Big Bear Lake, CA —  Last week, the City of Big Bear Lake unveiled three new eco-friendly trucks that are now being used by Big Bear Disposal. In an effort to work toward becoming a zero-waste community, when the City negotiated a 10-year contract with Big Bear Disposal for solid waste collection services, a requirement of the July 2009 agreement was that the 25-year-old equipment would be replaced with new, low-sulfur diesel collection vehicles which comply with the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Rule 1193. The new trucks, says Big Bear Disposal’s Frank Forbes, “are state-of the-art, they really are. It’s the latest technology available for diesel. Right now we have four new trucks—three front-loaders, and one of these three is a residential front-loader with a bin on front—and a fourth is a roll-off truck, which we use to haul recyclables off the mountain. All four of these are state-of-the-art, 2010 Peterbilts with Cummins engines, and that’s the one that has the low emissions.” Forbes adds that a fifth eco-friendly truck, to be used for curbside recycling, should be here in May and the sixth truck, currently being built, is a Peterbilt front-loader with a 2011 model engine and should be ready to join Big Bear Disposal’s fleet in June. Adds Forbes, “Big Bear Disposal is paying for the six trucks, as this is part of our agreement with the new, 10-year contract, to bring in environmentally friendly trucks.” Of the existing fleet, Forbes tells KBHR that three will be retained, with CARB-approved conversion kits—meaning they meet emission standards of the California Air Resources Board. “The rest,” he says, “will be disposed of. They’re past their prime with the new emissions [standards] so, for environmental purposes, they will be recycled.” Big Bear Lake City Council member Rick Herrick, who has been a member of the Green Committee for several years, says, “These brand new trucks are high-efficiency smokeless diesel that are much quieter than the older models they were using.” In addition to the implementation of new trucks, making for a fleet of nine to service Big Bear Lake, Fawnskin and Lake Williams, Big Bear Disposal is also planning for a late May or early June groundbreaking on the new recycling facility to be constructed on the North Shore and will, in the meantime, participate in the Sierra Club’s Earth Day celebration at Copper Q in the Village this Saturday. Given Earth Day this Thursday, Forbes says, “We just encourage everybody to keep recycling—and, just to put people’s minds at ease, the purchase of these new vehicles will not cause a residential rate increase for disposal services and, right now, there will be no residential rate increase for the recycling facility.” For more information on recycling services offered through Big Bear Disposal, call 866-3942.

Big Bear Lake City Council members joined Frank Forbes, a 14-year Big Bear Disposal employee, for a ribbon cutting at City Hall, celebrating the arrival of new eco-friendly refuse vehicles. In the photo (from left): Council's Bill Jahn, Michael Karp, Mayor Liz Harris, BB Disposal's Director of Governmental Affairs Frank Forbes, Darrell Mulvihill and Rick Herrick.