The days of having to lug an old refrigerator to the recycling center will soon be gone if you live in the city of Napa.
On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved the “Recycle More” program, allowing Napa Recycling & Waste Services customers to have Ewaste, metal appliances and cooking oil picked up curbside beginning in April. The service will free to the customer and will be done by appointment.
Kevin Miller, the city’s materials diversion administrator, said Napa Recycling & Waste Services, which handles Napa’s trash pickup, stands to make a profit off the program, potentially offsetting future rate increases, if only a little bit.
“The sales from the recyclable materials, after all the program and contractual costs are set, could range from $11,000 to $29,000 per year,” Miller said. “(It) isn’t that large in a $25 million fund, but it’s certainly moving in the right direction. When you’re adding revenue and doing what I would guess would be a very popular program, that’s a positive place to be.”
Miller said electronic items — commonly described as, “Anything with a cord” — metal appliances and cooking oil all have positive value, Miller said. Currently, such items must be recycled at the city’s facility on Levitin Way because they cannot be thrown away, nor can they be recycled via the blue bins.
When the new program begins April 1, residents may call Napa Recycling to schedule an appointment to have items picked up at the curb. To make the process more efficient, the city will encourage neighbors to recycle items at the same time.
Those wishing to recycle cooking oil will get a metal, gallon-sized container, which they may have picked up once it’s full. The oil will be recycled with a company called Yokayo Biofuels and turned into alternate biofuels, Miller said.
“We are getting paid by the gallon, not a lot, but enough to sustain this program,” Miller said.
Because cooking oil, along with fats and grease, cause major sewage problems for the Napa Sanitation District, the district will cover 10 percent of the new program costs, according to the city.
Currently, Yokayo Biofuels cannot accept all fats, oils and grease together, but is working on technology that would make that a reality, Miller said. Eventually, the Recycle More program could be expanded to include other items, including paint, carpet, batteries, needles and fluorescent lights.
Items like sofas, wood furniture, mattresses and desks must still be recycled at the Napa Recycling facility, or picked up curbside for a fee.
“They’re end of life, they’re not reused, there will be a disposal and handling cost associated with it,” Miller said.
Customers recently received an annual coupon sent with their bills that allows them to dump a load of such items at no charge, Miller said.
Napa Recycling & Waste will cover the labor associated with the expanded curbside recycling program, in exchange for reducing the annual “Anything with a Cord” collection event from two days to one, Miller said. The company will receive payment as if it were holding two collections.
The city will purchase a hybrid-electric clean truck for pickups, receiving a $30,000 rebate to offset the more than $140,000 anticipated cost. Napa Sanitation District will cover 10 percent of the truck’s cost. The cost to the city will be spread over three years.
In the 2013 calendar year, Napa Recycling & Waste stands to make $11,000 from the new curbside service, according to a city staff report. The following year that amount could total $29,000.
An anticipated 390 to 500 tons of material, not counting cooking oil, will be recycled in those years.
The council was all smiles upon hearing about the new program.
“I’ve always believed it was important that we have a really strong relationship with our franchise hauler,” Councilman Peter Mott said. “I think this proves once again that the relationship between the city and Napa Recycling is not only a productive one, but a forward-looking one.”