Intermountain Disposal is doing their part to contribute to a cleaner community with the city of Portola Green Waste Program.
The seasonal program began April 1, and runs through Oct. 31, giving city residents a way to dispose of green waste, such as clean pine needles, branches and the like.
“We’re on the second year of the pickup program, and already have six or seven customers signed up, but in 2018, we had about 25 customers on the program,” Richard Ross of IMD noted.
Ross spoke about the program, which has gained renewed attention as the City of Portola and the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District point out air quality issues and speak of potentially banning open burning within city limits.
Currently, green waste is collected either through the green waste collection service IMD offers or through residents taking loads of material to the Delleker transfer station at 73980 Industrial Way.
The convenient pickup program allows for 96 gallons, or three waste carts, to be picked up curbside on Wednesdays at a rate of $8.43 a month. The carts have a brown lid to signify green waste and are provided by IMD.
Each cart allows for lawn clippings, broken tree limbs, pine cones and other green waste. The waste must fit inside the carts and must be clean, or IMD will charge the load at the solid waste rate.
Clean green waste is transported to the Loyalton co-generator, but if a load is contaminated with trash, gravel, rock, concrete or dirt, the load will be refused and must then go to a landfill.
“We have a good program in place,” Ross said. “City residents have special rates, and we feel that this program is really a form of community service to prevent dumping in the woods and causing blight.”
Currently, there are 5,000 cubic yards of material stockpiled, according to Ross, and that material is shipped to the plant in Loyalton once determined to be clean.
Ross also pointed out the fact that IMD has the lowest green waste rates in the county, and if everyone can keep their loads green, rates can also be kept low. “Burning is out of the question,” Ross said. “We would like to have good product to send to Loyalton. We want to truly recycle and turn the waste into power.”
Hours at the Delleker transfer station are currently limited to Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to noon, and again from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. “There is potential to open the station up to a Saturday through Tuesday schedule as well,” Ross added.
For those interested in the collection service, Ross encourages contact with IMD. “Contact the office, and once you get set up with the program, we will deliver the waste carts to you on your service day,” Ross explained. “We then start pickup on the following Wednesday.”
Ross also stated that due to recent tragedies such as the Paradise fire, more members of the community are concerned with getting yards and lots cleared.
“Cleaning up these properties is a very important measure to take,” said Ross. “We want to eliminate fire danger, and we’ve got to protect each other and our community.”
Ross also noted that IMD has a strong ongoing relationship with NSAQMD and stated that IMD understands that air quality is a concern for residents. “The ability to dispose rather than burn gives locals a great option,” Ross said. “Change can be for the better, and we are the frontrunners on some of these changes. We are focused on creating reusable resources.”
During the month of May, IMD is accepting yard waste free of charge for city of Portola locals with proof of residence. Yard waste is defined as grass, leaves, branches, pine needles, and untreated lumber or plywood.
For more information on green waste disposal, the Green Waste Collection Program or other waste-related questions, contact IMD at 832-4879.