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[greenyes] [CRRA] Commingled Recycling in CA

To: <crra_members@no.address>
From: "Heather Abrams" <habrams@no.address>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 11:06:46 -0700
Subject: [CRRA] Commingled Recycling - List Results

Thank you all who responded to my request for information! What a great
community we have. Many asked to see the results.

Among the 50 e-mails I received was the one below my signature, which
shows how to access the DOC's database that has the info I requested,
and a lot more. Thus, I stopped compiling my own data and will rely on

Analysis: At least 85% of CA cities now collect containers and paper
mixed together. There are 557 separate entities listed in the DOC's
database. This is more than the number of jurisdictions/cities in CA. It
accounts separately for air force bases, separately managed parts of
unincorporated counties, etc. (This information is gathered from the
forms we each complete annually). Of the 557 entities, 472 list their
recyclable materials separation as "mixed". (In addition, at least 5 of
the remaining 85 entities listed as "sorted", have recently reported to
me that they have begun commingled collection). Looking over the list,
it appears that more of the 85 "sorted" entities are in the Northern
half of our state. However, there are many from San Diego, the in-land
valleys, and Los Angeles.

In addition to customer preference, keep in mind that often cities in
the same geographical region choose the type of separation as a group,
either because they belong to the same JPA, or based on the type of MRFs and/or markets available in the area. Lastly, most jurisdictions
switched from "sorted" to commingled in the last 5 years. This
corresponds to turnover cycles of collection trucks (for cities that
started curbside recycling collection in the early 1990s) and improved
sorting technology at MRFs. I haven't seen conclusive results regarding
the trade off between more tons collected and more out-takes/down graded materials. And while collection efficiency usually goes up, overall
costs seem to go up with the implementation of commingled collection

Heather Abrams
Integrated Waste Services Manager
City of El Cerrito
(510) 215-4350

Heather -

The Dept. of Conservation maintains various databases surrounding
recycling in California. The below link will enable you to access the
files containing fairly current data, as they are updated periodically.
If you open the file "CURBSIDE.ZIP" you will find a file named
"Info_cs.db". This file contains curbside collection data for every
jurisdiction in California, identifies the operators, population served,
materials collected, whether the materials are mixed or sorted, and a
whole host of related data. The .db file can be opened with Excel if you
do not have a database program.

If you need any assistance, please call me at the below number, which I
left you in a phone message earlier today.

Thank you,

Neil Edgar
Total Compliance Management
P.O. Box 1952
Sacramento, CA 95812
(916) 739-1700
(916) 739-1216 fax

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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