Where does our trash go?


Trash has become a complicated matter. Who collects it, where it goes and what happens to recycling.

In Seal Beach we are served by Republic Services, which is headquartered in Arizona. Recently, some residents noticed that all the garbage and recycling was going into the same truck. Questions to the men operating the truck were met with various answers; everything from “a truck broke down” to “it all goes to the same facility.”

But Republic said questions about trash collection need to go to corporate headquarters. This was Republic’s response to The Sun’s query, from Matthew Niklas, general manager at Republic Services.

“Republic Services takes great pride in our role as responsible stewards of the nation’s recycling and waste materials. We are proud to serve as the exclusive recycling and waste partner for Seal Beach, and to be the trusted partner for more than 40 other communities throughout Southern California.

“Recyclables are sorted and recovered, minus contamination, at Republic’s expansive Material Recovery Facilities in Anaheim, California. We encourage residents to follow the “Empty. Clean. Dry.” guidance to help reduce contamination. Most of the City’s commercial waste stream is also processed at the Anaheim MRF to enhance sustainability for the City of Seal Beach. Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling is expected to commence shortly in accordance with new State law.

“The City of Seal Beach, in partnership with Republic Services, meets and exceeds all State compliance legislation in diverting materials from landfills and incinerators. We take any assertion about our operations seriously, and we are conducting internal review to determine the facts in this recent matter.”

Where does our trash go?