July 24, 2001 11:00 pm

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

City Garbage Service, the private company that has the franchise for collecting garbage in La Grande, is gearing up to begin accepting recyclable material at the Materials Recovery Facility on Highway 30.

The company plans to process yard debris and other organic waste into a quality soil amendment, said company representative Darin Larvik.

The recycling service will begin at 3412 Highway 30 Aug. 4. The site is between the Blue Mountain Humane Societys animal shelter and the U.S. Forest Services La Grande Ranger District building.

Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Saturdays.

The service will be free to City Garbage Service customers living in La Grande. The company is adding $1.75 to the monthly rate of all its customers to help pay for the


Non-customers will be charged a minimum of $6 for up to 350 pounds of debris and then $1.75 for each additional 100 pounds. That is the same fee structure that is in force at the Foxhill Landfill, operated by the county.

There will be no limit on the amount of debris a person can bring, said City Garbage Service owner Ron Larvik.

There will be an attendant on hand to verify whether the person is one of our customers or not and to direct them to the proper bins to put their recyclables, he said.

The purpose of the city wanting to start the recycling program is to reduce the yard burning, and a side benefit will be that it will save space in the landfill, Ron Larvik said.

He said that, by weight, 17 percent of what the company collects from its customers now is yard debris.

He said it is very important that the material brought for recycling is clear of contaminants.

The material will be used to make compost that can be put back into your garden or flower bed, he said.

He said there is some raw compost at the Materials Recovery Center now but that it would probably be November before he markets any finished product. When he does begin selling the material, it will be available on Mondays and Saturdays, he said.

The companys plan is to accept recyclable yard debris at the site from March 1 to Nov. 30.

Acceptable materials are: leaves, weeds, grass clippings, pallets, vegetable food waste, brush no greater than 8 inches in diameter and 8 feet long and unpainted lumber (with the same restrictions as brush).

Prohibited materials include dirt, stumps, metal, animal waste, ashes, garbage, plastic, rocks, concrete or brick, meat or grease and painted or treated wood.

We will accept vegetable waste but no meat scraps, so people cant expect to bring scrapings from the table, Ron Larvik said.