Recycling / Waste Diversion Program
The City of Eureka (and Humboldt Waste Management Authority) currently offers numerous recycling and waste reduction programs and services to provide residents and businesses with opportunities to divert their waste out of the landfill. By practicing effective waste reduction and recycling habits, you will assist the city (and the nation) in conserving our resources, saving energy, reducing pollution and the need for more landfills, and meeting the State’s ambitious waste diversion mandates.
Here is some helpful information to assist you with any questions you may have about recycling and waste reduction in Eureka.
- Website: Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) offers information on solid waste, recycling, and hazardous waste disposal options: www.hwma.net. There is a wealth of information here not only about recycling in Eureka, but throughout Humboldt County. Mobile collection events in Eureka and other communities around the county are listed under the ‘Events’ page.
- Recycling Guide in your ATT Phone Book: See yellow pages under “R” for a six page local Recycling Guide.. It has loads of information and help about where to take your recyclables and drop off your used oil, and how to reduce waste. Much of this information is also found on our website.
- HWMA’s Eureka Recycling Center & Transfer Station (or ‘dump’): 1059 West Hawthorne Street, Eureka CA 95501Recycling drop off, CRV buy back, appliances, electronic waste, carpet, waste tires, batteries and used oil recycling. Fees apply for some material drop offs. For more information, call HWMA at 707-268-8680.
- Household Hazardous Waste Hotline: Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30, talk to HWMA’s live technician or schedule a drop off appointment. Call 707-441-2005. Hazardous materials include paint, automotive products, fluorescent bulbs, HID bulbs, medical sharps and non-narcotic medications. See www.hwma.net under ‘Hazardous Waste’ page for a full listing of all the hazardous materials you can dispose of safely and responsibly at HWMA’s Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Waste Audits: HWMA offers local businesses waste audits. For more information, call HWMA at 707-268-8680.
Benefits of Recycling
The State of California has emphasized and mandated recycling programs since 1989. Today, most people know that recycling plays an important role in managing the garbage generated in homes and businesses, and that it reduces the need for landfills and incinerators. Many environmental and economic benefits are derived by supplying industry with recycled materials, rather than virgin resources extracted from forests and mines.
Using recycled instead of raw materials saves energy, conserves scarce natural resources, and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and other dangerous air and water pollutants. Recycling is far more than a local waste management strategy; it is also an important strategy for improving efficiencies and reducing environmental impacts inherent in industrial production.
Key benefits include:
- Prevents emissions of many air and water pollutants.
- Supplies valuable raw materials to industry with less environmental impact and cost.
- Stimulates local economic development and growth of green technologies.
- Saves energy.
- Reduces the need for new landfills.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Creates jobs.
- Conserves resources for future generations.
Also, recycling is a growth industry with many kinds of business opportunities, including collection, processing, manufacturing and inventing new technologies. Currently, Eureka benefits from several local small businesses and solid waste recycling firms serving the local recycling industry, creating jobs and improving our economy.
Please read below to learn more about some of our more popular Eureka waste reduction programs and how to access them. These include:
1. Residential Curbside Recycling Through this program, you may recycle most of your disposable household items right at your curb. For more details: Curbside Recycling Guidelines
2. Eureka Community Recycling Center The Center is located at the Eureka Transfer Station at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. They will take most of your recyclable/reusable items, including all of those items collected under our curbside collection program (see above), and they will pay you for all of your CRV redemption value containers. They also take your old used tires and white goods such as large appliances and e-waste such as old computers for a nominal processing fee. Please call them for more information at 707-442-2541.
3. Recycling Buy Back Center The Buy Back Center is located at Eureka Community Recycling Center at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. The Center will pay you for all of your CRV redemption value containers. Please call them for more information at 707-442-2541.
4. Hazardous Waste Collection Facility The Household Hazardous Waste collection facility is located at the Eureka Transfer Station (near the Recycling Center) at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. They will take most of the hazardous wastes typically found in your home such as fluorescent light bulbs, paint containers, cleaning product containers, motor oil and more. Please call them at 707-441-2005 for more information.
5. Green Waste Recycling The Green Waste collection facility is located at the Eureka Transfer Station at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. The cost of disposing your greenwaste is roughly half the price of disposing it into our landfill. Greenwaste includes grass, shrubs, branches, unpainted wood and pallets (not pressure treated), Christmas trees (no flocking or ornamentation please) and more. Please call the Humboldt Waste Management Authority at 707-268-8680 for more information.
6. Old Town/Downtown/Henderson Center Recycling Bins Providing additional opportunities for public recycling is a principal component in our efforts to increase the City’s waste diversion tonnage. In 2003, the City implemented a street side program which placed approximately 30 recycling bins at 25 locations in Old Town, Downtown, Henderson Center and the Sequoia Park and Zoo. The bins allow recycling of glass, plastic and aluminum containers. The recycling bins are located near existing City garbage cans, and are collected about 3 times per week, or as needed. The bins were purchased through a State grant provided by the CA Integrated Waste Management Board.
7. Public Schools Education Program The City has a partnership with the Eureka City School District to facilitate a recycling educational program at Sequoia Park Zoo. The program allows trained educators to provide learning activities designed to promote recycling, reuse, and food waste reduction. The program also provides support and information to assist the schools in achieving their own on-going, sustainable recycling program.
- Sequoia Park and Zoo Composting Project The City currently composts nearly all of the animal and food waste at our local zoo through an on-site composting facility. The zoo, one of the oldest accredited zoos in the nation, is located at 3414 W Street near the southern city limits of Eureka.
- Recycling Task Force The City participates on a regional committee of representatives from the County and each incorporated city in the County. The Committee meets monthly, and works collectively to develop programs and ideas for promoting recycling, reuse and other measures designed to comply with the State’s AB 939 requirements. Current projects include construction/demolition recycling guidelines, mercury thermometer exchange program, zero waste management policies, update of the County Integrated Waste Management Plan, shopping guides for recycled products, sustainable behavior techniques, and other projects.
1. Exclusions. The program includes a process whereby citizens may show cause why they should not be required to subscribe to garbage and recycling collection service. Such reasons may include that the property is vacant or not located within the city limits, or that there are unique parcel specific conditions which compel the property owner, tenant or occupant to self haul their garbage, recyclables and green waste to the Transfer Station. Such conditions may include residential properties with long, narrow or steep driveways where the garbage company, in the opinion of the City Manager, is unable to properly and safely use its equipment.
2. Market Based Rates/Incentives to Recycle. The ordinance allows metered service which provides market based incentives to reduce waste and increase waste diversion through the curbside recycling and green waste collection program. Metered service will ensure that residents, particularly those who recycle and compost the vast majority of their waste, have the opportunity to pay lower rates for smaller garbage carts, thus encouraging higher rates of waste diversion toward recycling and green waste carts.
3. Recycler’s Declaration. The ordinance does not wish to punish those devoted recyclers who are already diverting virtually all of their household waste. Therefore, the program may exclude those residents (owner or occupant) who legally recycle and/or compost virtually all of their refuse. All persons claiming this exclusion shall be asked to sign a legal Declaration or Affidavit once per year stating that they legally recycle and/or compost virtually all their refuse so that no unsanitary condition, hazard to health, or public nuisance will arise upon the premises owned, managed or controlled by them if they are not provided with collection and disposal of refuse services by a collector. The Declaration will require a detailed report explaining how diversion is accomplished for a wide variety of specific household wastes, including food waste, plastics, glass, fiber, metals, e-waste, hazardous wastes and others. Currently, there is no fee proposed for administering the Declaration program.
4. Discontinuance Upon Vacancy. Property owners required to subscribe to collection service under this ordinance could discontinue service for one or more months when their premises are vacant or the occupant is traveling out of town. The owner is required to submit written notice of such vacancy to the garbage company. Monthly garbage fees shall continue to accrue until such time as notice is received by the garbage company.
5. Appeal Process. The ordinance allows the City Manager or a designated representative to endeavor to resolve all disputes concerning the administration or enforcement of program requirements. Any affected person who is dissatisfied with the determination of the City Manager may appeal the same to the City Council. No alleged violation shall be permitted, or be continued, during the time any appeal is pending.
6. Enforcement. There is a cost to the city to sort out household garbage from recyclables, and to sort recyclables from the garbage. Thus, the ordinance enables the City to develop and implement an inspection program whereby the City may periodically inspect garbage and recycling bins, and have the ability to fine those households which are placing recyclable materials into their refuse containers, and/or are placing refuse and garbage into their recycling containers.
7. Scavenging. Section 51.33A of the ordinance addresses scavenging by making it unlawful for any person (other than City’s contracted collectors) to gather or collect recyclables (except as provided in the Chapter, i.e. temporary non-profit events, etc.). Under Chapter 10.99 of the Eureka Municipal Code, assuming such a violation would be charged as an infraction, the penalties/fine would be $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third offense and each subsequent offense of the same ordinance within one year.
8. Failure to Subscribe. If the City Manager has reason to believe that any person required to subscribe for service has failed to subscribe, the Manager may cause written notice to be mailed to the Owner of the real property so affected directing the Owner to subscribe for such service within ten days after the date of the notice. Any such notice shall provide 10 days to subscribe for collection service or show cause why such person should not be required to subscribe. If service or cause is not established, the Manager will authorize such service and the billing charges to be assessed against the real property upon which the premises served are located. After notice and a public hearing, unpaid delinquent accounts shall become a lien on the property and collected with property taxes.
9. Delinquent Accounts. When a delinquent account is forwarded to the City by the garbage company, the city shall then, pursuant to the authority and notification processes contained in California Government Code § 38790.1, attempt to collect the delinquent fees in the manner described in California Government Code § 25831. Prior to forwarding a delinquent account to the City, a late fee shall be applied to delinquent accounts by the garbage company as an incentive to secure payment. The amount of the fee shall be determined by the garbage company and authorized by the Eureka City Council.
10. Administration and Billing. Recology Humboldt County will continue to provide all billing and customer request services. For delinquencies, the city will assist Recology Humboldt County annually in securing authority to amend County property tax billing statements.
11. Individual Waste Removal. Nothing in this Ordinance will prevent persons from carrying their own solid waste and recyclable materials to the Transfer Station for those weekend cleanup projects and other jobs private disposal site for which a valid permit is in effect.