California Waste Solutions Unveils Plans

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Oakland Recycles

Oakland’s recycling com­pany unveiled their design for their new state -of-the art facili­ty at the North Gateway district of the former Oakland army base at a community meeting in West Oakland on Monday.

Waste Solutions (CWS) told an audience of nearly 50 com­munity members that they have been diligently working with the City of Oakland to relocate their current West Oakland fa­cilities to the Oakland Army Base’s since 2012.

“We are growing. We want to move,” said David Duong, CEO of CWS. “We made a de­posit of $600,000 in 2012 (on the North Gateway property). But guess what? We are still here today. We still want to move. We know that if we move people will have a better life.”

“We recognize that it is not desirable for us to be in a bud­ding neighborhood,” said Ta­sion Kwamilele, director of community engagement for CWS. “We hear you and we are doing everything we can to move. It is a two-way pro­cess with the city.”

When CWS located their facilities in the Lower Bot­toms district of West Oakland in 1991, it was a predominately industrial area. Today, Lower Bottoms has become a residen­tial neighborhood.

“We want you to know that we are not moving just to do what we are now doing. We are investing millions of dollars to make a state-of-the-art facility that the people of Oakland and ourselves will be proud of,” Du­ong said.

The new facility will feature a fully enclosed 170,000-square-foot gold LEED certified build­ing, with solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and a bioswale, a landscaping fea­ture that removes sediment from surface runoff water.

The City Council voted to enter into an Exclusive Nego­tiating Agreement (ENA) with CWS in July 2018 and execut­ed the agreement in December 2018.

The timeline for completing the requirements for the ENA and entering into a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA), which will allow CWS to purchase the land, and begin the intricate process of finaliz­ing their design and obtaining building permits.

“There are a few things ad­ministratively before putting a shovel in the ground,” said Pat McGowan from the Oakland Planning and Building De­partment.

If all goes according to plan, CWS should be ready to begin construction in late 2020. The building should be completed within three years.

The move will help CWS and Oakland become leaders in the green economy. In addition to the LEED certified construc­tion, the new facility will bring employment opportunities to residents. The company pledg­es to continue and expand their partnerships that organizations the increase employment for minorities.

“We are working very hard to making our move to the north gateway a reality,” Kwamilele said.

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