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Richard Chase, San Diego’s “Trash King,” Dies at Age 67

Richard Chase, founder of development firm Taconic Resources and known as San Diego’s “Trash King,” died at home on Aug. 14, 2009, surrounded by his family. He was 67.

At the time of his death, Chase was spearheading the Gregory Canyon project, a plan that involved developing a solid waste landfill and renewable energy project that would help reduce the stress on San Diego’s outdated and over-capacity landfills. Chase, who graduated cum laude from both Yale in 1963 and Harvard Law School in 1966, gained valuable environmental infrastructure experience after abandoning his legal career to work with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

“While nobody ever wants to talk trash, Richard Chase spent the last 20 years of his life implementing a plan to help keep San Diego clean,” said wife and business partner Nancy Chase in an obituary.

In addition to his wife Nancy, Richard Chase leaves behind their twin 19 year-old children, Molly and Peter; sons David and Matthew; stepdaughter Larna Hartnack; and five grandchildren. He also is survived by four siblings: Donald Chase of Florida; Judith Chase of Nepal; Susan Chase of Massachusetts; and Loren Chase of Connecticut.

Services for Richard Chase are planned for 5:00 p.m. on Tues., Aug. 18, 2009, at the Open-Air Amphitheater, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, 1036 Solana Drive, Solana Beach, Calif. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Richard Chase Memorial Fund at San Diego Hospice.