About 13 or 14 years ago the county decided not to renew its contract with the previous recycling service at Redway.  I think the county had contracted with Arcata Recycling Center actually, but my memory is fuzzy.  What I do remember is that they had bins for free recycling deposit of just about every metal or plastic container and they made it easy.  When Eel River took over the deposit bins outside of the charge weight scale were reduced to paper, cardboard, and glass in three colors.  Plastics and even money-generated aluminum had to be deposited on the other side of the scale, meaning that you would be charged for it if you brought it in with your other trash.  A representative of the county, I have no memory of the name at this point, told me to simply walk it in past the scale, which I have done on numerous occasions without incident.  Today however I was informed by an employee who approached me that I needed to pay to deposit the plastic.  I protested that I believed that state law requires that the county provide free recycling and he interrupted me in mid-sentence – obviously having had the argument before – saying, “This is not the county.  This is a private business and we charge for dumping.”

I will research the question of requirements of the county when I return to my office on Monday, as I’m not finding much in just a basic Internet Search.  There is a state site dedicated to recycling and I haven’t really searched it yet.  It does describe programs of enforcement, but so far not too much information on precisely what is enforced.  It has a search page to find your closest recycling center, and I did find the Redway Transfer Station and Recycling Center (the name is kind of a joke imo) and it lists the recyclables it accepts and even suggests that they will pay for qualifying containers, although there’s not really much instruction at the site as to how you are to be reimbursed.  Has anybody sought reimbursement?  I would certainly rather be reimbursed for my plastics than pay to dispose of them.  I would assume that you should approach the building next to the scale which contains the cash register.  I’ll look for the signs next time I’m there.  But the wording at the state site dedicated to the station is clear.

This site only accepts beverage containers that are part of the California Redemption Value program. It provides payment for any qualifying containers.

Does anyone know the law with regard to what the county is mandated to provide in terms of recycling?  Because if the contract with Eel River Disposal does not comply with state law, then some adjustment should be made.  In any case, I should not be forced to truck my recycling all the way to Arcata in order to dispose of it without charge.  And if I have to pay to dispose of it at the transfer station, I’m certainly not going to bother to sort it.  Next time I’ll just leave it in a bag by the bins, which is going out of my way anyway since I really am just paying to “dump.”

I’m not finding any information at the Eel River Disposal site about what they accept or under what terms.

I will do some research and follow up in a few days.

Addendum:  Jana wants to correct me.  She says that the prior contract was with a non-profit based down here.  She also said that she made calls to Roger Rodoni about the reduced service, but he just didn’t want to deal with it.