Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: The goal is less trash, not smaller cans

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | October 18, 2013 | 7 Comments

OPTIMISTIC THINKING … we all know that the city has decided to charge an extra six bucks a month to those residents who continue to use 95-gallon trash cans, but what you might not know is that the city expects that this will lead to a dramatic reduction in the use of 95-gallon cans … as it turns out, 85 percent of all trash cans currently in use in the City of All Things Right & Relevant are of the 95-gallon variety …

According to Tom Sakash’s recent piece in The Davis Enterprise, “Staff estimates approximately 50 percent of customers would use 95-gallon carts during the first year of the five-year rate schedule.” … now I realize that six bucks a month represents six trips to the Dollar Tree on my side of the tracks, but I strongly doubt a six-dollar incentive is going to budge more than a handful of Davisites into parting with their larger cans … the goal here, of course, is not to get people to use smaller cans, but to generate less garbage …

Those who do make the switch to a smaller can will be doing so because they realize they rarely ever fill their 95-gallon can, so why not save a few bucks? … but they’ll still be generating the same amount of garbage, which means the net gain in terms of the basic goal is zero …

Again, the goal is less garbage, not smaller cans … I mean, no one is going to tell Grandma not to come for Thanksgiving dinner because of the extra garbage her visit might create … but if the city thinks this thing will work, by golly, more power to them …

QUESTION OF THE DAY … my friend William on the Bird Streets wants to know if “possession of a plastic bag for personal use in one’s home” will violate our new strictest-in-the-nation plastic bag ban … in other words, can you purchase plastic bags out of town and use them around the house for whatever task you wish? … unfortunately, no one knows for sure … and I won’t even suggest what you might use them for because I don’t want to run afoul of the new law by aiding and abetting criminal activity … just don’t throw them in the trash or the poor guy they hired to chase them around the landfill will have to start working on Sundays …

The best advice I can offer is once you’re through using those plastic bags, stick them in a distant closet or an attic or give them to the dog to chew on … just don’t take them out into the public airspace or you may be cited …

EVEN MORE BAG QUESTIONS … an anonymous reader sent me an order form for some really cool “draw cord bags” that look especially suitable for taking to the grocery store over and over as a “reusable” bag for carrying items home … the only problem is that this particular draw cord bag is made of plastic … too bad, too, because it comes in four trendy colors, suitable even for shopping at Nugget … at about 20 cents a bag, they’re a million times cheaper than those cloth bags the city is pushing, but again, no one knows if using a plastic tote bag for groceries is legal or illegal …

DANGER, DANGER … anyone who has tried to exit onto westbound Fifth Street from East Davis’ only gas station at 5th and L knows that cars are allowed to park along Fifth all the way to the very gas station driveway where cars are exiting … when cars do park there, as they frequently do, visibility is impossible for those trying to exit onto Fifth … it’s an accident waiting to happen and one the city should fix immediately with a bit of red paint on the curb …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 7 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Alan MillerOctober 18, 2013 - 10:49 am

    "Again, the goal is less garbage, not smaller cans …" I think the goal is more money, Bob.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich RifkinOctober 18, 2013 - 11:25 am

    "Again, the goal is less garbage, not smaller cans.” ....... Bob, do you think anyone who voted for this change in garbage can fees would be willing to bet his $36,829 Davis City Council compensation—$13,656 salary + $23,173 full medical benefit—that the goal will be met? A fair measure would be the total weight of garbage collected by the DWR. If the amount of trash thrown out per person in Davis in 2013 (pre-change) is higher by 10% or more than in 2014 (post-change), the member of the Council would win. I’d certainly be willing to take the bet that the policy will fail to meet that goal. My guess is that it makes no difference at all. I think most who change to the smaller cans will cram the same amount of waste in them. A few will cheat by putting unrecyclable garbage in their recycle bins. But that will end up in the landfill once the workers who sort recyclables get ahold of it. Others will likely place their garbage in someone else’s bin—the way your “friend” dumped her dog’s poop in your can.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ron GlickOctober 18, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    How many Council members actually use their medical benefits from the city? They all have day jobs so it seems a little disingenuous to count unused benefits as compensation. On another note, its not possession of a plastic bag for personal use that will get you in trouble in your home its having a fire for personal use that will have law enforcement knocking on your door in the middle of the night.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich RifkinOctober 18, 2013 - 7:34 pm

    "How many Council members actually use their medical benefits from the city? They all have day jobs so it seems a little disingenuous to count unused benefits as compensation." ........ Ron, a few years ago, I asked that question (of Kelly Stachowicz) and the answer was 4 out of 5. That surprised me because, due to their employment, all of them could have forgone the city's medical coverage. (The only one who did not take it, then, was Stephen Souza.) But keep in mind that the city's plan is more generous than other plans--including what UCD employees and families get. This year, I asked Kelly that same question. She told me it is now the reverse--only one of the five gets his coverage from the City. (I don't remember if she said which one.) So what has changed in the interim? Incentives. The Council adopted a policy which allows them to essentially cash-out their medical benefit by not accepting it. It's not the full amount. It's the more limited cash-out that they want all city employees to take: $6,000 per year. As it happens, literally cashing out a medical benefit would be illegal for them. (I am not sure why that is illegal, but was told it is.) So instead, they place it in a 457 Plan, essentially the public employee version of a 401(K). The $6,000 is tax free and it is invested to earn equity, interest and dividends. The four members of the Council who do this can claim the cash when they retire. There is no penalty, unlike a 401(k), if they take the money out before they are 59.5 years old.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ron GlickOctober 18, 2013 - 8:58 pm

    You mean tax deferred not tax free. There is a big difference. Anyway, your $36,000 dollar figure in total comp is a bit high and since the raise doesn't kick in until next July your $13,000 figure is currently too high as well. If you want analyze their compensation you could at least use the real numbers instead of skewing things to make them look as large as possible.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich RifkinOctober 19, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    "You mean tax deferred not tax free." ....... You're right, when taken, they must pay the tax. But up to that point, it earns interest, dividends and capital gains all untaxed. If you assume these folks are in a 40% marginal tax bracket (including federal and state), consider the difference between Joe Blow, who has to pay his taxes up front and pay taxes on interest and dividends, and Joe 457, who defers them. Say for 20 years each employs $6,000 per year to this effort, and each earns a pre-tax return of 7.25% (same as CalPERS) on his investments. Joe Blow will have $116,015 in his account; Joe 457 will have $271,120 in his. At that point, Joe 457 has 233.69% of the money saved as Joe Blow, despite them both employing equal funds each year and earning the same returns on investment. When you account for Joe 457's deferred tax, his $271,120 is worth $162,672 after-tax. That is 140.216% of the value of Joe Blow's account.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MartinOctober 18, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    "A fair measure would be the total weight of garbage collected by the DWR." Mr. Rifkin's comment suggests a fair approach to the issue at hand. If the council wants to reduce garbage waste in a fair manner, then a system that measures the amount of waste each household generates and establishes a benchmark for household consumption over the year would be the way to go. Many communities already have the capacity and infrastructure to accomplish this fair practice. Both the total amount of garbage and percentages would be easily accessible and able to show the progress of this venture. To simply charge a fee based on the size of a household's can size in no way determines the essential statistics related to the generation of garbage waste and its reduction in our community.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Going green at church, school, everywhere

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20