New recycling-friendly trash system to start up in Del Mar


By Claire Harlin

As of April 9, if you are one of the 65 percent of Del Mar residents who did not select a new bin size for the new pay-as-you-throw collection system, Waste Management has automatically selected a default medium-sized bin for you, and you will see no rate increase.

If you’d like to save money and potentially waste, however, Waste Management will accept requests for exchanges and make every effort to honor the late responses, but the actual exchanges will not take place until at least the week of May 29. Exchanges may be requested after the delivery of the new carts. In all cases, Waste Management will begin making exchanges the week of May 29, on residents’ normal collection day.

Under the new system, approved in December, the more trash that residents put on the curb, the more they pay. The approach is to incentives recycling.

During the bin selection period, which lasted three weeks, two community meetings were held at the City Hall Annex. A Waste Management spokeswoman said they were both well attended.

According to a recent quality of life study from the Equinox Center, Del Mar disposes of the second-most amount of waste per capita in the county, behind Coronado.

Equinox Center spokeswoman Emma Leggat said this is mainly due to the large influx of visitors to the beach and Del Mar Fairgrounds in comparison to the number of residents, but she also said there is room for Del Mar to improve.

“New landfills are expensive for taxpayers, difficult to site and threaten both our air and water quality,” said Leggatt, adding that more than 60 percent of waste currently going to landfills doesn’t even need to be there because it can either be reused, recycled or composted. This number comes from the California 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization Study.

“For that reason,” she said, “Equinox Center commends the City of Del Mar for taking measures to increase commercial recycling and reduce waste.”

To contact the North County division of Waste Management, call (866) WMRECYCLE, or visit