Big Bear Disposal secured 5.6 acres of industrial-zoned property on the North Shore seven years ago, in anticipation of recycling mandates that would dictate the use of more space in a local capacity. That time has come, according to Big Bear Disposal’s Recycling Coordinator Frank Forbes, given AB939, California’s original recycling bill, and SB1016, which Governor Schwarzenegger signed into effect this January. As Forbes explains, “We are mandated to increase our recycling, and especially commercial recycling, so now 50% recycling must be achieved for commercial and this also applies to government offices, schools and hospitals.” At present, Big Bear Disposal trucks recycling to Victorville but in keeping the Valley’s recycling efforts local (for both Big Bear Disposal’s customers and the Community Services District’s customers in the East Valley), San Bernardino County’s new “go green” standards would be achieved. The recycling facility proposed for the North Shore, between the airport and Highway 38 (from just west of Mound east to Holden Avenue) would not include hazardous waste collection, but recyclables from residential and commercial curbside pickup. The facility that Big Bear Disposal hopes to build in 2010 would be one 8,000 square foot building (inside of which all recyclables would be sorted); though the County’s Land Use Services Department is considering provisions for larger buildings that may or may not be developed. As far as construction, Forbes says, “The first phase would be to widen the highway and add turn lanes, and put up a four foot berm with landscaping and trees, and [on top of that] a six foot decorative block wall the full length of the property—but on the inside of the property, the wall would be 10 feet high to hide the building. The aesthetics will make the wall architecturally in sync with the mountain, as it will be a meandering, decorative wall. Then we’ll start construction, in 2010, on the interior of the property.” Neighbors who have banded together as Citizens of Environmental Quality are not in favor of the project, given concerns of traffic, noise and runoff. These issues are said to be mitigated; Forbes notes that all work will be done indoors. Also, he says, “We only have an entire fleet of 12 trucks, and that includes pickups, so those would be the only vehicles, plus the employees’, so maybe 13 employee cars. But there will only be four recycling vehicles coming and going, and that will only be on a four-day-a-week schedule. People are concerned about runoff to the lake, but we will be installing clarifiers, and also catch basins, to retain everything, all the runoff, on site.” The specifics of the Big Bear Disposal project will be presented in a public forum tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am to noon, at the Big Bear Convention Center; a Power Point on the project will be followed by a Q&A with consultants.
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