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 [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash