Opinion

Meet recycling manager Smith

It seems that once one becomes interested in trash, garbage, litter and recycling, the bug hits and an addiction ensues. Ask any KOMB member and they are likely to tell you of their obsession in either picking up trash, confronting litterbugs, or recycling every little thing.

The latest KOMB member and supporter is no exception. Meet Ashley Smith, the Recycling Manager at EMADCO. Mr. Smith, his daughter Kaylee, and Shad Gunderman, EMADCO’s Business Manager, recently participated in a KOMB-sponsored cleanup of an abandoned campsite along the river parkway in Oakhurst and portions of Road 426, and plans to participate in future cleanups.

According to Smith, when EMADCO was launched in the 1960s, there was one garbage truck picking up trash a half day a week. Today the company has 25 employees, 7,000 trash stops, and 3,500 recycling bin stops per week.

Smith was born and raised in Australia - if you spend a minute talking to him on the telephone, you’ll notice his accent. He met Morrison Williams, owner of EMADCO, when he worked for Mr. Williams’ sprint car racing team. (Car racing is really big in Australia.)

So far, the recycling manager is pleased with the recycling participation of EMADCO customers. Approximately 85% are taking advantage of the big blue containers and the twice-a-month collection. (Look for every other week service sometime in 2017.)

Another marker of how well the program is going is the rate of contamination. Contamination simply means items in the recycling bin that don't belong in there. (Do not put clothing, diapers, green waste, products with food still on them, mattresses, or hazardous waste materials in the blue container.)

Smith said the contamination level of 16% is "not bad compared to that of other areas." Which means he’d like to see 0% contamination. (For a complete list of what to place in the blue container, check out EMADCO's website. Information about other EMADCO services can be found there also.)

Although there was some grumbling before the service began, it seems that most people have worked out their problems, such as getting the garbage containers, called toters, out to the street on trash pickup day. And though the price has gone up slightly, the actual service has increased since subscribers are getting the equivalent - taking the size of the containers into consideration - of three-and-a-half cans of refuse picked up weekly.

There has been some reporting of toter thefts. However, one cannot simply walk away with a neighbor’s toter and set it out in front of his own home. Smith says that the garbage collectors do know who the subscribers are, and the toters all have unique serial numbers.

Smith would like the community to know that EMADCO is willing to help local organizations plan for recycling at their special events. Contact him with your request.

To Mr. Smith, we say welcome.

To learn more about KOMB, call Sandee Scott at (559) 760-1058 or visit our Facebook page - facebook.com/komb4emc.

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