Carson Park Recycles Again

Kirt Ramirez

As various parts of society reopen after coronavirus closures, recycle companies that contract with different agencies are no exception.

During the pandemic – which is still ongoing – one refuse truck collected trash and recyclable barrels for the unincorporated area of Carson Park, also called a county island. Various local residents didn’t know what was happening.

Xavier Gutierrez, a community engagement supervisor for Los Angeles County Public Works, explained through email May 7:

“Los Angeles County continues to collect trash, recycling, green waste and bulky items in unincorporated communities through contracted waste haulers. Precautions are being taken to safeguard the health and safety of the public and sanitation workers.

“As a result, some facilities that process collected recyclables have suspended operations temporarily based on their ability to adhere to the Safer at Home physical distancing order.

“There is insufficient capacity to process all collected recyclables in the County. To address this, on a case by case basis, the County is allowing some contracted waste haulers that service the County unincorporated areas to dispose of recyclables and green/organic waste at landfills temporarily, if recycling facilities are unable to process the material.”

Gutierrez said Universal Waste Systems handles Carson Park.

“Cities are responsible for their own trash and recycling collection,” he wrote. “For logistical and contractual reasons, adjoining cities may not take the collected trash or recyclables to the same location; so some facilities may be operating and able to accept recyclables, while other facilities that would normally manage material from an adjacent neighborhood are closed.”

Gutierrez said the county reviewed the situation on a weekly basis.

“As facilities are able to reopen, based on updated public health protocols, additional recyclables will begin being diverted once again,” he said.

That time arrived for Carson Park June 1.

“Universal Waste Systems, the contract hauler for the unincorporated community of Carson Park resumed collecting separately last Monday, Los Angeles County Public Works spokesman Steven Frasher said through email June 12.

The City of Cypress also had one refuse truck collecting all three refuse barrels – which included yard waste, recyclables and trash.

Director of Community Development for the City of Cypress, Doug Dancs, explained through email May 15:

“Valley Vista Services (VVS), our franchised solid waste hauler, informed the city that the recycling processing facilities they use have suspended operations due to COVID-19.

“Community Development coordinated with the State and VVS will resume once the facilities are open. We have asked residents to continue place their trash, recyclables and green waste in the appropriate bins as customary to ensure a smooth transition once normal operations resume.”

Dancs updated through email June 12 that normal Valley Vista Services resumed normal operations for Cypress June 8.

Long Beach Manager of Public Works Diko Melkonian said through email May 14 that Long Beach was not affected.

“City of Long Beach currently continues to collect both trash and recycling separately. Trash collection is conducted by city employees while recycling collection is conducted by our contractor, Waste management, Inc. County property is serviced by contractors whose work is overseen by county employees.”


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