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Haven't Been Separating Garbage, Help!

Original post made by Nancy on Sep 29, 2009

I haven't started separating recyclables out of my garbage. Do 'they' expect us to have started doing that for this week's garbage pickup? They pick up garbage on Thursdays where I live and I'm wondering if they'll refuse my garbage since I haven't started processing my garbage yet. By the way, I can't wait to start doing that, it sounds like fun! What happened to the little elves that used to do that for us? I'll do anything to get them back. Elves, if you leave your shoes out while you're working, I'll have them all shined for you by the time you get home.

Comments (38)

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm guessing that your Thursday pick-up will include the third truck for recyclables. Probably any recyclables in your trash will end up in a landfill. They won't refuse your garbage.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm

So it IS starting this week? I guess I'll put some recyclables in the blue garbage can starting now. I was not sure when this whole thing officially began.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Nancy, I thought it was to start October 1st, but my garbage day is Mondays and they took my recyclables. I agree with Stacey - they won't refuse your garbage, but they won't recycle any of the recyclables that you put in the garbage.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Sorry--one more question, can the recyclables be in plastic bags, the trash can liner-type of plastic bags?

Posted by Lisa, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

In answer to Nancy, I would think no, as plastic bags aren't allowed in the recycling bin.

Posted by CEASAR, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:01 pm

You need a pilots license to take out the trash now

Posted by Get the facts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I watched this morning as the garbage truck put both the garbage bin and the recyclables in his truck. Clearly this has not stated yet.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Thanks, Lisa. I started seriously studying our little chart today and I have to say--this is a serious pain in the butt. And gross. I have to save rotting food garbage, and I need three garbage cans, and sets of three bins in various parts of the house. This sucks.

Posted by CJ, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:11 am

What happpens if we don't sort the garbage...or make lots of mistakes doing it? Do we get fined? If so, what is the penalty?

Posted by caren, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:15 am

OK - so read the informational card that came out over a month is easy as pie...AND HAS PICTURES...use the green counter top waste container for food scraps paper towels & napkins (coffee grounds & teabags as well. Have seperate containers to collect the recyclables and trash in the house...then everynight empty everything in the correct outside trash cans. Hey - give your kids a chore - let them do it. They do not want you putting the recyclables in the blue plastic bags doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out...we are supposed to be an educated community....

Posted by BN, a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:17 am

It starts on October 1. Go look at their website. Web Link

There's also a brochure you can download. It's really not that hard....

Posted by Anna, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:21 am

Thanks Caren...LOVE your comments. I think I'll go stress out over something a bit more important...

Posted by hybrid owner, a resident of Valley Trails
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:21 am

Just a reminder that this recycling program is OPTIONAL, you do not have to have a 3rd can or separate your food scraps into the green waste can. You can put everything into the regualar garbage can. However, the city will no longer provide the 'blue bags' they used to provide for collecting recyclables to throw into your regular trash bin. By the way, after two-weeks I reduced the contents in my regular can by 2/3 by using the tri-fold card as a guide and separating items into three cans. I am now downsizing my regular garbage can to the small one and will save money on my bill! It is definately worth the few extra minutes a day to separate. In addition to the trash can under my sink, I have a paper bag to collect recyclables, and I use a 'Rachel Ray" garbage bowl to collect food scraps and just take it out to the greew waste can whenever I'm done cooking. Easy! Happy Recycling.... :)

Posted by Linda, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:23 am

LOL Caren you are hilarious

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:27 am

NOTE: You can opt-out of the recycling program if you do not want to change how you handle your garbage. Phone Pleasanton Garbage Service and they'll pick up the recently delivered recycling can from your home. NONE, (I repeat, NONE,) of the recyclable sorters are going away. There are no layoffs. Even though you may elect to do the sorter's job yourself, feel eco-friendly, and reduce the costs to PGS, you will not save any money on your monthly bill. Unfortunately, you will still have to pay the higher monthly fee, whether you choose to sort your garbage, or not.

Posted by Kathleen, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:29 am

We used our recycle bin this week exclusively for recyclables. Previously we had used the blue bags. What we found was the entire neighborhood was littered with small pieces of paper which had blow out of the recycle bins during pick-up because they were loose in the bins and not secured in the blue bags.

Clearly, Pleasanton Garbage Service has a learning curve here, too, and I hope pick-up goes smoother in future weeks.

Posted by Patricia, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

Patricia is a registered user.

Frankly, I find the idea of "elves" sorting through the mess of garbage, food waste etc. to pull the recycling back OUT of the trash much grosser than putting it in separate cans. I have a stainless steel pail with a lid and put my food scraps in while I'm cooking. After dinner, we scrape our plates into it. If I use something from a can or jar, I give that a quick rinse and put it into a box I saved from my last trip to Costco and set next to my regular kitchen garbage can. After dinner, the kids take the pail out to the green can, rinse it, and put it into the dishwasher. At the same time, they take the box out and dump it into the recycling can. If something spills on it, they can just drop the whole box in and I'll use another box or break down and buy a cheap rubbermaid thing. Occassionally, someone forgets and tosses a catfood can in the kitchen garbage, but mostly it hasn't been terribly traumatic.

Posted by James, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:44 am

Now watch for the new rates. This is a little scam they have. Cut services and jobs then jack the rate up. You know they are sitting back laughing at us. "we get more money and they are doing all the work". Would you have the cable guy come over and sit in a chair while he tells you how to install your own cable? How about your landscaper? Will you cut the grass while he get a cold beverage? Oh well... what do you do? The MOB rules! I say at least give jobs back if you are going to raise the rates.

Posted by trashist, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 30, 2009 at 8:57 am

CJ, to answer your questions, if you don't sort your garbage (or do it 'correctly') the green police will come after you. They are the same ones that sniff around your neighbohood on cold winter nights to make sure you're not using your fireplace, BBQ or anything else they deem unacceptable. "Land of the (once) free.....home of the bleeding heart, nanny statists.....

Posted by Green Mom, a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 30, 2009 at 10:12 am

Is it my imagination or is 90% of what they want us to put into the new blue containers the exact stuff you can bring to the dump to get money back for, ie: the CRV you pay at the store with your cans and bottles. Some of the items we used to be able to put into recycling they no longer want us to put in there, like plastic containers.

So, we're paying extra for then to collect a container of cans and bottles that we should actually bring into the dump to get money back for? Will they now get this money?

Posted by kolohe, a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2009 at 10:44 am

kathleen and to anyone who is having problems with pieces of paper flying out of yr can-we put all of our paper products in a grocery brown paper bag...fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full...we fold down the top and put one staple on the fold...and into our blue recycling container. you omit the loose papers and you have only one container to keep in the kitchen and it's bio too...try it...we have been recycling forever in hawaii..after a bit, this will be a no brainer to you all..try will give our children a better earth to live in..we have to worry about our future of our families...i love this recycling...

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

What brown paper bags from the grocery store? - we are now using the fabric bags at the grocery store so we don't get "paper or plastic".
Are we to BUY paper bags in order to recycle? Maybe we can wrap our shredded paper in newspaper? Or staple newspapers together to make a bag? Are staples allowed in the recycling bin?

Posted by It's not complicated, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:47 am

This is not complicated. The answers are all right in front of everyone. The blue lid cans came with a brochure attached. It has both words and pictures of what does and what doesn't go in the blue lid can. The first collection date for the blue lid can is October 1. I have been filling mine up since I got it, but they will not be picked up before October 1. Yours will get picked up on the day of the week that your regular garbage gets picked up.
What goes in the blue lid can is supposed to be loose (i.e., not in a trash bag).
This is voluntary, and there is no penalty for not using the blue lid can. But it is very easy, and it makes for more room in the regular garbage can. Of all the systems that cities use for collecting recyclables, this one seems to be the easiest for the resident.

Posted by Lolita, a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Why is Pleasanton having so many problems with recycling? The rest of the state has been doing this for years. Come on people, wake up. It's really not that hard.

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 30, 2009 at 1:33 pm


Pleasanton is having problems with recycling because for years, PGS has done it for us. As a result, our "entitlement mentality" has increased and many now think sorting is beyond them.

The amount of "problems" people are having with the program is a direct reflection of the town in which we live in. Self-centered and arrogant comes to mind.

Posted by Ben, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Arroyo wrote that we do not have to sort..."if you opt to do the sorter's job yourself..." Will the recyclables be sorted out of my garbage if I don't do it? That seems to be what Arroyo is saying. If that's true, why should I do it?

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm

What's in the garbage cart will now go directly to the landfill.
Web Link
What's in the recycle cart will go to PGS to be sorted. The reason? The deal between the City and PGS has only a very few recyclables actually being recycled. Pleasanton has one of the most restricted lists of "acceptable" recyclables in the County. I've written about this in another Forum thread on this subject, so I won't rehash it here.

I did write the City with my concerns; Staff is supposed to be looking into the information I forwarded. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I plan on putting anything marked recyclable in my recycle cart - for two reasons. First, I'm hoping that the City will figure out a way to follow other Alameda County towns (Dublin, Livermore, Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, and Albany), as well as San Ramon, by officially accepting and recycling more recyclables. Second, I'm hoping that by sending recyclable items to PGS that don't belong in the landfill, it will keep them out of the landfill.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Sep 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm

This is funnier than the cartoons in the newspaper. Keep writing this stuff.

Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on Oct 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

SteveP is a registered user.

From another gatetree resident:
"The amount of "problems" people are having with the program is a direct reflection of the town in which we live in. Self-centered and arrogant comes to mind."

You are absolutely right about us Pleasantonians. Otherwise, how could YOU pass judgement on an entire town full of people you live with. Arrogant, indeed.

SInce you feel free to run down our town's residents, please also feel free to stop tolerating your inadequate neighbors and move out of Pleasanton. And take your garbage with you.

Posted by June, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

The people posting insults on this thread are revealing themselves as pathetic. If you were as superior to the people posting here as you believe you are, you wouldn't need to post anonymous insults. You would be engaged in something productive. The fact that you are posting insults here is a reflection of your low self-esteem. Let me tell you something that you need to hear; You're so smart! You don't need to ask questions about recycling, that's for dummies! Now go read a book.

Posted by WTF, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Wow, its October 1st and I just watched the same truck pick up my blue and black cart way to go pleasanton garbage!!!

Posted by Curious, a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I'm surprised no one has pointed out the added pollution and use of fossil fuels the new program will require. Currently, my family is treated to trucks coming by 4 times every Friday morning at the (Inappropriate term) of dawn 5:30AM-6AM. This has been the situation for the past 10 years. You would think the routes could be changed every few years to spread the joy of being jolted from sleep by the garbage trucks, but PGS has been indifferent to my neighborhood's requests. Now, with the new program, we will be treated to trucks coming by 6 times at the (Inappropriate term) of dawn, probably starting even earlier. Will the added carbon emissions be offset somehow by PGS or the city? Just curious.

Posted by Wendy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Good point. I noticed garbage trucks across from Amador High many times at about 8 am. This is when kids from Alisal and Amador are going to school. When I called PGS to question the before dawn pickups, they claimed it was to avoid flattening school chilren. I pointed out that there are garbage trucks at 8 am in the Alisal/Amador neighborhood. There was silence on the PGS end of the phone.
I have lived in many suburbs across the country, and have never experienced one where garbage pickup came before the sun rose. When I mentioned this to our mayor, she said, "Well, they have to start sometime." Well, somehow there are numerous suburbs across our great land that manage to begin and end garbage pickup in daylight hours.
I was awakened this morning while it was still dark by garbage trucks. When I went out at 8 am I noticed our garbage had not been picked up. So, you're right, Curious, we will now be treated to multiple garbage truck visits throughout the morning.

Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 1, 2009 at 7:51 pm

You folks sure seem to have the dumbest mayor in the nation. That is when she is in town and not spending your money rubbing elbows with the likes of Obama and such. In the meantime you have traffic up the you know what (she ran on fixing the problem initially did she not?), Dishwater quality drinking water, and now the most expensive garbage collection in the bay area.

Posted by stillhavequestions, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm

for those who say the brochure makes it so easy - help - because the PGS office has one or two very uncooperative and unhelpful employees. Just the way to roll out a new program, ofcourse.

what about yogurt containers
what about clothes detergent containers (plastic but can't reader number on bottom)
what about the caps and covers to all these items
what about junk food drink cups, straws, plastic caps
what about foil, saran wrap, wax paper

Posted by have questions too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2009 at 8:53 am

I would agree that Pleasanton Garbage Service is not responding well to inquiries. I emailed through their website with just 1 question and have received NO response in the 2-3 weeks since then.
My question has to do with all of the other #1 plastics that are not bottles. I try very hard not to buy water/beverage bottles that come that way but am finding produce, baked goods, etc. coming in containers marked #1 so that is a significant part of our recyclables. Why can these not go in with bottles and if not, can I take these to the recycling center if they can't go into my bin? Maybe I will do like Billie and put them in anyway!

If the detergent containers are narrow-neck bottles, put them in recycling. I put foil in recycling, saran wrap in the trash and waxed paper in the green bin for composting. Also put paper cups with the waxed coating in composting but think the straws and plastic tops have to go in the trash. I also leave the plastic tops on bottles figuring the sorters know better what to do with them. Glass jars are different in that I take the lid off as clearly they are separate materials. But can the metal lids go in recycling?

Here are some of my other hints:
1. I have a rectangular basket sitting on the floor in the family room and we toss the newspapers in there. It only needs to be taken out once a week or so.
2. Keep a regular large wastebasket for junk mail and paper only. I have been doing this for years and it has saved me multiple times when I have accidentally tossed something out that I later discovered I needed. Much cleaner to go through than digging through your trash can!
3. I keep a few paper milk and ice cream cartons and small cracker boxes under my sink. I pull one out as needed to put food scraps, napkins, etc. in. Then the whole thing can be carried to the green bin and dropped in. That green bin they gave us several years ago was way too big and just got gross! I also do not want to be using extra water to wash a smaller container.
4. Bag up styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap and when the bag is full, drop it off at one of the mail stores. They have always been very appreciative when I have done this.

Yes, you should be doing it! This isn't that difficult but does require thought and a little effort. It will also help make you more aware of the excess and waste in our lives.

Does anyone know of a place to recycle fabric/old clothing? The rag bin type of stuff not wearable items.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 5, 2009 at 9:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Does anyone know of a place to recycle fabric/old clothing? The rag bin type of stuff not wearable items."

That's a good question. I called PGS once about recycling cotton and they told me to throw it in the black bin, that it will get recycled (I can only hope they actually recycled it). With this service change, who knows now? Probably it can go in the recycle bin.

Posted by stillhavequestions, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I think I figured out the real meaning of PGS:

Please Go Somewhereelsewithyourquestions

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