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By Tim Hunt

Lower garbage bills with more services? Really

Uploaded: Jul 26, 2018

Wow was I pleased when I received my quarterly bill from Pleasanton Garbage recently. A new contract between the garbage company and the city took effect July 1 and the city’s negotiators did a great job. For its part, Pleasanton Garbage avoided an open bid process and was able to maintain the exclusive franchise it has held since 1969.
The amazing news: my bill actual went down more than $8. Not a lot, but when’s the last time a utility bill went down?
Equally importantly, there were key additional services added. You now can recycle oil and used filters curbside with jugs and bags provided by the garbage service. You can also recycle household batteries and cell phones by enclosing them in a plastic bag and leaving them on top of the recycling (blue) container. This does not include Lithium-ion batteries such as those used in laptops and tablets.
You also can drop off those dead CFL curly-cue bulbs, with their hazardous waste, again at the transfer station. Forcing use of those bulbs was one of the poorer government decisions ever.
Finally, you can save some real money with curbside, bulky item clean three times a year (make an appointment seven days prior). Items need to fit within an eight-foot by five-foot space. Acceptable items include carpet, mattresses, furniture, e-waste, tires, white goods and brown goods. So, that’s an old fridge, an old mattress, a dead microwave or an old computer monitor or TV.
When last I took an old mattress to the dump, I think it cost me $60 and, if I recall correctly, it was $30 for a gas barbecue.
Nice job by the city staff.
• Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who shares responsibility for the Livermore Valley with Supervisor Nate Miley, announced at the Innovation Tri-Valley meeting this month that the county is investing $48 million into the valley. The investments will include a much-needed new fire station in the Altamont Pass, greatly improving response time to I-580 and the surrounding areas. Funds also were allocated to putting utility lines underground along Telsa Road in the heart of the wine country.
• Long-time politician Tim Sbranti, the former mayor of Dublin, is returning to his roots as the Dublin High Athletic Director. Tim, who taught and coached at Dublin during his service on the City Council, left education to join Congressman Eric Swalwell’s staff. He will wrap up that stint next month and leave politics behind—at least for a season. Tim holds an administrative credential, so the athletic director position is the first step on that fresh path. He said to me, only half-jokingly, that he’s tired of fighting more with Democrats than Republicans.