Another workshop planned on curbside recycling program

Effort being made to clarify public's understanding of new garbage-sorting requirements

In a follow-up to a standing-room only event held in August, the city of Pleasanton and Pleasanton Garbage Service (PGS) representatives will hold another free informational workshop about the city's new curbside recycling program Tuesday. The workshop will take place at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St.

The workshop will provide participants with information about the new program, which starts tomorrow. In addition to a brief presentation, the workshop will include a question and answer session as well as a display of the trash, green and new recycling carts that are being issued to all single family households.

The new curbside recycling program is replacing the blue bag recycling program. It also replaces the old program that ends Oct. 1 where residents put both trash and recyclables into one collection cart, and recyclable material is sorted from trash at the Material Recovery Facility operated by Pleasanton Garbage Service. The new recycling program differs in that residents will put trash and recyclables into separate collection carts.

Each household should receive a new recycling cart for glass and plastic bottles, steel or tin cans, jars, cardboard, aluminum cans or foil, and paper. The new program also gives customers the choice of a 35-gallon or a 96-gallon trash cart to collect waste that is not recyclable.

The new collection carts and important information about the new recycling program are currently being delivered to residents in advance of the program start. The existing green waste carts will remain in use as part of the new program. Additional information about the recycling program can be found at

This new program is expected to capture more recyclable material and send less waste to landfill. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans recycled 85 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste in 2007, providing an annual benefit of 193 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions reduced. This is comparable to removing the emissions from 35 million passenger cars.

For more information about the October 13 workshop, please call (925) 931-5002.

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Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 12, 2009 at 8:37 am

Any idea why Pleasanton Garbage has such tight restictions on what plastics can go into the recycling bin? Many cities in the Bay Area (including Livermore) allow plastic that has the triangle and number insignia to be put in the recycling bin. This is a rediculous restriction.

Like this comment
Posted by Terrible Ted
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 8:42 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

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Posted by Diane
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 12, 2009 at 8:43 am

I was not looking forward to this new garbarge system. We always filled our large black garbage can up to the top each week. We were so surprised and pleased to see how well we did last week with our first week of recycleling into their own cans. With alittle help from cheap sheets taped on each garbage can we only filled a 35 GALLON garbage can 1/2 full. We are a family with 3 children and 2 dogs also. It is sad to see how many of our neighbors use the 96 GALLON garbage can when they have smaller families. If we ALL work together we can all cut back and use the 35 GALLON garbage can. Trust me I never thought I would have this little garbage and be able to recycle 90% of our garbage. GO GREEN!!!

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Posted by Ngo Mo Dung
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 8:46 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

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Posted by karen
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 12, 2009 at 9:13 am

WOW...It was so easy to implement this recycling program in our household, and I will only have to put my cans out every other week (we have the SMALL "trash" can). With seperating we are finding we are not filling up the cans. Hey...can I get a cut in my rate? LOL

Like this comment
Posted by Ruth
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 9:14 am

My problem is that they ran out of cans, so we don't have a new re-cycle can, or the smaller garbage can that I requested. They seem to have "lost" my request for the smaller can. They told us to just keep on doing the same thing until they got more cans.

Like this comment
Posted by erryja
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Oct 12, 2009 at 9:49 am

Ths city of Pleasanton and it's leadership along with the large staff that works everyday needs to cut back on administrative overhead. You can tell the city is well staffed to answer the complaints that have been hitting our residents over the last 6 months.
The forced garbage can program and now the latest is that some Pleasanton residents are forced to pay an additional $40.00 for their water bill because the city made a mistake 8-10 years ago on the SIZE of METER they put in. NOW the city staff ( those justifying their position) have recently discovered this error. This is just another Pleasanton sham and we should let the out-to -lunch leaders know they need to be supportive to the residents and quit nickel and dimeing us to death.

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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 10:10 am

Although I've always found the reps at PGS pleasant in the past, the switch to Curbside Recycling seems to have them quite frustrated, and in some cases, even non-responsive to questions.

Luckily, most of the information regarding recycling can be found on the City website.

Here's the "Refuse and Recycling" page: Web Link

Here's the FAQ page:
Web Link

One change I noticed from April when the new recycling process was announced is that "Residents who already had a 35-gallon trash cart (prior to the new program) will receive a 35-gallon recycling cart" (FAQ). However, again according to the FAQ, "Any resident who wants to change to a smaller cart now (after mail in deadline of June 12, 2009) can call PGS to be placed on a waiting list 846-2042. Delivery will be dependent on the availability of carts."

Just make sure PGS understands that you want both a 35 gallon garbage cart as well as recycling cart. If you get any push back from PGS, I would suggest contacting the City Council as well as Steve Bocian, the Asst. City Mgr., who is coordinating with PGS - although it may take months to make the changes now. In response to a recent e-mail I sent, he said: "we have determined it’s best to compile a list of those requesting service changes prior to PGS placing an order to purchase the new carts to fill the orders. Unfortunately, purchasing and distributing the carts is a costly process and we want to be both responsive to service requests and cost conscious. Because it may take a month or two for some residents to determine a desired service level, we anticipate it will be a few months before orders are filled."

I have to say, I laughed when I read his response. Back in the April/May timeframe, when the first PGS rate increase and the switch to Curbside Recycling was announced, I had suggested in correspondence to the City Council and Steve that it would give both the City and PGS a heads-up on the community needs, as well as overhead cost requirements, if one of the service selections on the card they sent out was the 35-gallon refuse and recycling cart duo. Oh well, better late than never I guess.

As far as the limited "acceptable" recyclables goes, according to a message I received from Mayor Hosterman, they're working on expanding the list. Me, I plan on putting all things marked recyclable in the recycle bin in hopes that they will make their way to some place other than the landfill.

Like this comment
Posted by Country Fair resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 12, 2009 at 10:53 am

Regarding plastics, I think the brochure that came with the can says that most plastics are accepted. There is a diagram of ones with the triangle on the bottom with quite a few different numbers inside the triangle.

Like this comment
Posted by Out of carts
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 11:00 am

Same thing happened to us:
They "lost" our cart request. Did not give us any cart, even tho neighbors got theirs. When I called (after getting thru the phone delay) they said they'd take care of it.
Following week, still no cart.
Called again, and was told they are Out Of Carts. (Maybe whoever is doing this can't count?)
And told me to just put out our old cart, with blue bag...

They did say we could get a smaller recycle cart that might fit our space.

Like this comment
Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

Up until very recently, the only plastics that were "acceptable" were the narrow-necked ones. None of the wide-mouthed plastics, like cottage cheese, yogert and butter, were deemed "acceptable". It looks like the website has been updated to include those now. YEAH!! Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 12, 2009 at 11:11 am

We have not solved the problem with this new recycling program. The recyclables still have to be sorted in the end. Who does the sorting....the same folks who have always sorted it. What has changed - other than the increased rate and more huge bins to put out?

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Posted by Andy
a resident of Siena
on Oct 12, 2009 at 11:35 am

Because I live in a townhome, we only have the trash can and the glass/plastic/etc recycle bin. We do not have a food scraps bin. This means that with the new program, I am recycling much LESS than before. Pizza boxes, plastic microwave food containers, etc, are now thrown away. In the past, they were recycled since everything was put into a single bin and it would be separated at the PGS facility. But now my trash bill has gone up, and I am recycling less. Does this make sense???

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Posted by Patricia
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for all the useful info. I had e-mail PGS awhile back asking for the smaller trash container (I'd never sent in the card) and had not heard back, so I called the number in your post and they asked if I wanted a smaller recycling container too or just the smaller trash bin. I decided to keep the larger recycling bin (Christmas cardboard is coming!) and was told my smaller trash bin will be delivered in 2-3 weeks. And it's good to know they are now accepting the wide-mouth plastics. Everyone I talked to was putting them in the recycling bin anyway!

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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm

You're welcome!

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Posted by jg
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Oct 13, 2009 at 9:25 am

jg is a registered user.

Regarding not solving the problem with the new recycling program because it still needs sorting. The issue with the old plan was that very few people actually used the old blue bags, so didn't do any recycling. You can tell this because Pleasanton came in dead last (or close to it) in regards to how much garbage the entire city recycled vs the rest of the bay area cities.

Now if you don't want to do your part to help the environment/world you will pay more via the higher garbage rates (for those that still want the large garbage can). I for one think the rate increase should have been much higher for those that didn't opt for the smaller garbage can because there is just no reason not to.

Remember this is a new plan and with any new plan there are growing pains and improvements that will be made over time to make it even better. Everyone that didn't get their new cans eventually will, and more items will be allowed to be recycled (just like they added to yogurt style containers recently). We have 2 kids and 2 dogs and don't even fill the small garbage can, so it just goes to show that a vast majority of the garbage actually is recyclable. If you haven't already signed up for the smaller can please give it a chance and do your part.

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Posted by No Green
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm

While all of you property tax payers work to navigate three cans, we apartment dwellers continue to throw all trash into one big dumpster.

Pleasanton Garbage will not give us a choice.

Didn't Pleasanton just get some kind of an award for being Green, hmmmmmm.......

Like this comment
Posted by Country Fair resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm

The people who think that plastics are not accepted should read the brochure.

The brochure says that all plastics are accepted that have the recycling logo of a triangle with arrows as long as any of the following numbers are inside the triangle: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.

That seems to include everything that I have checked so far. I have not seen any plastic containers that don't have one of those numbers in the triangle.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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