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City Council approves new garbage rates

Original post made on Jul 10, 2018

Residents and businesses in Pleasanton now have new garbage rates -- lower monthly costs, in many cases.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 9, 2018, 1:17 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jul 10, 2018 at 9:33 am

I have never experienced a reduction in any type of utility bill pricing year over year. Great work by a government agency.

Posted by Local Guy
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 10, 2018 at 10:47 am

Pay attention, everyone. If PGS says they can't make money on a service, why does Council think they can find someone that will do it for less? Expect the total bill to rise to at least the previous level once all services are accounted for.

Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 10, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Don’t be putting those monthly savings in to a long term retirement account because when the other shoe does drop and they announce the new added rates for recycling be prepared to be paying the same as before the new contract or my money is on it costing us more per month then we have been paying!! Who remembers the “conserve our water” which we all did then our rates went up because zone 7 couldn’t pay their bills!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I’m trying to understand these rates. We have three cans (all large) and are paying the $45.48 rate. Now it will be $45.48, plus a green fee and a recycle fee? Where is the “decrease for many residential” customers? And as Map and PGS point out, switching to the smaller cans will likely be a temporary savings. Interesting when you realize they have us sorting our garbage (I don’t think rates went down with that switch), and now we will pay more for that sorted trash to be hauled away. I don’t mind sorting—my mess—and I know the market for recyclables has been overwhelmed, but don’t tell me rates are being reduced.

Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 10, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

I was on the Council when the three-can PGS service was implemented roughly 10 years ago. The rate design encouraged recycling by providing a discount if you used the smaller garbage can and recycled more. Seems to have worked pretty well for many years and Pleasanton’s recycling rates soared. Before this change we were last in the county in the rate of waste diversion from the landfill.

At the time PGS vehemently opposed the three can system, and city staff was at best lukewarm. Fortunately, we had three members of that Council who were concerned about the environment and we had the votes to make it happen. It’s true that the recycling market has been volatile, but with this change the risk has been passed from PGS to the public to make recycling work. Not only did this Council let PGS off the hook for recycling, they extended their exclusive no-bid guaranteed cost-plus profit franchise agreement for another 11 years.

Every other city in the County competitively bids garbage and recycling services every five years or so. PGS has had the exclusive no-bid franchise in Pleasanton for over 30 years. You wonder why? PGS is a major campaign contributor to City Council candidates. PGS is an influential member of the business community and Chamber of Commerce. Four out of five Council members have been endorsed by the Chamber and has received money from their PAC. It’s not too difficult to understand.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 11, 2018 at 7:38 am

Jack is a registered user.

Come on folks, we pay "almost $25 lower than Dublin and $45 lower than Livermore," and you people are complaining? You can always opt out and burn your trash in your backyards I guess...
Great service, fair price, move on!
If you want to play watch-dog, focus on how PUSD is set to fritter away the bond money and how city hall wants to spend a couple hundred million on a new Civic Center...

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 11, 2018 at 7:52 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Jack, I don’t know what services are provided in Dublin or Livermore—is it an apples to apples comparison?

More people need to show up at PUSD regarding the bond. As to the Civic Center, I wouldn’t mind as long as the city coordinates it with the district and they move together (Bernal property or elsewhere).

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 11, 2018 at 9:14 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

And here is the problem and why it won’t get cheaper: Web Link

The costs don’t include asking you to rinse your recyclables (waste of precious water?) and tearing tape off of boxes and probably more actual garbage for not taking “dirty” recyclables (pizza boxes, milk cartons?).

Posted by Bella
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Living in a smaller patio home, having three required cans has been a burden because we have little to no storage space in the garage or outdoors. And we have the small cans! Our cheap neighbors stuff their small cans so they overflow and there is litter on the streets. This was not thought out well.
The City should have negotiated to require PGS to provide litter pick up and street sweeping along major public streets leading to the transfer station as their garbage trucks have debris flying off them and they do not enforce the rules to have resident vehicles secure debris. We see lumber, metal sheets, an occasional piece of furniture, etc along Valley and Ironwood as well as the periodic spills of paper, packing materials and more.
Just when I thought Matt Sullivan might be posting an objective commentary, he fell back into his paranoid accusations of evil empires, corruption, and graft. Alot of people involved with the Chamber are good people so quit the bashing Matt. Has he reviewed the contract, discussed it with the City Manager or asked questions at a hearing? Id like to know

Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 14, 2018 at 9:25 am

Flightops is a registered user.

@Jack. Good call on the PUSD bond money being spent like kids in a candy store, who oversees these clowns? Almost time to hear from the city again on why we should spend 200 plus million on their dream castle on the Bernal property, good luck getting that one passed hopefully the citizens can see through that smoke and mirrors ploy.

Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2018 at 7:16 pm

Don’t feel too great about this. We’ve always had close to the highest garbage rates in the Bay Area. When the 3-can program was passed about 10 years ago, our rates were increased to almost double what Dublin and Livermore were paying. PGS snuck this by the city council by giving us a bigger standard garbage can and then comparing our rates to the multi-unit rates in other cities. I called one of the owners of PGS at the time, called him out on this dirty deception, and he didn’t deny it. I emailed the entire city council and the mayor told me we should be proud of our little garbage company. It’s amazing what some election contributions and barbecued hot dogs at a Rotary event can buy you.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 21, 2018 at 8:06 pm

I have never been comfortable with the apparent close relationship between the Pleasanton garbage Service and the city of Pleasanton leadership, and have asked for competitive bids repeatedly. Never liked the renewal agreements two or more years prior to expiration of current agreement.

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