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City not enforcing new standards for recycling just yet

If you haven’t already started separating the recycling according to the city’s new standards — don’t freak out. 

Even when the new changes go into effect, according to Manteca Solid Waste Supervisor Rexie LeStrange, there will be a grace period while people make the switch to the new standards with the “enforcement” period likely not beginning until at least next year. 

And the transition will likely take some time for the city as well. 

LeStrange said the division is currently awaiting the Manteca City Council to discuss and possibly vote on whether to waive the cart switch out fee, which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 4. 

Plans are also in the works to have the California Conservation Corps come in and place stickers on every blue cart in the city that will specify which recyclable items can be placed inside, and which items are no longer allowed. 

Even after those two things take place, the first round of “monitoring” — which also involve the CCC — will only result in reminder letters being placed with ratepayers rather than citations or even removal of the blue carts themselves. 

Since the announcement was made that changes are coming, LeStrange said that the office has been inundated with phone calls from people wanting to upsize their brown garbage Toters, and that the processing of said requests will take place after the council weighs in on the cart switch fee situation. Because the blue cans themselves are not going to be used as extensively, the city is planning on having them placed out for pickup once a month if they are not full every two weeks as many currently are. 

Enforcement of the new regulations, which could include a citation or removal of the blue cans from ratepayers if compliance is not achieved, won’t likely start until February of 2019 at the earliest. 

“There is no need for people to panic about next week; we are not enforcing anything yet,” LeStrange said. “They will still be okay for the rest of this month even – we have a lot of work to do before we get to the ‘policing’ stage.”

For additional information about the changes to the city’s recycling policy, or to inquire about upsizing existing cans, contact the City of Manteca’s Solid Waste Division at 209.239.8469. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.