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Release Date: 12/15/1999
Contact Information: Leo Kay, (415)744-2201

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released a study that lists the city of Visalia as one of 18 communities nationwide with record-setting residential or municipal solid waste reduction levels.

    Roughly 50 percent of Visalia's residential waste is diverted from landfill disposal, with 33 percent being composted and 16 percent being recycled.   In the 1997 fiscal year, Visalia's  26,000 households recycled and composted more than 25 tons of materials.

     "Visalia has emerged as a national leader in demonstrating how communities can greatly reduce the amount of trash sent to the local landfill without sacrificing their operating budgets," said Felicia Marcus, regional administrator of the EPA's San Francisco office.  "Some innovative thinking on the part of city officials has translated into more jobs, greater waste reduction and increased overall environmental awareness in Visalia."

     Two developments mark the cornerstone of the city's success:  Visalia officials worked with their trash trucks distributor to design a dual-collection system that collects trash and recyclables at the same time with the same vehicle.  The city also substituted its previous second-day trash pick-up with a green waste collection day that takes yard trimmings, and scrap wood and lumber.

     The listing was published in an EPA report issued in November entitled "Cutting the Waste Stream in Half: Community Record-Setters Show How."  To receive a copy of the document, call 1(800)424-9346.

     San Jose was the only other California municipality on the list.