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City ready to swap out trash cans

garbage cansW

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From page A1 | October 01, 2013 | 6 Comments

City administrators already have fielded dozens of calls from residents looking to ditch their oversized garbage cans, just a week after the Davis City Council adopted residential trash collection rates based on container sizes.

When the new rates take effect Dec. 1, residents who continue to put out their trash in 95-gallon containers — by far the most popular size in the city — will be charged $37.06 per month, more than a $6 increase from the current flat rate of $30.63.

Those who move down to 65 gallons will pay only $31.06 per month. Anyone who can fit their weekly garbage into a 35-gallon container will pay $28.06 per month. Commercial rates will continue to be charged on a variable scale.

To switch to a new can, residents should call the city’s Public Works Department at 530-757-5686 and talk to Richard Tsai, the city’s senior utility resource specialist, or Jennifer Gilbert, the city’s conservation coordinator. The city’s finance department, at 530-757-5651, also can help residents make the switch.

Residents are granted one free exchange in can size per calendar year, Tsai said. Residents will be charged $20 for each additional exchange that same year.

Tsai said when residents call, staff will ask questions about the household and the likely needs for garbage removal to try to get the sizing correct.

“The ultimate goal is to get a cart that fits the household’s needs,” Tsai said Monday.

According to city numbers, 95-gallon carts normally hold about five to seven kitchen-type garbage bags, 65-gallon cans hold about four to five bags and the 35-gallon bins hold about two to three garbage bags.

Once the city grants the exchange in cans, residents will be placed on a waiting list by Davis Waste Removal. The city’s trash collection company then will switch out the old can with the new size at the next possible trash collection date.

Tsai expects all residents who request a change in can size before Dec. 1 will have their new receptacles delivered before the rates change. For requests after Dec. 1, Tsai said the city hopes to have the can changed out before the next month’s billing cycle.

According to Tsai, Davis Waste Removal will take the bins back at no cost to the city. The garbage company’s plan is to repair, clean and store them to be repurposed for future yard and food waste pilot programs in Davis.

Residents along Eighth Street already participate in a yard waste pilot program and soon will add food scraps to that program. City leaders have said they’d like to see both of those pilot programs expanded citywide in the coming years.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised in the community about residents potentially producing more trash than their garbage containers can hold every week, possibly leading to overflowing trash cans or other problems.

Tsai said the city is also worried about residents improperly putting extra trash in recycling containers or illegally dropping it in a neighbor’s garbage can.

Properly sizing the cans to a household’s needs in the first place, Tsai said, should be enough to curb those issues.

Further, when the council held the public hearing last week to approve the new garbage rates, Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson asked about installing technology that tracks whether trash has been collected from specific households to help those who don’t put their cans out every week save money on their utility bills.

Paul Hart, owner of Davis Waste Removal, said that because the trucks must drive down each block every week, there are no dramatic cost savings associated with implementing the technology.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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Discussion | 6 comments

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  • JoeSeptember 30, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    "Paul Hart, owner of Davis Waste Removal, said that because the trucks must drive down each block every week, there are no dramatic cost savings associated with implementing the technology." Excuse me, if enough people participate and the trucks only have to make let's say half the stops then the trucks can do their routes twice as fast.

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  • ThomasOctober 01, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Article 5 Section 17331. Frequency of Refuse Removal. (H) The owner or tenant of any premises, business establishment or industry shall be responsible for the satisfactory removal of all refuse accumulated by him on his property or his premises. To prevent propagation, harborage, or attraction of flies, rodents or other vectors and the creation of nuisances, refuse, except for inert materials, shall not be allowed to remain on the premises for more than seven (7) days, except when: (a) disruptions due to strikes occur, or (b) severe weather conditions or “Acts of God” make collection impossible using normal collection equipment, or (c) official holidays interrupt the normal seven day collection cycle in which case collection may be postponed until the next working day. Where it is deemed necessary by the local health officer because of the propagation of vectors and for the protection of public health, more frequent removal of refuse shall be required.

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  • Anya ClasenOctober 02, 2013 - 9:45 am

    I agree, Joe. How many decades ago was that ordinance written that Thomas cites? If weekly biowaste pickup is implemented, all of the things that necessitate weekly solid waste pickup will be eliminated from the solid waste container (such as food waste, vegetable matter, etc.). When your garbage can only has styrofoam, packing material, plastic bags, empty dog food bags, freezer boxes and other paper that can't be recycled, etc., then there is no reason to put it out every week and no reason to cite anyone for not doing so. Households that already divert all their compostables via backyard composting are easily skipping weeks because their garbage doesn't rot/smell like those who don't compost. As far as Mr. Hart's contention that there are no savings because the truck still has to drive the route, I'd like to see this claim substantiated, because if it isn't (substantiated), then it's just an empty talking point. The garbage truck easily spends 5 seconds at a standstill with engine revving to pick up each can. That's in many cases more time than it takes for it to drive from house to house. It stands to reason that if the truck is spending as much time (labor) and fuel at the stop as it is in transit, then there will be a significant savings by eliminating stops (simple math... 700 stops @ 5 secs ea = ~1hour in time (labor) PLUS constant fuel usage during that hour. Incidentally 700 stops is only 5% of all the stops the truck makes). This should be studied and considered if we are serious about cutting GHG, curbing our carbon footprint and cutting expenses.

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  • Anya ClasenOctober 02, 2013 - 9:46 am

    I agree, Joe. How many decades ago was that ordinance written that Thomas cites? If weekly biowaste pickup is implemented, all of the things that necessitate weekly solid waste pickup will be eliminated from the solid waste container (such as food waste, vegetable matter, etc.). When your garbage can only has styrofoam, packing material, plastic bags, empty dog food bags, freezer boxes and other paper that can't be recycled, etc., then there is no reason to put it out every week and no reason to cite anyone for not doing so. Households that already divert all their compostables via backyard composting are easily skipping weeks because their garbage doesn't rot/smell like those who don't compost. As far as Mr. Hart's contention that there are no savings because the truck still has to drive the route, I'd like to see this claim substantiated, because if it isn't (substantiated), then it's just an empty talking point. The garbage truck easily spends 5 seconds at a standstill with engine revving to pick up each can. That's in many cases more time than it takes for it to drive from house to house. It stands to reason that if the truck is spending as much time (labor) and fuel at the stop as it is in transit, then there will be a significant savings by eliminating stops (simple math... 700 stops @ 5 secs ea = ~1hour in time (labor) PLUS constant fuel usage during that hour. Incidentally 700 stops is only 5% of all the stops the truck makes). This should be studied and considered if we are serious about cutting GHG, curbing our carbon footprint and cutting expenses. Apologies for the duplicate comment. Was not meant to be in reply to Thomas.

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  • DougOctober 01, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Good point Joe. I have the large trash can, and I only put out my trash every 2 to 3 weeks. If people switch to smaller cans, they will probably start putting out their trash more often. I doubt Paul Hart from Davis Wast Removal is correct in his assumption that there would be no impact on his company's cost if the number of trash cans being emptied were to increase.

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  • Davis G'maOctober 01, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    This whole thing seems illogical, inefficient and costly. I'm really not sure why DWR and the Council want to make this change although profit is most likely the motivator. "Follow the money" and all that. We only fill our big can about 1/3 full each week, so it's not like we'll be creating less garbage, we'll just be packaging it differently. Hey, does anyone else hate the recycling cans? I feel so criminal when I mix my glass with my plastic. Is there some poor schmuck at DWR who who has to separate it? I liked the colored bins we used to have - one for glass, one for paper, one for plastic. Maybe I'll just keep my old oversized can and not even bother with recycling.

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