Garbage 101

This week we are back with our In-Depth articles, and we are talking about something that stinks. Garbage! For most of us, our garbage is something we take out to the curb once a week, and it disappears. We only think about it on garbage night and when we get the bill in the mail. But there is a lot more that goes into waste collection than most people realize. This week we will talk about Upper Valley Disposal + Recycling, their history with the town, and the services they currently provide. Next week we will dive into some of the issues surrounding garbage. 

If you live in Yountville, then your garbage service is provided by Upper Valley Disposal + Recycling, which comprises three separate companies. Upper Valley Disposal Services – collects all of the garbage, Clover Flat Landfill – runs the landfill where the brown (garbage) cans get empties, and Upper Valley Recycling Services – where the blue (recycling) and green (yard waste) cans get emptied. All of the companies collectively make up Upper Valley Disposal + Recycling (UVDS), and that is where you send your bill every month. The Clover Flat Landfill is located three miles east of Calistoga off Silverado Trail. The landfill has been accepting waste since 1963. Clover Flat Landfill saw an average of 37,500 tons per year between 2006 to 2012. Based on an estimated waste volume of 40,000 tons per year, it is estimated that the landfill will be at capacity and be required to close in 2047. The Upper Valley Disposal Service and Upper Valley Recycling Services are located off Highway 29 behind Pestoni Family Vineyards. 

Besides providing essential disposal and recycling services for residents, UVDS includes specialty services for wineries and other businesses. They host multiple agriculture recycling days, help finance Town Clean Ups, holds shredding events and electronic waste pick-up days. When new disposal laws pass, they have a team dedicated to outreach to educate the community.  One of the new garbage-related laws that will take effect soon revolves around food waste and its disposal. 

Upper Valley Disposal + Recycling has the exclusive garbage disposal rights for Yountville. This contract is managed through the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency (UVWMA). Established in 1992, Upper Waste Management Agency is a Joint Powers Authority* that comprises the Agency Manager Napa County Public Works Director and five board members representing the different Napa County districts involved. Those representatives are  Agency Manager- Steve Lederer, Napa County  Public Works Director, County Supervisor Dian Dillion, County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza, Yountville Council Member Margie Mohler, Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning, St Helena Council Member Mary Koberstein. UVWMA was “formed to provide economical coordination of regional waste management services to the MEMBERS, including but not limited to franchising of solid waste handling services, uniform rate review and rate setting for those services in the Agency’s service area, and acting as the regional agency for purposes of implementing the provisions of the California Integrated Waste Management Act…” 

In 2018, both UVWMA & UVDS agreed to discuss a restate and amend to both the UVDS and CFL contracts. This process took two years, with both sides working towards common goals. These goals included meeting State laws and regulations, providing benefits to all parties involved, improving contract services and reporting requirements, new safety standards and personal training, and new emergency procedures. The new Amended Franchise Agreements will go into place on July 1, 2021. 

What will change with the new agreements, and what do locals have to say about it? Come back next week to find out!

*Joint Powers Authorities are legally created entities that allow two or more public agencies to jointly exercise common powers. In this case, local governments of Napa County, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. 

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