Mark McGee gave a brief history of the recycling program with the Fullerton Elementary School District. He reported that the program was established in the early 1990's and was modified in the year 2000 with the advent of the recycling grant from the state of California. As currently structured, the grant pays for hauling fees incurred by the schools' use of the trash bins supplied by MG Disposal. He said that newspaper is the primary and most profitable recyclable material. The Fullerton Elementary School District receives approximately $12,000 to $16,000 a year from the recyclable material, which is divided among the schools based on their participation.
Pat Godfrey assured the committee that 100% of the generated revenue is distributed to the schools, and the money is issued to a general discretionary fund that helps to provide basic school supplies. In response to a question by Committee-Member Hardwick, Mrs. Godfrey said that in the future the Fullerton Elementary School Board would mention to each school principal where and how this money was generated. She noted that a few schools (Maple and Orangethorpe) have been removed from the program due to the amount of graffiti and trash including hazardous materials, being left at the sites. She said that one school, Golden Hills, requested removal of the trash bin at its campus due to complaints from nearby residents.
In reviewing the way the program is structured, the basic consensus of the Committee was to determine various ways for the schools to receive more revenue through increased awareness and participation in the program. One suggestion was a "promotional blitz" to the immediate neighborhood of targeted schools. Another idea was to offer cash prizes for the winners of a poster contest that would inform residents of the recycling program. Mark McGee expressed a general concern and warning: promoting the program too much would overwhelm its usage and unbalance the current system. He thought that there needed to be a "re-communication" to the Fullerton community of the way the recycling program works overall - not just the specialized facilities that involve the school sites. He noted that a processing fee is charged, but the fee might be covered in the grant to provide more revenue to the schools, if the City was agreeable to the change. Pat Godfrey said that the School District would prefer to see ongoing participation versus a special interest with a contest.
After further discussion, Vice-chairman Roberts asked staff to prepare a summary on possible actions that might be taken with the recycling program for discussion at the next meeting. Vice-chairman Roberts thanked the staff from the Fullerton Elementary School District for taking the time to meet with the Committee, and there would be follow-up correspondence by City staff on this matter.
Mark McGee said that at the request of City staff, MG Disposal would organize an annual "Compost Giveaway" event for residents in the City of Fullerton. This type of event is conducted with other cities that Taormina Industries serves, and MG Disposal Services will work with staff to set up the "Giveaway" next spring in Fullerton. In this event residents bring their own containers and MG Disposal will fill them with ready-to-use compost. It should be a very popular and well-attended community service. A venue to stage the event in Fullerton needs to be determined in the future.
The Committee inquired on the status of solid waste diversion in the City's trash disposal. Mark McGee and Program Planner Linnell informed them that Fullerton continues to have a 57% diversion rate, ranking it as one of the top five cities within the county. A list of Orange County cities and their diversion rates for the year 2000 was distributed to Committee Members. New residential development now under construction within the city is expected to improve the rating in the future. On Chairman McNelly's behalf, Vice-chair Roberts voiced some concerns pertaining to the use of green waste for daily cover at landfill sites. Mr. McGee answered that from an economic standpoint, using green waste is more effective than using dirt. Vice-chair Roberts expressed his gratitude to Mr. McGee for his time and comments.
Program Planner Linnell reminded the committee that the second compost workshop would be held on Saturday, June 7, 2003 at 10:00 A.M. Chairman McNelly would be speaking and all are invited to hear the presentation.
Chris Hoover thanked the City for being able to serve on the Energy and Resource Management Committee. He announced that he would be present at future meetings as a member of the public, because he has regretfully submitted his resignation from the Committee.
Committee Member Murphy asked if the committee could review the goals and objectives for 2003 at the next meeting. Vice-chair Roberts agreed to agendize this item for the next meeting in June, depending on the amount of time available.
Committee Member Devlin thanked staff for its report and Committee Member Hardwick for his efforts to involve the School District with regard to the recycling program.
Committee Member Mitchell showed the Committee a flyer from Riverside County called "Every Day is Earth Day" which contained information from organizations and services within the county. She suggested that a similar flyer or insert should be prepared and issued by the City or the county as a whole.
Items to be reviewed at a future meeting will include the following:
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on June 18, 2003 at 7:30 a.m.