percent its waste by the year 2020. That may seem like a long way off now, but in the world of solid waste it is just around the corner.
What will allow jurisdictions like ours to reach the 75 percent goal? Making customers aware of, and motivated to use, current diversion programs is important. But gaining and employing new technology is equally crucial. Right now, especially in California, solid waste technology is moving at a rapid pace, and with it come new diversion opportunities. For example, the waste authority has partnered with Allied Waste Services and East Bay Municipal Utilities District (East Bay MUD) to capture recovered food waste from commercial food generators. That waste is placed in large anaerobic digestion tanks, and the methane gas
Currently the waste authority manages two solid waste franchise agreements -- one with Allied Waste Services (e.g. Republic Services) for all garbage collection and disposal, and one with Valley Waste Management for residential recycling services. In March of 2015, those franchise agreements are set to expire. So, now our agency is gearing up to establish new agreements for the next franchise period.
The process is fairly complex and arduous, because we want to make sure our customers get the best and most innovative diversion and waste collection programs at a competitive price.
But we at the waste authority works on behalf of our customers. We're especially interested in finding out what you think about current garbage and recycling services and potential ideas for future programs. If you work or live in the CCCSWA's service area listed above, we want to hear your ideas. So, in the coming months we will be reaching out to residents and businesses to find out about what is important to them regarding solid waste.
In the meantime, if you have a question, comment or idea about current or future solid waste programs, please email them to email@example.com. If you would like more information on the waste authority's Food Recycling Project visit: http://www.wastediversion.org/app_pages/view/688
Contact Lois Courchaine at firstname.lastname@example.org