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As new recycling program prepares for launch, city asks residents to choose trash bin size

Original post made on Jun 5, 2009

As Pleasanton launches its new recycling program, it's asking residents to choose which size trash bin they will use at home. A mailer that has been sent out should be sent back with a response by June 12. Those who don't respond will continue with their existing trash bin size.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 5, 2009, 6:43 AM

Comments (50)

Posted by Roy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:09 am

Dumb, dumb, dumb....!!! Just what I need, another can to find a spot to store -- and, it will take me about 3 months to fill it. What happened to common sense in government?

Posted by SS Haulr, a resident of Mission Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:21 am

Why not a choice for a 64 gallon recyclable bin? Not much for choices and the just over $5 differance in prices isn't much of a choice either. Where is our input on this decision?

Posted by Linz, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:24 am

Okay, so we have a townhome with a 1 car garage and landscapers who remove the green waste. 3 cans are not feasable, we recycle don't get me wrong. A phone call was placed to PGS requesting to not have the 2 new cans delivered. We were told that we could call AFTER the cans were delivered to schedule a pick up. We asked if they could just not deliver them in the first place, we were told NO, there were too many people calling and asking for non delivery, we asked if they could just start a list, we were again told no, there would be too many people to keep a list. Thanks PGS for ordering way to many cans and passing the cost onto us, for paying your delivery people to drop off not needed cans and then paying the same guys to come and pick them up and again passing the cost onto us. In the end, our HOA got involved and they are sending out a person to 'evaluate' our storage capacity for the new cans.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:52 am

I called and was told I could Opt out of the new can. The lady who I talked said it was an option she was doing because she does not recycle anyways. Great example that one is. I also asked about why not have an option for a 64 gallon can and was told they were not doing it. Seems like the garbage "service" controls this situation, not those of us who pay them, can we fire them?

Posted by Payola in Garbage Biz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:04 am

This is the kind of service you get when a company has a monopoly on the garbage service. I used to live in another state, and it was very common there that cities (the one I lived in was about 100,000 population) did not have a designated contractor. There were multiple garbage companies and they competed vigorously for business. The result was that rates were much lower and the service was much better than the monopolistic, payola-plagued service that's common in California.

Posted by Richard, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:17 am

Payola, you say? Forsuth! Surely you jest? :-)

You mean like the City Council members get a retirement plan enhancement, that sort of thing?

Kind of along the same line as certain council members and mayors that campaign on controlled growth and then all of a sudden have an awakening and approve any development that comes before them? In P-town?

Now that you mention it, it does have a bit of a smell to it. Let's call it Pee-yew Town, because this deal is smelling garbage.

Posted by Roy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:21 am

Let's see if I have this straight. We're getting recycle cans that very few want. We're paying a $5 increase per month to PGS. We cannot opt out of the program in advance, but after PGS pays for the cans and the labor to have them delivered, they will then accept our calls to have the cans removed and pay someone to come back and pick them up. When they printed the cards to make a selection for the size of the waste can, why didn't they just include a box that you could check to opt-out of the recycle can program, and they could save the cost of the can and delivery labor?

Posted by Rocker No Mo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:42 am

This is the kind of service you get when the government runs something (in this case a single provider garbage system grated by Pleasanton). Keep this is mind when Barack HUSSEIN Obama (as he said yesterday that he now likes to be called) wants to take over your medical care, or when he decrees that you will buy your (micro)cars from Government Motors.

Posted by Ribit, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:47 am

Why doesn't everyone that has an extra garbage can they don't want drop it off in front of the Council chambers? Be careful though - the cops are located next door.

Posted by DavidBCannon, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:55 am

I am pleased for the community that we will be doing a better job of recycling. With the large recycling bin we can easily get the balance of our trash in the smaller trash bin. We already "blue bag" our recyclable items and I know that the majority of our household trash can be recycled. Think green, act green.

Posted by Dublinmike, a resident of Dublin
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:56 am

Rocker No Mo, how does President Obama fit into this posting? Why not start a separate thread?

Regarding the recycling program, I am sympathetic to those dwellers with very little curbside space and to those with HOA conducting the gardening. Keep up your calls to the garbage service for what you want. They are overwhelmed but sqeaky wheels get the grease.

Regarding their service, I am very satisfied everytime I have called in. Growing up in Livemore, all we ever had was the local collectors which was great until Waste Management acquired them. Service deteriorated.

Posted by Roy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:08 am

You can "think green, and act green" without an extra 35 gallon can. Been doing it for years.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 11:19 am

I urge everyone to contact the City Council with your concerns. They're the ones that made the decision to move forward on the new recycling plan without appropriate city-wide notification of the plan, and the rate hikes, prior to the April 7 agenda item.

Web Link

When you get to the "Category" selection, I would skip the "Refuse and Recycling Services" and go directly to the "Mayor and City Council" selection since they're responsible for the decision and any negotiating any changes to the plan. (I never hear any response from R&R, but do hear back from the Council.)

Maybe if enough of us contact them we can get:

1) Continued use of the blue bags. I suggest that contrary to Mayor Hosterman's statement that they've tried everything to get us to use the bags, they have not tried actually having PGS drop them off to every residence (with instructions) when they pick up the trash - say once a quarter? twice a year?

2) A smaller 35-gallon recycle bin. I, as many others, do not have enough room to store another huge bin. I also do not have enough recyclables to fill a 96-gallon recycle bin weekly. It should save both PGS up front material cost for a smaller bin, and us PGS rate charges to offer the smaller bin for recyclables as well as garbage.

3) Opt out of the program. Maybe you dispose of your recyclables another way. It would save both PGS and the user money if you were able to state your preference in advance. I find it hard to believe that PGS cannot make note of your preference before they roll the new bins out. They have a computer system with our current bin selection, and have modified it for the new plan, right??

4) Your ideas?

DublinMikie is right, the squeaky wheel does get the grease - you just have to make sure the right mechanic(s) hears the squeak.


Posted by Benjamin, a resident of Gatewood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

I am so glad that Pleasanton will be doing curbside recycling. We moved here from Fremont and have always been disapointed that there is no recycling program that is easy to use.

Posted by Kay Ayala, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Call Pleasanton Garbage Service (846-2042) to opt out - I just did and they took the information. This is a major change and more effort should have been made to reach out for public input. The timing couldn't be worse for an increase in fees. Definitely contact all your City Council representatives today.

Posted by Kathy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Benjamin - Pleasanton does (or did) have an easy recycling program. You put your recyclable items in the trash can and the garbage company has workers pull out those items that are recyclable. This saves them from having to drive a separate truck around town. (Less greenhouse gas.) Simple as can be. Now is seems we are going to have to separate out our recyclables, store a third can and pay to have a third garbage truck running around town. Somehow this is supposed to increase the amount that gets recycled. NOBODY can explain to me how it is homeowners are supposed to do a better job of sorting out recyclable materials than workers who ARE PAID to sort this stuff out.

Posted by Matt, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:05 pm

My exact thought when I was reading the post card; why no smaller recyclable can? I've been recycling using the blue bag that's provided through the fire department. It's working fine for me, and I only need 1 container for my weekly garbage / recycling. I won't be able to fill up 96 gallon recycling container / week.

Posted by Linz, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Well I'm glad now they are finally letting people opt out, last week they wouldn't have anything to do with it. Good to know, thanks for posting that.

Posted by recycle this, a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm

So, if I opt-out, does that mean I can continue to put my recyclable trash (plastics, cans etc) in the one existing garbage can or does it mean I have to dispose of it myself?

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

"So, if I opt-out, does that mean I can continue to put my recyclable trash (plastics, cans etc) in the one existing garbage can or does it mean I have to dispose of it myself?"

You can put it in your garbage can, but I do not believe it will be recycled.

The whole article on this was interesting clear. Pleasanton's current recycling plan worked great and we ere well ahead of the state recycling mandates (and well beyond most communties). But are recylcing rate has been stagnate (I believe at about 56%) and we have been passed by many communities and are in danger of falling behind the mandates if action was not taken.

I think its a good idea. Right now, I saw up all my boxes (piled in my garage) and then take them to be recycled - this will save me the trip.

While, I probably can fill the larger recycling can and actually have room (although not on the curb where they pick up the cans), I too wonder why it needed to be so big - especially if its a weekly pick up.

On another note, some people were complaining about service, but I have always been happy. The garbage truck comes ever week, rain, shine, holiday, about the same time, never any spills or garbage laying around (no matter how high I stack it). I could not ask for anything else from a garbage company.

Posted by Kay Ayala, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:07 pm

We have paid and paid for the recycling conveyor belts that will be continued as far as I know. The 56% mandate is in question since it is possible that we are well beyond that to date. I also have been pleased with garbage service. The garbage company has been directed by the council to provide this service. I have a called Matt Sullivan, a Councilmember on this committee. I'll update this blog once I hear from him.

Posted by Rich, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 8:34 am

It's been a couple of years at least that we've been paying an increased rate to cover the cost of poeple hired specifically to sort thru garbage for recyclables...and the rates keep going up. we just had another rate increase on our 3/26 statement.
I called PGS to tell them that we already recycled on our own and didn't need or want another can or the cost asscociated with it. Was there some way to opt out. The response was confusing and somewhat rude. I was told just keep doing that..but I questioned the 96 gal can and the cost....and if now that all pleasanton would be sorting, would they be able to save money by laying off any of the sorters we were paying to sort...she was indignant, said they were not fireing anybody, on the contrary we are hireing drivers, We need the rate increase to pay for cost of the new cans, trucks and drivers.
Who says we need them? It's costly for alot of us who don't need or want it.
There could have been more forthought and customer input. I think there should have been some other options.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:08 am

I urge you and others with questions, comments and suggestions to contact the Mayor and City Council.

I have sent several e-mails questioning the discontinued use of the blue bags and asking why, with the new plan, a 35-gallon recycle bin is not being offered. If they know that there are lots of us in the community with concerns about the plan we may get some action.

Posted by Carl, a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:33 am

In order to put all the recyclable materials in the new bin, I will have to clean/rinse all the cans, plastic containers, glass bottles that currently go into a sealed bag in the garbage bin. Otherwise, the new recycleables bin is going to create another mess/stink (like the food scraps in the greens bin now does).

This means my household will be using more water. How many other households will increase their water usage as well? Yet, we are also encouraged by the City to reduce our water usage by 10% due to the drought. In the near future, we will have manadatory reductions and increased water costs.

Another weekly truck run throughout the city, more plastic bins at every household, more water usage.

More usage of oil, plastics and water.

What was the goal with this new program?

Posted by Mike, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:04 am

Another point: we recycle our plastic, glass and aluminum cans that we already paid a fee on when we purchased the products in the store. I go through this hassle in order to recover my cost - it does add up, as I usual recover $20-$25 every month. By giving away our fee-based recycleables, the garbage company will gain pure profits - this is a monetary gold mine for them. This is really not a poorly planned program, but rather, a well thought out money grab.

Nice work, PGS and Pleasanton city council & mayor.

Voters of our fair city, remember this when it comes time to vote - remember who is looking out for your best interest!

Posted by Roy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:09 am

You can contact the mayor and city council members at the link below.

Web Link

Posted by Kathy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Kay - Per an April 10th PW article the only sorting PGS will now do is sort the recyclables placed in the recycle can. Regular garbage goes straight to the dump. So all the recyclable material will be lost from those who either do not sort or do a poor job of sorting.

"With residents now required to sort their recyclables before taking garbage curbside---nce the new carts are delivered--the recovery facility will be converted to handle only the separation of those recyclable materials. Garbage placed in the all-purpose refuse cans—whether the 96-gallon or the 35-gallon size—will be taken directly to the landfill without sorting."

So I still wonder, how can this possibly increase the amount that get diverted?

Posted by Kathy, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Billie & Ray -

Thanks for the push writing the counsel. They need to know that many homeowners/voters are concerned about this issue.

Posted by Kay Ayala, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I talked with Councilmember Matt Sullivan. He is aware of the community's concerns and will be asking for a workshop to address the issues. He did confirm that the garbage will no longer be sorted once this program is in place which could result in more going to the
landfill if people opt out of the program. Let's see what Matt can work out.

Posted by Michelle Seabrook, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm

On May 19, 2009, I asked our Council to reverse their April 7th approval of adding a recycling cart. I asked them to continue with the current Curbside Blue Bag Recycling Program. The Blue Bag Program would need better promotion and direction.

We need to stop this new recycling program if we want to save our tax dollars, keep our garbage rates from going up again this fall, reduce noise and emissions from 5 new garbage trucks, and not create parking problems that 12' of curb space for 3 carts per house on garbage day will. It may also make citizens more mindful of the waste they create. Responsibility isn't promoted with a bigger cart to put your waste in!

The Mayor basically dismissed me and my request was never brought up at the end of the meeting in "Matters Initiated by Council". My request was ignored. The problems with the math in getting to the 75% diversion rate was ignored. As a Pleasanton Citizen I was disrespected and ignored.

This is a matter that can't be ignored and if you would like to join in my request to have this approval reversed, please call and write your Mayor and City Council. They approved and initiated this, not the garbage company.

Posted by Don, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Historically the recycling station was setup to more efficiently reclaim valuable items in the waste stream. The council had a study done and determined that more would be saved i.e. more money received in the recycled material if done by the station the by the public. It worked for years until last Nov. that is when the bottom dropped out of recycled material. Here is a link
Web Link

So it looks like the solution is to have citizen joe/jane sort the garbage for free and hirer fewer at the garbage company to handle only the sorted material. I agree with comments above about government running what private business could (with competition) do better.

My suggestion is to rethink the business plan based upon the current recycling business. Pleasanton could open up the collection business to open competition. The collection companies would all use the recycling center and share in the overhead cost of running it. Continue with the blue bag for those that feel they are not doing their part if they don't recycle.

I would also like to see how much recycle profit is generated and offset against the cost of operating the recycle station.


Posted by question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:32 pm

So, if you opt out, do you save on the increase in monthly fees?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hrm, I was a little concerned with this change that the sorters would be out of a job. I'm glad to see that that is probably not the case, but I would think that if the goal was to actually divert recyclables then they'd want 100% of the waste to be sorted and not just whatever is put in the new recyclables cart.

We're switching to the smaller trash can since most of the trash is recyclables anyway. Before the third can arrives, try pre-sorting all the cardboard, aluminum, glass, plastic, and paper out of the trash along with all the food scraps into the green waste and I think most people here would find that the smaller can for trash is plenty. I wish they'd give us bigger green waste bins!

A concern with regards to having the recyclables already sorted for pick up is that there are thieves who dig in these carts and steal recyclables, generally making a big mess in the process. There were some problems like this in San Francisco awhile ago, although with the drop in the recyclables market, it is anyone's guess as to the economic incentive for this illegal activity now.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

A good technique is to stick all the meat scraps into a bag that goes in the freezer until you're ready to take out the trash. Helps cut down on the odor!

Posted by Pleasantonian, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 7, 2009 at 5:26 am

I've heard about using the blue bags before, but never actually tried it out. It sure would be convenient if they were at the grocery stores or gas stations and not the fire stations. Do the bags themselves get recycled or are the compostable? (I don't like the idea of creating even more landfill!)

With the blue bag system, are you supposed to wash out cans, milk and juice containers, etc? And are they a 13 gal. kitchen bag size?

Has there ever been a city-wide push to use the blue bags? Maybe we should do a city-wide challenge with a specific start/end date, then have the city and PGS evaluate the blue bag system. It may actually work if everyone knew about it, had easy access to the bags and got a list of what could be put inside.

IF the blue bag challenge doesn't prove to increase recycling, we will need a third can. But that would take up more space in my sideyard. Plus the trucks needed to empty the recyclables can will increase air pollution-ugh! Anyone else up for trying the blue bags?

Posted by DavidBCannon, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I tried to submit a comment to the city via the Pleasanton Web site, but the web site threw an error, so I will post my comment to the city council here:

After reading comments from Pleasanton Citizens about the new curb-side recycling, I want to pass along my support for the new program. I believe it is everyone's best interest to maximize our recycling efforts. Clearly, the person generating the trash is the one that can most easily and effectively make the decision and place the trash in the most appropriate refuse container. It is a minimal effort which benefits everyone. We all need to do a little more for our community and earth. I hope you do NOT permit people to opt-out. If recycling is easy and convenient, then folks are much more likely to be part of the solution. Once you remove everything that can be recycled, it is quite easy to get the balance of the non-recyclable trash in the smaller trash receptacle. Get a little greener every day.
David Cannon

Posted by Pam, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm

If you all have room for yet another dumpster, that's great for you! But we have no space at all. I'm all for recycling - in fact, I haul all of our bottles and cans to the local recycling facility and send them through the machine every few weeks - but this is a stupid idea. I wish they would have asked residents for their thoughts before forcing yet another bin on us.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I've been having trouble lately with the city website contact function as well. They can always be contacted directly:

Jennifer Hosterman <>;
Cheryl Cook-Kallio <>;
Cindy McGovern <>;
Jerry Thorne <>;
Matt Sullivan <>

I can't imagine that any of us really have a problem with recycling; it's the right thing to do. It's just how it gets done. Unfortunately the blue bags were never effectively promoted, or made available, so instead of being able to use one bin for both trash and blue bag recyclables, we're going to get a third bin.

As a small household, both land and person-wise, I have neither the room to store, nor the recyclables to fill, a 96-gallon recycle bin each week. I'm sure there are many small homes and households like mine. Making at least a smaller 35-gallon recycle bin available, in addition to the new trash bin, would cut PGS upfront costs by not having to buy so many large bins, as well as help customers with bin storage.

In taking a look at what the garbage service providers offer in some of the surrounding communities I discovered that all of them do curbside recycling. However, with the exception of Dublin, they also all offer 4 different sizes of trash bin (20-gallon to 96-gallon) and a minimum of 2 sizes of recycle bin (a small and a large bin). Dublin has 3 sizes of garbage bin and a 64-gallon recycle bin. (web sites noted below - thanks to Bill on another thread!)

In Pleasanton we will have a choice of either a 35- or a 96-gallon trash bin, and no choice on the 96-gallon recycle bin. While PGS rates are very competitive on the 96-gallon size trash service, their 35-gallon rate is higher than most, in some cases, much higher. The 35-gallon service is subsidizing the 96-gallon service.

I would find it hard to believe PGS was unaware of what their competitors offered the communities they served. What PGS presented to the Council on April 7th was very limited when compared to our neighboring communities. Unfortunately, because there wasn't wide-spread notification that PGS was looking for approval on the two 14% rate hikes and the new recycling plan, the Council received very little input from the community on what we need under the new plan.

I urge you to contact the Mayor and the City Council if you have concerns.

Livermore/San Ramon Web Link
Danville/Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda/Walnut Creek Web Link
San Jose Web Link
Fremont Web Link
Dublin Web Link

Posted by Millie, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 8, 2009 at 8:42 am

About a year ago I called and asked about a second yard waste can. It was delivered the next day. It is the same 96 gallon size as my regular garbage can. So now I have two green waste cans and one regular garbage can. Soon I will have another recycle can to store.
I didn't even know you could request two green waste cans until my neighbor told me.
The PGS will sell all of the recycled materials and pocket the money. They increased our rates to pay for new trucks and cans. Does that mean that when they start seeing profit from OUR recycling they will lower our bills??
I don't think I'll hold my breath on that one!

Posted by Kay Ayala, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 8, 2009 at 10:45 am

I am passing on the information below that Councilmember Matt Sullivan forwarded to me. His message was that he thought this information may be of help to folks with questions about the program. Please pass this on to anyone who you think might be interested.
Web Link

Web Link

He is following through with our request to take a second look at this program.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

You people get so worked up about nothing...I just want to thank who ever gave the final go-a-head on this one. I've been waiting for my own recycle bin since I moved here. Good Job.
To all of you that want to march on city hall, isn't there a better avenue for you to focus your passion?

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:40 pm

As I mentioned, Pleasanton used to be way ahead of the curve on recycling and now we are lagging behind, we've been stuck on about 54% for a while and the goal of Alameda County is 75%, so there needed to be a change to make a difference. In the meantime, Fresno is at 71% having implemented, what appears to be about the same program.

Could it have been done better? Of course. At a minimum, there should be a much larger choice of can sizes...I'm not sure all of these cans can fit on the street in some neighborhoods.

Bottom line - change is good....implementation - Bad

Posted by Lloyd, a resident of Happy Valley
on Jun 9, 2009 at 8:20 pm

I guess the people PGS is paying to sort the garbage could only sort at a rate of 56 percent. The people that own PGS were smart enough to count the 56 percent getting recycled and the 44 percent not getting recycled but not smart enough to teach their employees to get near 100 percent when sorting. I bet we could have found people that could do at least 75 percent at the same rate of pay!!!

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Good news for some of us:

According to Steve Bocian, Assistant City Manager, "the new curbside recycling program will include accommodations for smaller carts for residents whose property cannot accommodate the third container or for the disabled and/or seniors who cannot handle a larger cart". He will put your name and address on a list of those requesting a smaller 35-gallon recycling cart to be delivered in October when the new plan begins - but you have to ask.

Steve's e-mail:

Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I just phoned PGS because I did not receive a cart selection card in the mail. They told me I would need to come in to the office to make my selection. When I asked for (2) 35 gallon size bins as I would never use a 96 gallon recycle bin I was told I could opt out of the 96 gallon cart but would have to pay TWICE the 35 gallon garbage rate in order to request a 35 gallon recycle bin. Isn't that a ridiculous answer! Who would opt for that. So is the real intent to increase recyclables or is the real intent to increase their wallets. What was the city council thinking with this one. Also, if you can get (2) 35 gallon garbage cans AT DOUBLE THE COST - how would the driver know which cart was recyclables at my house. Also did anyone think about having all those carts (spaced appropriately) in front of your house on pick up day. How do you get out of your driveway? I think the blue bags were a fine idea yet I never even knew they still existed. I used them when they first came out and were delivered to the home but they then disappeared. If I knew they still existed I would much prefer to handle my recyclables that way. Where is the common sense in all of this.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 15, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I think the emphasis is wrong and the Pleasanton City Council has once again dictated a useless program and waste of OUR money. I'm not against recycling at all but have read many articles about the GLUT of recyclables that no one knows what to do with. The emphasis should be on companies and their useless packaging. How many times have you bought an item that was wrapped and plasticized in a huge marketing box for a tiny item. Do we really need the incredible wast of packaging that exists at "BIG Box". Consumerism also needs to be addressed. We are a "throw away" society. Prices come down - quality tanks and people end up buying more. It's a viscious cycle. These are a few comments - articles that address the glut of recyclables in the market. You can definitely research the topic yourself on the internet.

** Recycled Waste Demand Drops With The Downturn In The Global Economy

** If you think you are doing the right thing when you discard your recyclable plastics and paper products into your single-stream waste can, think again.
Due to the downturn in the global economy, the market for recycled materials has plunged. We are producing more recyclable waste than can be used, and it is piling up all over the world.

** According to a November 14, 2008, report, the demand for recycled plastics has hit bottom. "The once-red-hot global trade of recycled plastic is facing a bitter winter. Market prices have plunged across the board, and even more troubling to insiders, demand appears to be disappearing. Industry players in the United States are struggling to deal with the collapse of the Chinese and domestic markets."

** Containers loaded with recycled waste, such as paper and plastic, are piling up and sitting at shipping ports all over the U.S. Countries that typically buy our post-consumer waste products have no use for them. We must stop pretending that recycling is solving our waste problem.

** The New York Times reported that at the Port of Long Beach, "metal, cardboard, paper and plastic are piling up in the lot of Corridor Recycling after the Olympics, demand slowed for recycled metal. In October, demand for everything else took a sharp downturn, and for the last two weeks the company has not shipped a single container 'It keeps coming in,' (said Gilbert Dodson, the recycling company's co-owner). 'But no one is buying.'" (see page 2, New York Times)

** Additionally, expanded polystyrene, sometimes known under the Dow trademark as Styrofoam, is widely used to package electronics and other imported goods. This product has no real market for recycling, with the exception of re-using it to pack another item to send.

** E-waste is another serious problem. I hope that people will think carefully before rushing out to purchase a new electronic product. Not only is the packaging (cardboard and polystyrene) a problem, unwanted electronic waste products will end up somewhere on this earth.

** A lot of publicity has been given to Guiyu, China, after the airing of a 60 Minutes episode, but many other developing countries have also become dumping grounds for the world's unwanted electronic waste.

** If you missed the 60 minutes documentary on E-waste, you may watch the broadcast again by clicking on the link below.

** Recycled waste could be reprocessed within the U.S. which would create more jobs locally and avoid shipping it long distances. Many ships are idling off Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong, loaded with bundled recycled waste. According to Bill Wong, Hong Kong shipping liaison for the Port of Tacoma, Washington, "Cardboard prices have dropped from HKD 2500 per ton to only 600 HKD per ton". That's $77 for about 2000 lbs of cardboard. This is inexpensive for shipping something that is roughly equivalent to the weight of a Volkswagen beetle. He mentioned "A number of ships had been laid up in South China ports". Let's hope they don't start dumping their cargo overboard.

So, why are we spending increased dollars on huge cans that nobody wants in their yard. Are the residents of Pleasanton spending more for garbage pick up because the payment of recyclables has decreased and PGS isn't making enough profit? Aren't we double paying for our recyclables to be handled. We already pay a "purchase" fee at the supermarket for many items. Pleasanton City Council ....what were you thinking?

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Resident - Vintage Hills

I think it's a big problem that the Council did not request input from the community on this one! I think we might have been able to come up with some good ideas. If enough folks write to the council, we just might get a relook at the plan.

Re the rates - I just sent an e-mail to Steve Bocian, Asst City Manager to find out what the deal is on the carts and what PGS is saying they will be charging. Also asked him if there was a different rate if a resident went through the city (ie sent him an e-mail) vs calling PGS direct. There was nothing in his note about a difference in rates. I'll post when I hear back.

As for how to tell them apart - I figured they'd come up with a sticker, or some kind of signage to tell the carts apart, since I would imagine they're reusing some of the 96-gallon carts from trash. I guess we'll see!!

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

The following is the reply I received from Steve Bocian, Asst City Manager, in answer to my question (brought up by Resident - Vintage Hills) regarding being charged double for two 35-gallon carts - 1 for trash and 1 for recycle.

"This is not my understanding. We will be meeting with PGS this Thursday to discuss the 35 gallon recycling cart issue and the matter will be resolved at that time. However, based on all discussions to date, there will not be an additional charge if a customer gets a 35 gallon recycling cart rather then a 96 gallon recycling cart. However, the availability of the 35 gallon recycling cart will be limited. I think there may be some confusion with the fact that PGS currently charges twice the rate is a customer wants two rather then one 35 gallon trash carts. Thanks."

I again URGE everyone who wants a choice in recycle carts and is wondering why availability of the 35-gallon cart will be "limited", is concerned about the rate hikes, has questions like those from Resident - Foothill, wants a relook at the blue bags, and any other concerns regarding the new recycle plan to contact the City Council and Steve prior to his Thursday meeting (6/18) with PGS.

Whether or not you agree with the plan, I ESPECIALLY urge those who want/need a 35-gallon recycle cart to contact Steve Bocian with your NAME and ADDRESS prior to Thursday's meeting so he will have some idea of the community's needs. Thanks!

Steve Bocian <>
Jennifer Hosterman <>;
Cheryl Cook-Kallio <>;
Cindy McGovern <>;
Jerry Thorne <>;
Matt Sullivan <>

Posted by hastiewaste, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Nov 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Hastie Waste is a locally owned, waste service provider based in Donnybrook, Western Australia. We specialise in Waste and Recyclable collection and disposal, and manage the Donnybrook Landfill Site under contract to the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup.

Posted by Bunbury Recycling Service, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Commercial Front Lift Bins are well suited to Hotels, Supermarkets, Restaurants and Mechanics. Available in two sizes with flexible pickup options.

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