Integrated Waste Management Plan Calls For Green Waste Containerization Plan

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greenwaste

A few years ago one of the more controversial proposals was a green waste containerization plan.  While the city implemented a brief pilot plan at the time, ultimately, community dissent led to the city coming up with a compromise to keep green waste and tree trimmings out of the bike paths.

The city simply double-striped the bike paths with the hope that the trimmings would be confined outside of the paths on arterial roadways.

The city staff, through the work of the NRC (Natural Resources Commission), is bringing forth an Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP) which would, if approved, be implemented over the next several years to keep cost increases to a minimal level.

According to the staff report, “The approved 2012-14 City Council goals included the development of an Integrated Waste Management Plan to serve as a blueprint for helping the City meet its zero waste objectives. The City Council adopted a zero waste resolution in December 2011 which established future waste diversion targets based on City sustainability goals and updated CalRecycle state-wide waste reduction policies.”

One of the key proposals – the single use bag ban is on the agenda this week.

The NRC conducted a special Solid Waste Workshop on March 21, 2013, as part of the public review process to receive public comments and information from solid waste experts for the city to consider during the plan implementation phase.

The plan implementation priorities include both long and short-term implementation items.

“The short-term priorities include, but are not limited to, adoption of zero-waste policies and ordinances, pilot organics and green waster programs, and commercial recycling programs,” the staff report says. “Among some of the long-term implementation priorities are expansions of existing programs concerning food scraps and apartment move-out.”

Staff writes, “Many of these recommendations were supported by the NRC as part of their approval of the Plan. Upon Council approval, staff would focus efforts on these priorities and maintain communication with the Council on progress and necessary program and policy approvals. The Plan priorities would be updated annually based on implementation progress and other factors.”

The expansions of the green waste containerization pilot plan figures to, along with the single use carryout bag ordinance, be among the most contentious elements of the IWMP.   Council would approve it at a December 2013 council meeting and it would be fully implemented by December 2014.

Council would be asked to “Implement a pilot program that would expand the current 8th street corridor green waste cart pilot to include critical bike safety routes and include the elimination of street green waste collection.”

“The areas considered for inclusion in the pilot program would be consistent with those identified by the City and Bicycle Advisory Commission. The program would be coordinated with the City’s contract waste hauler with some lead time required for rolling out the pilot program,” the staff report continues.

Cost of the pilot program would also be considered, which could affect the size and areas included in the pilot program.

Staff writes, “It is recommended that this pilot program also be implemented during 2014, concurrent with the Pilot Residential Organics Program, with a customer survey process to provide important information to the Council on expanding the program in the future.”

Back in late 2007, the city implemented a green waste containerization pilot program that would distribute a “96-gallon, wheeled green waste cart at no additional charge.”  Residents would be allowed to request one additional cart free of charge and each one over two would have been $2.16 per month.

There were concerns raised at the time about the tree trimmings not easily being accommodated by the carts.

On the other hand, almost all other municipalities require green waste containerization and have done so for years.  In addition to tree trimmings representing a safety risk to bicyclists, the waste causes problems for storm drains and water runoff.

An April 2007 staff report noted, “The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) staff, in review of the City’s Storm Water Management Plan submitted March 2003, had found the current green waste management program to be inadequate. RWQCB staff contends that loose green waste in the street degrades storm water quality and emphasizes that green waste containerization or its equivalent is needed.”

“The current collection method of collecting green waste loose in the street poses safety concerns for bicycle riders,” staff reported in 2007. “The conflict between piles of green waste and bicyclists has been recognized over the years and appears in the City of Davis Bicycle Plan as an issue needing improvement.”

Staff noted that Woodland in 2006 had moved to containerize their green waste to significant city outcry.  Likewise, they wrote in 2007, “Green waste has been collected loose in the street in Davis for many years. Many citizens enjoy the ease of handling large scale pruning and large leaf piles in the present manner and a change to containers for some will not be welcomed. If the conversion to containers also necessitates an increase in collection costs this segment of the community will be even more opposed to a change.”

Ultimately, citizen opposition led to the city ending the pilot project in 2008 and the city went to double-striping its bike paths as a compromise.

In a letter dated January 24, 2008, less than three months after a November action to create the pilot program, residents were informed, “At its January 22, 2008 meeting, the City Council voted to discontinue the pilot green waste containerization program.”

Staff wrote, “Bicycle safety continues to be of concern.  The City is pursuing other measures such as enforcement, double striping of bike lanes, additional public education and improved street lighting.”

The question now, as the city embarks on this about six years after the last attempt, is whether anything has changed or whether the residents will simply resist the change and the council will back down as they did in 2007 and 2008.

One change may be with council, and the Sierra Club last spring asked the council candidates, three of whom are currently on council, to weigh in.

Lucas Frerichs told the Sierra Club, “I wholeheartedly support containerization of green waste. On the whole, Davis could collect more types of waste, including compostable waste.  It would improve safety of the bicycle corridors, which, with more people safely riding bikes, would also reduce our GHG emissions.”

“I support containerization of green waste,” Brett Lee responded.  “I think an additional container for green waste that is picked up on trash day would be a good thing.  In most cases, the container would be of sufficient size to handle all of the green waste needs of the resident. For the times when the container is of insufficient size, I would like there to be the option for a homeowner to be able to call and schedule on an as needed basis the current type of units to come and collect the green waste from the curb.”

Dan Wolk supported it as well.

“I strongly support the containerization of green waste,” Dan Wolk said in 2012.  “Not only would it reduce harmful run-off, it would also increase bicycle safety.  However, I would go further.  I would like to see a citywide composting program in place. Our city was the first in the region to adopt a zero-waste resolution, and the only way to truly accomplish that is through significant waste diversion by individual households. Some downtown restaurants are already doing so as part of a pilot program.”

Based on those fairly unequivocal responses, it would seem there should be three votes on council for green waste containerization.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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86 thoughts on “Integrated Waste Management Plan Calls For Green Waste Containerization Plan”

  1. Don Shor

    1. The containers should be optional. Many people won’t need them and won’t want them.
    2. The city should continue scheduled street pickups of yard waste, but on a reduced basis with published pickup schedules.
    Woodland went through this. Davis can adopt the policy they came up with, which is a reasonable compromise.

  2. biddlin

    Great news for the container manufacturer, terrible news for users. Containers are the perfect disguise to hide motor oil filters,old chemicals, etc and contaminate the greenwaste stream, and cyclists, just wait until you hit a 90 gallon container full of grass.
    Biddlin ;>)/

  3. odd man out

    Note: green waste is not obstructing bike paths. It often obstructs bike lanes. Bike paths are bike and pedestrian routes separated from the roadway(e.g. the Russell Bike Path and the various greenbelt paths around town).

    Bike lanes are the striped lanes on the roadway, marked for bike use, that originated in Davis back in 1967 and are found on all Davis arterial and collector streets with the exception of Russell Blvd/5th St. between the western city boundary and Pole Line Rd.

  4. SouthofDavis

    Green bins are a great idea to clean up the city and save money. We can still send out the “claw” in the fall and when people need it but 99% of the piles I ride by will easily fit in a bin (including the ~10% of piles that sit for weeks since the are too small for the “claw” but big enough for the street sweeper to drive around)…

  5. Growth Izzue

    I can’t imagine all the pollution caused and oil used in the manufacture of all those evil green plastic containers. I hope the NRC is on top of this.

  6. SouthofDavis

    biddlin wrote:

    > cyclists, just wait until you hit a 90 gallon
    > container full of grass.

    I think most cyclists would rather 1-2 days of 90 gallon containers vs. 7 days of piles…

    Why would anyone hide oil in a green bin rather the trash bin (or recycling bin)?

  7. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]I can’t imagine all the pollution caused and oil used in the manufacture of all those evil green plastic containers.[/quote]

    One time production, probably 10 to 20 year lifetime usage.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    It would be interesting to see the linkage between green waste in the storm water system and the need for waste water upgrade.

  9. Frankly

    Sorry, most residents of this city have no room to store another large plastic waste container.

    With the increase in our water costs, and now this potential requirement to stuff our green waste in another large and ugly plastic container… one gets the impression that the environmentalism agenda is being run by nuts. (i.e., cause a reduction in carbon consuming green landscaping to be replaced by a city covered in green plastic bins.)

  10. David M. Greenwald

    “Sorry, most residents of this city have no room to store another large plastic waste container.”

    That’s a weird argument, somehow everyone else in the state has managed. My parents in SLO have had an extra container for at least 20 years, maybe longer.

  11. Don Shor

    Again, Woodland has this figured out:
    “Street Piles: During leaf drop season, green waste street piles are collected weekly. During the rest of the year, street piles are collected once per month from each address and are allowed for only one week before each pickup date. See below for the leaf drop and non-leaf drop season schedules.”
    [url]http://www.cityofwoodland.org/gov/depts/pw/areas/environmental_services/solid_waste_n_recycling_home/compost.asp[/url]

  12. biddlin

    “One time production, probably 10 to 20 year lifetime usage. “
    The useful life of the container might be 5 years, if lids and wheels are replaceable, otherwise, they rot out or crack after a couple of years.
    I have about ten years of professional experience in the containerisation of waste, from 30 gal toters to 40 yard debris boxes, as a service and replacement specialist.
    Biddlin ;>)/

  13. biddlin

    And David, for someone as watchful as you, the potential for graft, in the purchase, delivery and replacement contracts should be obvious.
    Biddlin ;>)/

  14. Growth Izzue

    [quote]It all sounds like excuses to do nothing to me. [/quote]

    Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing what the people that always think they know better want. Bye the way, you’re also using “excuses” to try and push this aren’t you?

  15. Growth Izzue

    So our reasons for leaving it status quo is all just excuses to you but your reasons for going to containers are all valid? I like Don’s solution, leave it like it is with a cutback in number of pickup days. A nice savings for the city, possibly a cut in our waste bills and no mandatory plastic contianers. By the way, Davis is not SLO.

  16. B. Nice

    [quote]Containers are the perfect disguise to hide motor oil filters,old chemicals, etc and contaminate the greenwaste stream, and cyclists, just wait until you hit a 90 gallon container full of grass. [/quote]

    The same could be said about garbage and recycling bins.

  17. David M. Greenwald

    Since you’ve read past discussions with both Frankly and Biddlin, you would recognize that I was turning a line they like around on them. I’m still not sure Biddlin is series in his comments here.

    “So our reasons for leaving it status quo is all just excuses to you but your reasons for going to containers are all valid?”

    I haven’t heard your case for why “my” reasons are excuses (let alone expressed what my position or reasons are).

    ” I like Don’s solution, leave it like it is with a cutback in number of pickup days. “

    That’s not what Don’s solution is. Don’s supporting the Woodland plan which has containerization.

    As far as I can tell there is not a specific proposal here, all we have is a blurb in the IWMP.

    As is the case with the plastic bag ordinance, I expect that this will be adjusted to take community concerns into account and we may well end up with something closer to what Woodland has than the previous pilot project.

  18. B. Nice

    [quote]2. The city should continue scheduled street pickups of yard waste, but on a reduced basis with published pickup schedules. [/quote]

    The problem I have with this is that yard waste will sit on the street for longer periods of time. The longer it sits there the less of pile it becomes, and thus creates more problems for water drainage, hazards for bikes (especially for kids), and obstacles for parking to name a few.

  19. Growth Izzue

    [quote]That’s not what Don’s solution is. Don’s supporting the Woodland plan which has containerization.
    [/quote]

    [quote]

    Don Shor
    07/01/13 – 08:06 AM

    1. The containers should be optional. Many people won’t need them and won’t want them.
    2. The city should continue scheduled street pickups of yard waste, but on a reduced basis with published pickup schedules.
    [/quote]

  20. David M. Greenwald

    B. Nice: in Woodland, the big yard waste goes into the cart and lawn mowings and leaves can go on the street, it appears. I don’t understand why this is such a complicated thing in Davis, it seems to work in the rest of the country to put your waste into containers.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    Woodland doesn’t have an optional program:

    [quote]Acceptable Materials for monthly Green Waste Street Piles:

    Weeds
    Green plants
    Tree limbs
    Wood chips
    Dead plants
    Brush
    Garden trimmings
    Leaves

    Non-Acceptable Materials for monthly Green Waste Street Piles:

    Branches longer than 5 feet in length, more than 6 inches in diameter or weighing more than 50 lbs.
    Tree stumps
    Bamboo
    Soil
    Dirt
    Rocks
    Concrete
    Asphalt
    Plastic bags
    Animal waste
    Palm tree branches
    Painted wood
    Treated wood
    Fencing
    [/quote]

    “Grass clippings must always go in the green waste cart and never in the street.”

    So I’m not sure what Don supports.

  22. Growth Izzue

    David:
    [quote]I don’t understand why this is such a complicated thing in Davis, it seems to work in the rest of the country to put your waste into containers. [/quote]

    Ha ha, I like your thinking, most of the country and most California cities don’t have a ban plastic bags and it seems to work great for them,

  23. Frankly

    I support a solution to lengthen the interval between pickups and limit the days material can be put out on the street. But I don’t have room to store another container. Neither do my neighbors.

  24. David M. Greenwald

    The problem with your argument is the trend is moving away from single use plastic bags because of cost of clean up and cost to the environment.

    With regards to green waste containerization, you’re talking probably 80 to 90 percent of all municipalities with policies that extend back two decades or more in most cases. These are not comparable situations.

  25. Frankly

    I agree with Don. Optional containers and changes to the schedule and rules for curbside disposal. I might be convinced to augment this plan for requiring containers only on certain streets that are high-traffic bike lanes.

  26. Don Shor

    [quote]You seem to be ignoring that Woodland precludes putting certain yard waste in the gutter.[/quote]
    Except for grass clippings, most of those items you listed are also precluded in Davis, I believe. The grass clippings are likely considered a source of waste water contamination, which is the basis of this whole thing.

  27. Frankly

    Personally I could accept putting grass clippings in my waste bin. I have small lawns and compost so the volume of grass clippings would be small.

  28. jrberg

    [quote]Personally I could accept putting grass clippings in my waste bin. I have small lawns and compost so the volume of grass clippings would be small. [/quote]

    This is exactly opposite to the goal of integrated waste management. One of the reasons for using containers is that not only yard waste is to be diverted from landfills, but other organics as well. Kitchen scraps (food waste) will also be added to these bins. This is not possible with the current system. No one on this thread has mentioned this aspect yet.

    An historical note: the double striped bike lines were indeed tried as an alternative to containers, to keep waste out of bike lanes, but the present double striped streets constituted only a pilot project. That pilot certainly improved the bike lane clearances, but the City never expanded the project to the rest of the streets that could be double striped because of cost.

    Another historical note: When the issue of containerization came before the Bicycle Advisory Commission some years ago, a number of worthy citizens from Oak Avenue came forward and threatened to cut down their trees if the project went forward. Why they would want to reduce their property values so drastically was a real mystery….unless they were bluffing.

  29. Don Shor

    [quote]This is exactly opposite to the goal of integrated waste management. One of the reasons for using containers is that not only yard waste is to be diverted from landfills, but other organics as well.[/quote]
    The simplest thing to do with your lawn clippings, if you are not applying weed killers to your lawn, is to spread them out under your shrubs or trees (fruit trees included) or on your vegetable garden.

  30. jrberg

    [quote]
    The simplest thing to do with your lawn clippings, if you are not applying weed killers to your lawn, is to spread them out under your shrubs or trees (fruit trees included) or on your vegetable garden. [/quote]

    Classic IWM. I believe the Romans called this “mulch.” Or something….

  31. Don Shor

    They time their yardwork around the scheduled pickups if they can.

    [quote]Classic IWM. I believe the Romans called this “mulch.” Or something…. [/quote]
    Even simpler is to use a mulching mower, and leave the grass clippings on the lawn to decompose. This helps conserve fertilizer as well, as the lawn food gets recycled.
    You can actually mow very large volumes of leaves as well and let them disintegrate into the lawn. It is totally unnecessary to take leaves and lawn clippings off site. Both build soil and create much healthier, more productive gardens.
    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Ne_nFFOxc[/url]

  32. JustSaying

    “In addition to tree trimmings representing a safety risk to bicyclists, the waste causes problems for storm drains and water runoff.”

    What are the problems that tree trimmings cause for storm drains and water runoff?

    How would the containerized green waste be treated and used after getting dumped into the truck? Anything different than with the scooper system?

  33. B. Nice

    [quote]What are the problems that tree trimmings cause for storm drains and water runoff?
    [/quote]

    It clogs them, causing street flooding.

  34. B. Nice

    [quote]They time their yardwork around the scheduled pickups if they can.[/quote]

    The problem I see with this is that a lot of people work on their own yards or hire someone to do so more then once a month. Are fines imposed to those who put yard waste out early? If so how do you determine did so.

    I think the monthly pick-up works well in conjunction with containers. That way people have a place to store their waster in between pick-ups.

  35. Don Shor

    When we did landscaping we had a lot of seasonal customers for whom we did pruning. If monthly pickup had been in place at that time, we would likely have either scheduled the heaviest volume work around that street’s pickup schedule, or we would have piled the debris in the yard where it fell and come back to move it to the street just before the pickup date.
    To reiterate and amplify some basics:
    — lawn clippings don’t need to be disposed of. They can be composted or used as mulch on site.
    — leaves don’t need to be taken off site. They can be mowed into turf, composted or used as mulch on site. Nevertheless, a large part of what gets picked up in the fall is raked leaves.
    But the only things that would [i]need[/i] to be piled in the street are pruned branches and hedge trimmings, and debris from yard cleanups (weeds, etc.).

  36. jrberg

    [quote]It clogs them, causing street flooding. [/quote]

    Yes, but there’s more than that. If the clippings contain pesticides, they can be leached into the runoff. Similarily, fertilizer residues can be a big problem.

    Anyone interested in this issue, or opposed to doing anything about it, really should read the report found on the City website at:

    http://recycling.cityofdavis.org/general-notices/2013-integrated-waste-management-plan

    Intelligent comment is facilitated by informed commenters….

  37. JustSaying

    biddlin, let’s do it. Your expertise and my contacts, BFF, we can sell thousands of these plastic-intensive containers right away. Then, exchange them at an inflation-increased price in in 5-10 years. And on and on/

    Let me know ASAP so I can get the firefighters union on board for the initial step of gaining city council support.

  38. Jim Frame

    [quote]The useful life of the container might be 5 years, if lids and wheels are replaceable, otherwise, they rot out or crack after a couple of years.[/quote]

    I’m not advocating one way or the other, but the above doesn’t square with my experience. I don’t remember when the current containers were distributed city-wide — I’m guessing around 10 years ago, maybe a year or two less — but ours are original (including lids and wheels) and aren’t showing any indications of failing.

    A quick search turned up a book titled [u]Full Cost Accounting in Action: Case Studies of Six Solid Waste Management Agencies[/u], and it puts the working lifespan of the 96-gallon containers at 10 years.

  39. JustSaying

    [quote]“What are the problems that tree trimmings cause for storm drains and water runoff?”

    “It clogs them, causing street flooding.”

    “Yes, but there’s more than that. If the clippings contain pesticides, they can be leached into the runoff. Similarily, fertilizer residues can be a big problem.”[/quote]jrberg, how much pesticide and fertilizer residue ends up in Davis tree trimmings? Don’t we grind up this stuff and use it for garden mulch?

  40. SouthofDavis

    Frankly wrote:

    >But I don’t have room to store another container.
    >Neither do my neighbors.

    The average Davis yard is ~2,000 square feet. If you (or your neighbors) don’t have an extra ~4 square feet in your yards it might be a good time (after it cools off) for a little yard cleaning and/or a yard sale…

    P.S. Has anyone reading this needed a new bin in under 10 years?

  41. Frankly

    With respect to no having enough room for another bin, many homes in Davis have a 5′ setback from the property line on the side yard where you empty you house garbage. Add an air conditioner compressor unit and there is not enough room to squeeze a container by. So, you have to store the bins in front of the air conditioner unit behind the side yard gate. I don’t have room for a third bin. I checked and more than 50% of my neighbors have similar challenges.

  42. David M. Greenwald

    I’ve lived in a lot of places where they have green waste containerization and there aren’t the problems that some have suggested here. So to me, it seems like the reasons are excuses to not do it, rather than actual reasons. What are you considering my excuse for believing it is a preferred policy?

  43. B. Nice

    [quote]Yes, but there’s more than that. If the clippings contain pesticides, they can be leached into the runoff. Similarily, fertilizer residues can be a big problem.[/quote]

    I asked my resident waste water expert about this. His response:

    That is probably not that true, unless they put the fertilizer or pesticides on immediately before mowing the lawn… (unlikely they would do that.) Plus, fertilizer is more down in the soil.

    Over watering is the thing that is the problem re: fertilizer and pesticides (combined with over fertilizing and over application of pesticides.) When you let the water runoff your yard, it runs over the soil…exactly where you just put the fertilizer and pesticides. That water runs down the street and into the storm drain. I would definitely say overwatering is a much bigger problem than green waste when you are talking fertilizer and pesticides. However, I don’t know of any data to explicitly back me up on that.

  44. David M. Greenwald

    Don: The information I’m getting is from the city, but basically, the waste in the gutter is creating a huge amount the decay of the streets and the Woodland system is not going to fix that. So we are talking millions in costs over time. If that’s the case, then this thing is going forward this time and the Woodland compromise is not going to fix it.

  45. Don Shor

    This is what I support, which is what Woodland does with yard waste, as stated by Frankly:
    [quote]I support a solution to lengthen the interval between pickups and limit the days material can be put out on the street.[/quote]
    Specifically, per the Woodland site:
    [quote]“Street Piles: During leaf drop season, green waste street piles are collected weekly. During the rest of the year, street piles are collected once per month from each address and are allowed for only one week before each pickup date. See below for the leaf drop and non-leaf drop season schedules.” [/quote]
    So as to B. Nice’s concern:
    [quote]The problem I have with this is that yard waste will sit on the street for longer periods of time. [/quote]
    … that is addressed by “and are allowed for only one week before each pickup date…”.

    I also believe the containers should be optional.

  46. Don Shor

    [quote]I would definitely say overwatering is a much bigger problem than green waste when you are talking fertilizer and pesticides. [/quote]
    Oh, I definitely agree with that.

    David: [quote]the waste in the gutter is creating a huge amount the decay of the streets[/quote]
    From what? Mechanical abrasion from the claw device they use?

  47. Don Shor

    By the way, I don’t find that argument very believable. We’ve been discussing this issue for years (your first blog post on it was in 2007), and this is the first time the road wear issue has been put forth. So it sounds like a post facto rationale, and I’d have to see evidence and need an explanation as to why it hasn’t ever been mentioned before.

  48. David M. Greenwald

    Yes it’s the claw issue. You have to remember the city was trying to downplay the road issue until the current management. We also had an intense audit last fall looking at streets much closer than we had previously

  49. JustSaying

    [quote]“The information I’m getting is from the city, but basically, the waste in the gutter is creating a huge amount the decay of the streets….”[/quote]Wouldn’t it be better to attribute claims like this to the person making the statement? I’d say that any “huge” contributor to the need for street repairs would get lots of consideration. As you say, it probably could drive the green can revolution if the street impact will be “huge.” Any data for this new(?) finding? Has it been a consideration any other time during the last 10 years of critical street repair agonies?

  50. JustSaying

    [quote]“Yes it’s the claw issue. You have to remember the city was trying to downplay the road issue until the current management.”[/quote]Now, I’d really like to know where this came from since you’re saying, in effect, that “the city” hides the causes of street damage sometimes and brings it up when it’s convenient to advance another pet project.

    Come to think of it, this story also reflects a new [i]Vanguard[/i] coverage concept. A fairly straightforward, objective report plus analysis regarding the potential for at least three “yes” votes.

    The innovative approach is the point-counterpoint in the comments section where nearly every concern or argument is immediately countered until, at some point, all negative comments are dismissed as “excuses to do nothing” and “weird.”

    Can we assume that you’re really, really supporting this containerization proposal (even though all that plastic could be used to make many years worth of single-use plastic bags for our household!)?

  51. Growth Izzue

    [quote]P.S. Has anyone reading this needed a new bin in under 10 years? [/quote]

    Yes I needed a new recycle bin, the top completely broke off a few years ago.

    [quote]Yes it’s the claw issue. [/quote]

    The claw does no damage, just leaves scrape marks that go away.

  52. David M. Greenwald

    GI: What do you think scrape marks do over time?

    JS: I think you’re missing a few things. First, as the day has gone on I’ve gotten additional information in response to some of the points. Second, I’m mostly responding to the comments – many of which I think are a bit silly in light of the fact that the program seems to work everywhere else in the country. In short, don’t assume from my comments that I have particular position.

  53. Growth Izzue

    JustSaying:
    [quote]Can we assume that you’re really, really supporting this containerization proposal (even though all that plastic could be used to make many years worth of single-use plastic bags for our household!)? [/quote]

    Good one JustSaying. The hypocrisy is amazing.

  54. Growth Izzue

    [quote]GI: What do you think scrape marks do over time?
    [/quote]

    Ummm, nothing. The scrape marks are very superficial. Mostly just the dust from the green waste pile pickup. In my opnion this is another fake problem that is being pushed to acheive an agenda.

  55. Jim Frame

    Again emphasizing that I haven’t formed an opinion on this matter, I found the pavement damage notion unintuitive, so I asked a recently-retired city pavement management engineer (a Facebook friend). Her response: “Never heard any concerns about it, or seen any excessive ‘scraping’ scars either.” Not exactly definitive, but intriguing.

  56. B. Nice

    [quote]During the rest of the year, street piles are collected once per month from each address and are allowed for only one week before each pickup date. [/quote]

    What do people do with their yard waste for a month?

  57. JustSaying

    [quote]“In short, don’t assume from my comments that I have particular position.”[/quote]What is it they say about the Nile? Either that, or you’ve got an unusually unruly crowd of commenters today who need more corrections that usual.[quote] “GI: What do you think scrape marks do over time?”[/quote]That would be my question. Shouldn’t the person making the surprising, new claim of “huge decay” in our streets from the claws provide the evidence of damage? it’s just anecdotal, but there’s no visible damage in the location where our clippings have gotten picked up for more than 15 years. From time to time, I’ve seen marks from the claws but they’re no longer visible after a few days.

  58. David M. Greenwald

    I have an unusually one-sided group of commenters that make me look more partisan on the issue than I am.

    In terms of the other, I relayed information I got from the city. Frame makes a good point that requires follow up. Scrape marks over time combined with water and other pressures would seem to erode the surface, the fact that the roads seem to decline more on the edges would seem to bear that out. But Don is correct that there is no mention of this previously. So we’ll see what comes out tomorrow night.

  59. Don Shor

    I”m going to assume this was hyperbole: [quote]So we are talking millions in costs over time. [/quote]
    If it isn’t, we’d need to see the basis for the statement. Lots of things cause road wear and it would be very difficult, I’d think, to quantify that and ascribe specific costs to specific vehicles with any precision.

    I would urge the council and staff to move forward in the least intrusive way possible, allowing home gardeners and landscapers to continue to pile brush — though less often;
    educate the public about the problems of toxics in the waste stream, and
    increasing bike safety to the greatest extent possible.
    That means a compromise. There is also no point in making people take big containers if they aren’t going to use them, so allowing people to opt out should be considered.
    I understand that there are state waste reduction goals involved. But I think this may be another case where perfection could become the enemy of progress. I’ve read through the agenda item. There are some ambitious waste reduction goals there, and I think they might not be achievable without more public buy-in to the whole principle. I think staff may be getting ahead of public opinion on this.

  60. biddlin

    I don’t know what you find insincere about my comments, David. I worked in the waste management industry in the public sector as a container specialist for over ten years. I know how far shorter than 5-10 years the useful life of greenwaste containers is in the field because I serviced over 60,000 accounts for three years after a container program was instituted by my municipality. It was a great boon for the logistics company that delivered the bins and for the manufacturer . One needn’t have a great imagination to see the potential for a vendor to seek unfair advantage in winning a contract.
    Biddlin ;>)/

  61. B. Nice

    JustSaying: Can we assume that you’re really, really supporting this containerization proposal (even though all that plastic could be used to make many years worth of single-use plastic bags for our household!)?

    There is a difference between supporting plastic containerization of debris and one time use plastic bags. Plastic containerization of yard waste solves many problems, one time use plastic bags create lots of problems and have viable alternatives.

  62. JustSaying

    [quote]“I have an unusually one-sided group of commenters that make me look more partisan on the issue than I am.”[/quote]One-sided comments make anyone look partisan (even if lots of one-sided comments come from the person who protests too much).

    I await tomorrow’s presentation on the huge, expensive damage that our current practices cause. Who will be making this case for the city?

    My own feeling is that this is another one of those nice things that we could do…if we had plenty of money to throw at another slight-impact improvement. (And we hardly have enough money to provide our firefighters a healthy raise this year.) The present system works fine. Let’s take another look when the claws start approaching the end of their life.

    If the no-action alternative isn’t acceptable, I’d endorse Don’s minimum-impact, education-emphasis alternative.

  63. JustSaying

    [quote]“Plastic containerization of yard waste solves many problems, one time use plastic bags create lots of problems and have viable alternatives.”[/quote]Correct, just as one-time use plastic bags solve many problem while large plastic bins create lots of problems and have viable alternatives (already in use in Davis).

  64. Matt Williams

    biddlin said . . .

    [i]”David. I worked in the waste management industry in the public sector as a container specialist for over ten years. I know how far shorter than 5-10 years the useful life of greenwaste containers is in the field because I serviced over 60,000 accounts for three years after a container program was instituted by my municipality. It was a great boon for the logistics company that delivered the bins and for the manufacturer.”[/i]

    My personal experience concurs with Jim Frame’s. I moved here in 1998 and both the green can we loaded our green waste into and the grey can we loaded our trash into that first week in 1998 are still [u]both[/u] going strong. That will be 15 years this September. I could be wrong, but as I remember we inherited those two cans from the people we bought our house from and they lived there for just under 8 years, so our 15 year can life may actually be closer to 23 years. We do all our own gardening so our green can gets filled each week with debris and goes out on Tuesday. This morning was the very first time in 2013 where our green can had nothing in it, so it sits in its spot in the side yard awaiting next Tuesday. Bottom-line, our green can supports a seriously heavy workload and performs like the Energizer Bunny.

  65. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    I would urge the council and staff to move forward in the least intrusive way possible:

    — allow home gardeners and landscapers to continue to pile brush — though less often; [b]Don, I create at least a full green can of garden waste (with no grass clippings as we have no lawn) each week. Where do you suggest I “store” the three cans worth of green waste until the fourth week of the month rolls around?[/b]

    — educate the public about the problems of toxics in the waste stream, and [b]Good idea[/b]

    — increase bike safety to the greatest extent possible.

    That means a compromise. There is also no point in making people take big containers if they aren’t going to use them, so allowing people to opt out should be considered. [b]I agree. When my yard creates more than one green can’s worth of clippings, my neighbors let me use their green can for my excess. That kind of neighbor-to-neighbor cooperation could support the sharing of a single can amongst neighbors.[/b]

    I understand that there are state waste reduction goals involved. [b]Based on our discussions at the NRC, the primary driving force behind green waste containerization is not achieving state goals, it is much more about public safety within our community, and efficient use of resources. Based on my discussions with citizens on this issue, some members of the public would add aesthetics and increased property values as primary driving forces as well.[/b]

    But I think this may be another case where perfection could become the enemy of progress. I’ve read through the agenda item. There are some ambitious waste reduction goals there, and I think they might not be achievable without more public buy-in to the whole principle. I think staff may be getting ahead of public opinion on this. [b]Don, when have you ever seen public opinion rise to an “educated level of awareness” without a crisis to drive it? All someone has to do to get educated on the benefits of green waste containerization is to spend one week driving through El Macero. Wednesday through Saturday = clean streets, lots of walkers and bikers (best biking neighborhood in Davis), lots of gardening and lawn mowing. Sunday = over 95% clean streets (a few “overflow piles” appear for Monday pickup), even more walkers and bikers. Monday = clean streets again after the occasional “overflow piles” are picked up by the claw (at a fee of $4.00 per 5x5x5 pile), lots of walkers and bikers, Tuesday = green, grey and blue cans come out in the morning and are placed in the bike lane for pickup. The only compromised day for biking safety, so biking activity is down in the morning, but since almost all the cans are off the street by 6:00 pm, the bikers are back out in force in the evening. Walking goes on unabated all day.

    The week described above has gone on like clockwork every week for the 15 years that I have lived here. Neat, clean, environmentally responsible, safe, and good for cardiovascular health. If Davis public opinion can’t get that message in 15 years of trying, what makes you think there is any reason it will “get it” anytime in the future?[/b]

  66. JustSaying

    “I create at least a full green can of garden waste (with no grass clippings as we have no lawn) each week….”

    Geez, Matt, are running an orchard or Christmas tree farm out of your backyard? We’ve got the largest yard in our neighborhood, with almost no grass involved. We wouldn’t have have close to a can of garden waste in a week except during the few times we’re pruning bushes and trees. And, on those occasions it would be a pain to chop up those into can-size pieces and try to jam them in.

    Why not give every household a composter if they agree not to dump grass and leaves (and some food waste?)? Why do we want to haul this stuff and deal with it off-site.

  67. B. Nice

    [quote]My original quote: “Plastic containerization of yard waste solves many problems, one time use plastic bags create lots of problems and have viable alternatives.”
    [/quote]

    [quote]Justing Saying: Correct, just as one-time use plastic bags solve many problem while large plastic bins create lots of problems and have viable alternatives (already in use in Davis).[/quote]

    I didn’t explain my position well enough. Single use plastic bags cause a lot of problems. There is a cheap and convenient option available that serves the same purpose, getting your purchases from the store to your destination. (I’m still trying to figure out why people care so much about what kind of bag their groceries come in).***

    Green waste collection is great. But there are, I’d argue, significant problem with the way its being implemented which could be fixed by REUSING the same plastic containers over many years. (I among the people who still have their original garbage and recycling bins).

    I guess I don’t see how this stance is hypocritical…..

    ***I understand that documentation of paper bags is cumbersome for business owners and don’t have an issue with this part of initiative being removed.

  68. David M. Greenwald

    Don: Why are you assuming hyperbole on the millions, did you see where the estimated cost went over a three year period?

    My source tells me it doesn’t take a lot of abrasion to break the street’s seal. Then all you have to do is look at the expert’s presentation on the impact of water intrusion and the breakdown of the pavement to see the impact.

    Unfortunately it looks like we won’t get these answered tomorrow, but when the city has to come back when they put the actual plan in motion for greenwaste.

  69. Growth Izzue

    I read today in the Enterprise that we’re going to be charged more to pick up our garbage and green waste. Slap that on top of the tripling of our water rates, a possible flouridation fee, a paper bag fee, talk about parking fees and the ever increasing school parcel taxes it’s getting pretty expensive to live in Davis.

  70. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”For many reasons, I don’t think El Macero compares to the rest of Davis in a meaningful way in this discussion.”[/i]

    That is a very curious statement Don. Could you please share those reasons? I am quite comfortable that El Macero is very representative of Davis as a whole on this issue. I would go further and say that the typical El Macero yard using a green can creates more green waste than the vast majority of Davis yards . . . the overwhelming majority.

  71. Matt Williams

    JustSaying said . . .

    [i]”Geez, Matt, are running an orchard or Christmas tree farm out of your backyard?”[/i]

    No, just a garden that provides my wife and me with a never-ending, ever-changing conucopia of blooming plants, shrubs and trees. If you had come to the Pence Gallery Garden Tour in early May you’d have gotten a chance to see it first hand. The orchard part does contain three fig trees, two orange trees, two meyer lemon trees, a persimmon tree, three olive trees, and four table grape vines. No Christmas trees though, only Mugo Pines. We also have three mature 40-foot tall Xylosma trees that we prune every other year.

    [i]”We’ve got the largest yard in our neighborhood, with almost no grass involved. We wouldn’t have have close to a can of garden waste in a week except during the few times we’re pruning bushes and trees.”[/i]

    Its all a matter of plant choices. Our oleanders grow approximately six feet of growth each year. Pittisporums produce almost as much. In the 60 days since the Garden Tour, the oranges have produced over three feet of sucker growth all across their respective 15 foot diameter of foliage crown.

    Bottom-line, we work our green can very hard . . . and it serves us very well

    [i]”And, on those occasions it would be a pain to chop up those into can-size pieces and try to jam them in.”[/i]

    Come on JS, a pain? I do it all the time. With a good pair of loppers you can cut them up in virtually no time at all . . . and in the process get some healthy exercise. With that said, when we have a lot of oleander prunings with particularly long stems (often 8-10 feet in length) we will put them in a 5 foot by 5 foot by 5 foot pile on the street on Sunday and call DWR for a Monday claw pick-up. Each pile costs us $4.00 over and above the standard green can monthly fee. So we can get less exercise (or if you prefer experience less pain) and lighten our wallet by $4.00. We probably make 4-5 such calls each year. We had 2 in April leading up to the May Garden Tour. We will have 2-3 more in the fall.

    [i]”Why not give every household a composter if they agree not to dump grass and leaves (and some food waste?)? Why do we want to haul this stuff and deal with it off-site.”[/i]

    I built a sizable compost bin on the back edge of our property a couple years ago, and it filled to overflowing in less than half a growing season. Using DWR as a bulk composter makes practical sense.

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