Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

More Garbage

Posted by drewbendon on December 14, 2007

UPDATE: Councilmember Keating confirms what Councilmember Friedman tells me: you can have as many recycling and green waste containers as you want. (He couldn’t explain why the footnote and the separate table 5 and why the numbers don’t quite match.) We should commend City Staff and the City Council for including this provision in the RFP.

Here is the most recent Staff Report on the proposed Garbage/Recycling contract.

I gather from the staff report that the contract includes more recyclables than before:

“a number of Piedmonters who expressed their support for the contract service option that would expand the list of materials required by the hauler to be recycled. This list includes plastic bags, plastic film, aseptic containers and polystyrene, and adding these materials would increase the monthly fee slightly ($.31 per month under the RSS proposal, and $.78 to $.92 per month under the WMI proposal).”

I can’t tell if this larger list means that all potentially recyclable materials are included in this contract, or if there are still items that we are disposing of that could be diverted from landfills. It is also not clear what would happen if during the contract technology makes it possible to recycle more/different things.
One of the interesting ideas in this report, and this was addressed by Tim Rood in his comments to an early garbage post, is that the recommended default collection is backyard, but one can subscribe to street collection. This is clearly a bow to those who find garbage cans on the street to be unattractive. Why would we choose to make the default the more expensive service? Why not make the default the least expensive service and let those who wish more service to pay more subscribe to backyard service? One more GREEN thought on this issue. The greenhouse gas report prepared for the City shows that the bulk of greenhouse gases come from transportation in the city. Surely having curbside collection as the default would reduce the amount of time the garbage trucks spend idling on our streets spewing exhaust into the atmosphere. It is not clear from the staff report that this was taken into account.

As always, we welcome your thoughts.

Drew

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