An Update on Green Waste Containerization

yard-waste-bike-path
Green waste blocking bike path in Davis

by Alan Pryor

At their July 28 meeting, the Davis Natural Resources Commission received a report from their Zero Waste Subcommittee on the status of implementation of the green waste containerization in Davis including their recommendations to improve on the previously considered roll-out programs. That Zero Waste Subcommittee report follows in its entirety after this introduction.

The report and recommendations were accepted unanimously by the NRC with a condensed final wording of the recommendations and the report to be submitted to Council.

On August 18th, the Davis Bicycle Advisory Commission met and also considered the Zero Waste Subcommittee report. After discussion, the Commission voted unanimously to accept and support the report and the recommendations in that report.

These recommendations generally specify that:

1) Single or multiple (if requested at no additional charge) 95-gallon green waste containers be provided to all ratepayers for all yard wastes and kitchen wastes (even including meat and dairy wastes). These green waste bins will be emptied once per week on the regularly scheduled trash-recycling pick-up day.

2) On street pickup with the claw be provided on an on-call basis with the individual ratepayer paying for that specialized service. Pickup details (available dates and charges) to be arranged with DWR and Staff.

3) Green waste is not be to placed in the street prior to 2 days before pick up and green waste piles can never block or extend into marked bike lanes.

4) Grass clippings must always be put into the green waste bins to minimize urban water runoff contamination(i.e. grass clipping are never allowed in green waste piles placed on the street for on-call pickup).

Given the nature of citizen activism in Davis, unanimity amongst the Commissioners in a single Commission on any one issue is not often seen. To see two Commissions with mostly disparate interests to unanimously agree on an issue of overlapping, common interest is quite rare and speaks to the strength and logic of the underlying proposal.

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ZERO WASTE SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT ON GREEN WASTE CONTAINERIZATION presented to natural resources commission

July 28, 2014

Background and Current Status

Current State law requires changes in Davis’ multifamily, commercial, and single-family solid waste management practices to meet future minimum diversion rates. To achieve increased diversion in single family residential homes, the City’s Integrated Waste Management Plan recommended that weekly pickup of loose, in-the-street green waste with the claw be replaced by use of green waste containers into which both green yard waste and all food scrap waste can be placed.

Currently, almost all cities in California rely completely on green waste containerization. Some wealthier communities in the Bay area with extensive tree canopies (e.g. Palo Alto, Menlo Park) provide seasonal green waste pickup with the claw to accommodate leaf fall while some other local communities that have recently transitioned to green waste containerization also provide seasonal pickup or on-call pickup for a fee (e.g. Sacramento and Woodland). This practice in these cities have proved to be problematic according to their waste removal management staff. Currently, only 3 cities in California (San Jose, Modesto, and Davis) still rely completely on the claw for residential green waste collection.

The City Council considered the matter of transitioning to green waste containerization on February 26 as reported in the following article by Zero Waste subcommittee member Michelle Millet in the Davis Vanguard on March 2.

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New Organic Waste Collection System Adopted – Davis Vanguard – March 2, 2014

by Michelle Millet

On Wednesday, council adopted a plan that will change the way the city collects organic material. The plan will move the city away from a strictly loose-in-the street collection method to one that combines seasonal and scheduled street pick-up with containerized collection of organic materials.

Staff presented council with the following 4 options, all of which include the distribution of a 95-gallon cart to each residence, allowing for weekly collection of food scraps and other compostable materials along with yard waste:

1) Weekly carts collection only, no loose street pick up

2a) Weekly carts collection plus seasonal street pick up & 4 free on-call pick ups other 10 months.

2b) Weekly cart collection plus seasonal street pick up & quarterly free scheduled pick ups other 10 months.

3) Weekly carts collection plus one free on call pick up (additional will have a fee).

Summary of Program Options

Option Seasonal Street Pick- up On-Call Pick-Up Weekly Street Sweeping Food Scraps Days of Yard Material in Street Potential Cost (Green Waste + Street Sweep)
Existing Yes No Yes No 365 $13.58
1 No No No* Yes 0 $12.26
2A Yes Yes Yes Yes 365 $18.50
2B Yes No Yes Yes 84 $16.40
3 No Yes Yes Yes 365 $17.98

After some discussion council voted to approve a motion made by Brett Lee that slightly varied Option 2(a). Lee’s proposal increased the number of scheduled loose-in-street collection pick-ups from 4 a year to 10 to allow scheduled monthly pickups.

After questioning DWR about the cost of the different options Lee put forward his proposal, arguing that a plan which offered a higher frequency of available street pick-up would better meet the varied needs of the community without significantly increasing the expense.

Under this plan residents will receive a 95-gallon green waste cart for yard waste, food scraps, and other compostable materials that will be collected weekly on a year-round basis. Loose in the street weekly collection will occur for 2 months of the year, and tentative dates for collection are Oct. 15-Dec 15. For the remaining 10 months of the year one loose-in-street collection day will scheduled. Council advocated for DWR to implement a consistent monthly pick-up schedule in order to minimize confusion.

While several council members acknowledged that increased cyclist safety was one of the benefits associated with a green waste containerization program they wanted to make it clear to the public that this was not the driving force behind this policy change.

Frerichs, Wolk, and Swanson all expressed concern that the city would not be able to renew its storm water quality permit if it continued with an exclusive loose in the street collection method.

Public Works Director Bob Clarke explained that city currently operates under a state-wide general storm water quality permit and the language of the permit requires best management practices. He stated that” there are a number of people in the regulatory world who don’t believe that loose pick-up of green waste is the best management practice.” He predicted that the regional board will soon decide that loose leaf pick-up is no longer an acceptable practice due to its negative impacts on storm water quality.

Mayor Krovoza focused on the composting benefits that a containerization program offers. He emphasized that for the city to reach its 75% waste reaction goal a food scrap collection program is necessary. He stated, ”We can’t go to composting of food scraps without exorbitantly high cost unless we go to green waste containerization”.

It is uncertain when DWR will be ready to begin implementation of this new organic waste collection system but it seems unlikely that it will occur this year.

Despite this delay, council urged staff to begin outreach efforts soon to educate the public about the changes that will come with this new policy.”

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Further Considerations by the Zero Waste Subcommittee

The following issues were subsequently considered by the Zero Waste Subcommittee when evaluating the different green waste pickup options under consideration by the City:

1) Annual Costs of Continued Use of the Claw under Different Circumstance Compared to Complete Green Waste Containerization

No monthly costs estimates were given by DWR for the claw use option proposed by Brett Lee (i.e. weekly seasonal pickup during a 9-week leaf fall season and once per month scheduled pickup the other 10 months of the year. Based on the calculated cost per claw pickup with seasonal pickup and 3 additional quarterly scheduled pickups, however, one can calculate the likely estimate cost per additional scheduled claw pickup as $4.14 as shown in Appendix 1.

Based on this estimate, the following ANNUAL costs for full green and food scrap waste containerization with no claw service can be compared to the DWR estimates for the various options proposed by Staff and for the “Lee” option moved by Councilmember Brett Lee at the February 26 meeting when the matter was last considered.

Option Seasonal Street Pick- up On-Call Pick-Up Weekly Street Sweeping Food Scraps Days Yard Material in Street Annual Cost (Green Waste + Street Sweep) Additional Annual

Cost Compared to Option 1ExistingYesNoYesNo365$162.96 $15.841NoNoNo*Yes0$147.12 02AYesYesYesYes365$222.00 $74.882BYesNoYesYes84$196.80 $49.683NoYesYesYes365$215.76 $52.80Lee OptionYesNoYesYesUncertain$225.78 **$78.66 **

** – Estimated based on DWR quoted prices for Option 2 adjusted for 7 additional scheduled pickups per year per the Lee Option – See Speadsheet Appendix 1).

2) Opposition to and/or Acceptance of Green Waste Containerization by Public

Some citizens have vocally complained to Councilmembers in the past about eliminating the use of the claw and completely replacing its use with green waste containerization for green waste and food waste pickup. These complaints were generally driven by the 1) the perceived inconvenience of handling the large green waste containers, 2) concern over additional space requirements for another large container on each property, and/or 3) insufficient container size/space during large green waste generated events such as fall leaf drop and seasonal pruning. Based on anecdotal observations, these complaints seem to be primarily generated by residents in neighborhoods with extensive, mature tree canopies and/or comparatively smaller plot sizes.

On the other hand, the long-running green waste containerization pilot program along 8th Street has worked very well for a number of years without any claw pickup whatsoever. This is despite the fact that many of the affected parcels along the route also have an extensive tree canopies and generally limited parcel sizes available to store additional green waste containers.

Further, although not within City limits, El Macero uses DWR for waste collection and has long banned green waste piles in its neighborhood. The only exceptions are if a resident puts out the green waste on the street on a Sunday and calls into DWR on the previous Friday or very early Monday morning and arranges for an “on-call” pickup at their own additional expense. According to NRC member Matt Williams, this results in only a few on-call pickups per year at his residence despite the fact that he has extensive landscaping and vegetation as evidenced by the selection of his home as a previous stop on the annual Pence Garden Tour.

Zero Waste Subcommittee member Alan Pryor recently performed a weekly visual inspection of the number of green waste piles in front of the 32 residences on his Brentwood Pl. street in South Davis. Over this 9-week period from May 5 – June 30, only 4 green waste piles were observed which would not be able to be contained in a 90-gallon green waste container. Two of these piles, however, were the result of multiple residences using the same drop spot for their green waste. It is further believed that use of two green waste containers for one affected home that routinely generates the largest volume of green waste would suffice to hold all of their green waste generated on a weekly basis.

Although not constituting a statistically sound survey, when 16 of these home owners were queried if they would prefer only a 90-gallon green/food waste bin OR the 90-gallon green/food waste bin with additional seasonal and monthly scheduled street pick-up with the claw for an additional cost of $78/year, 13 said they would prefer the cheaper option and eliminate the scheduled claw pick-up altogether, 2 said they wanted the claw pickup continued on a scheduled basis, and one said they did not want the green waste bin at all but wanted to rely totally on the street green waste disposal.

In addition to the cost savings, 6 of those favoring a no green waste pick-up with the claw said they would prefer only a green waste bin because of the street debris resulting from piling green waste in the streets and the fact that so much of that debris (primarily leaves) blows onto their yards during the leaf drop season necessitating additional work on their part. One home owner stated they objected to the use of the street in front of their house to pile wastes by other neighbors without street frontage, and 4 neighbors stated they felt it represented a biking safety hazard.

3) Fairness of Cost Allocation of Use of the Claw

As is clearly evidenced by the above table, under the Lee Option ratepayers who do not utilize the services of the claw during the year but otherwise rely solely on the use the 90-gallon green/food waste bins substantially subsidize the use of the claw by the few neighbors who indicated they intended to take advantage of and use the claw pick-up service if it is available. This subsidy would also extend to all apartment owners who similarly have their landscape crews or services deposit green waste on the street for DWR pickup.

4) Bicycle Safety Considerations and Impact on Future Diamond Certification by the League of American Bicyclists

Earlier this year representatives of Davis Bicycles! appeared before Council along with Steve Clark, Bicycling Friendly Community Specialist from the League of American Bicyclists. The representative Darell Dickey from Davis Bicycles! again claimed that the use of in-the-street green waste constituted an unacceptable risk to cyclists; particularly children even using the designated Safe Routes to School. Further, the representative from the League of American Bicyclists indicated that while he was very impressed with the widespread bike paths and well-marked bike lanes on streets throughout the City, he was aghast at the number of large piles of green trash on the street and strongly implied that this would be an insurmountable burden for the City to overcome and reach the new “Diamond-Level” certification. It seems completely incongruous that the City of Davis, which prides itself on its bicycle-friendly environment, would continue to put cyclists in harm’s way by continued allowance of green waste piles to remain in the streets for extended periods of time which is primarily for the convenience of a small minority of larger lot homeowners and apartment complexes.

5) Environmental Considerations

Because of the potential for run-off of organic material into the storm drain as described above in the Millet article, green waste piles in the streets presents environmental challenges that will likely result in prohibition of such disposal as currently practiced in Davis by the Regional Water Quality Control Board at some point in the future. The worst components of the current waste stream is lawn clippings because it provides large amounts of nitrogen and other fertilizers in addition to higher amounts of herbicides into the wetlands environment where the storm runoff is ultimately diverted.

6) Potential Adverse Implications on the Likelihood of Passage of Upcoming Parcel Taxes

The City is currently considering placing a parcel tax vote before the citizens by mid-next year. Raising the waste disposal rates by about $78 per year to accommodate continued pick up with the claw when green waste containerization is implemented would seemingly present a political pitfall especially if only a minority of the residents in the City would be taking advantage of the continued claw pickup service. That $78 may very well represent the bulk of or even greater than the parcel tax approval requested.

As recent polling suggests, the parcel tax measure is not viewed favorably in part because the citizens do not trust the City government to spend their money wisely. Implementation of the Lee option would send a further signal to the ratepayers that our government is willing to charge everyone for a convenience service used by only a minority of the residents. For obvious reasons, this would not seem to be a politically advantageous message to send to voters prior to a major parcel tax vote

Conclusions of the Zero Waste Committee

The Zero Waste subcommittee recommends that the City Council reconsider the proposed continued use of the claw under the Lee Option for the following reasons:

1. An unfair financial burden is placed on residents who extensively compost or otherwise would not use the claw services provided by the City but must still pay for increased residential collection rates. Less obvious is the cost of street maintenance and repairs resulting from the continued use of the claw service which burden is also shared by all ratepayers.

2. This represents a clear subsidy to large green waste generators (e.g. large lot home owners and apartment complexes) by smaller green waste generators (e.g. composters and small lot homeowners) which subsidy has not been adequately disclosed to the majority of residents who would not use this service. Further, no sampling or polling has been done by the Council to determine if continued use of the claw is wanted by the majority of residents given the large costs involved.

3. Implementation of the program as envisioned by the Lee option and honest disclosure of the costs to all ratepayers will likely have a negative impact on the City’s ability to pass a parcel tax because residents might otherwise perceive that the City government and leaders have not done enough to protect their financial interests.

4. As represented by Davis Bicycles!, a continued bicycle safety hazard is present in the streets when green waste piles are present. The continued use of the claw will also adversely affect the ability of the City to receive Diamond-level certification from the League of American Bicyclists, as well as endangering a segment of the vulnerable users specifically mentioned in the City’s newly adopted Transportation Plan.

Recommendations of Zero Waste Subcommittee to NRC

For the above reasons, the Zero Waste subcommittee recommends to the NRC that they advise the City Council to choose Option 1 of the aforementioned green waste collection Options as the most cost effective option for the vast majority of waste ratepayers in Davis.

Recognizing, however, that use of the claw pickup is still highly desired by some small segments of the population for the conveniences and potential cost savings it can provide, we believe DWR should still provide on-call service on a scheduled basis for a fixed fee exactly as is now provided to El Macero. This is actually still a greater degree of service than is now provided to the residents of 8th who do not have any claw service even if requested.

If such on-call claw pickup service is made available, we believe there should be restrictions placed on the practice to maximize bicycling safety, aesthetic, and environmental concerns, as follows:

1. To obviously improve bike safety, warnings leading(if unheeded) to citations should be issued if green waste extends in any part of a bike lane or too far into other streets or if green waste is placed on street more than 48 hours before a scheduled pickup. Otherwise bike safety could worsen as green waste could accumulate on streets for upwards of 30 days or more before pickup.

2. To reduce contamination of water runoff, lawn clippings must never be placed in the street.

These recommendations, if implemented, will provide the greatest degree of diversion of green and food scrap waste possible, consistent with Council’s passage of the Integrated Waste Management Plan, while still providing those residents access to the claw use, albeit now at their own unsubsidized cost

Containerization-Costs

Alan Pryor is a NRC Member & Co-chair of the NRC Zero Waste Subcommittee

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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123 Comments

    1. Dave Hart

      Option 1 is the lest expensive and, just like the Fifth Street road diet, will be embraced and appreciated by the community once it is (hopefully) adopted. I was originally opposed to containerization but I am now looking forward to it. What made me change my mind??

  1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    Green waste containerization for side streets is a horrible, terrible, bad and stupid idea.

    The primary concept is to solve the supposed problem of home owners leaving out large piles of yard cuttings in bike lanes (which itself is a violation of our city code). But, of course, no side streets, like the one I live on and like the ones almost everyone else in Davis lives on, have no bike lanes and no serious problems with piles of shrubbery getting in the way of bicycle or car traffic.

    The most sensible solution to the bike lane blockage problem–if it exists on an ongoing basis*–is to warn a property owner and on later offenses give him a stiff fine each time.

    Another possible solution, which may be a bit inefficient for DWR, would be to require properties which front streets with bike lanes, and any other streets where for some reason there is a problem with piles, to use green waste containers and keep the same claw-based system for properties on side streets.

    It’s not just that the claw-system works extremely well on streets like mine which motivates me to oppose the green waste containers. It’s that this proposal is inherently an attack against homeowners who don’t have the money to pay a professional landscaping or tree-trimming company to take care of their properties. I am one such person of modest means. I have a large yard (with a smallish 1960s house). We have at least a dozen trees, several of which are very large. I don’t pay a professional service to trim my trees. I do it myself. I then put out the cut branches in the street from those trees and other large cuttings from our shrubbery. I compost everything else (though not rose bush cuttings).

    It’s no big deal for people who make a lot of money to pay a professional company to take care of their yards. The pros can grind tree branches into mulch and fit that easily in green waste containers. That is impossible for anyone doing his own yard work, if he has mature trees.

    I realize there are a few other minor motivators for the adoption of green waste containers. Some of them–like the idea that this will decrease the amount of green waste going into the landfill–are totally bogus. In fact, just the opposite will surely happen. The day you have twice as much green waste as can fit in your container will be the day you put all of the extra in your garbage can. If it all went in the street, all of that would be taken away by the claw.

    Yet there are a couple of other legitimate issues: that in the rainy season some green waste put in the street will end up in the storm drains; and that some property owners suffer from bad neighbors, who block the gutter with their green waste or who pile their green waste in such a manner that it blows across the street. I think these problems are best dealt with on a case by case basis, and not sufficient to cause real harm to the thousands of Davis families who are well served by the claw and would be badly hurt by the green waste containers.
    __________

    *I have never experienced a bike lane fully blocked by green waste in Davis. I’ve been riding bikes here since we first had the first bike lane in the United States. I have experienced, however, partial blockages, where it appeared that a professional tree cutting service set out big piles and did not follow our city code.

    1. darelldd

      Yard waste containerization is very likely going to happen. And the reasons have nothing to do with the size or location of a given street. The tipping point did not come from blocked bike lanes, but instead came from storm drain permitting and kitchen scrap diversion. As things stand now, if you oppose containerization, you should be working on alternative solutions for storm drain and kitchen waste diversion, primarily. And on debunking the bike safety issue secondarily. It turns out that no matter how small the street, there is still storm runoff to consider (but not storms it seems!) and food scraps that can’t all be practically and safely composted on site. I am not well versed in the storm drain problem nor the kitchen scrap diversion. I only know that these are the main drivers that council is considering for containerization. Bike safety has been relegated to “icing on the cake” and will simply be dragged along with the process. If you oppose containerization, I recommend that you set your focus appropriately. Don’t shoot – I’m only the messenger.

      It is troubling to hear that because you cannot afford to deal with disposal of your yard waste, you feel that the rest of the rate payers should pick up the tab. What happened to fairness and paying our own way? As the NRC report asks, is it appropriate for the people who have small yards, and who generate less waste, to subsidize the people who have big yards that generate a lot of waste? Brett’s plan will equally cost every rate payer more money every month (by adding container pickup, and keeping loose waste pickup once a month). And that extra money will pay for the continued loose-waste pickup, thus subsidizing the big waste generators who would take advantage of it. With the current emphasis on what is “fair” for water rates and such, I’m not sure how this is acceptable. If I have an in-ground pool, and I cannot afford to fill it, should I expect the owners of kiddie pools to subsidize my water? It seems to be time to take personal responsibility for the unequal expenses that our properties produce. Residents of modest means and big yards can continue to have their waste removal paid by the other rate payers, or those large waste generators can take personal responsibility for their own expenses, by figuring out a modification of their vegetation, and/or their yard work practices. It turns out that even those who generate large waste piles do NOT generate these huge piles every week of the year. One idea for those large yard owners of modest means is to perform the yard work in stages, instead of all in one go. Additionally – maybe even more importantly – residents are not limited to just one green can. There is no extra cost to fill more than one container. Ask to borrow a neighbor’s unfilled container. Wait until next week to fill yours again… there are options to paying (or having others pay) for yard waste removal. And in the end, it simply does not cost all that much to have yard waste hauled away the few times per year when it might be needed. In the grand scheme of home ownership, it barely causes a blip.

      >> this proposal is inherently an attack against homeowners who don’t have the money to pay a professional landscaping <
      Or, another way to view this is that the policy that council has voted into use is inherently an attack on small waste generators who are being asked to pay the extra expenses incurred by large waste generators.

      I have yet to find opposition to containerization from anybody who has experienced it first-hand. My previous home was on a lot twice the size of my current lot, and with at last twice the number of mature trees (and infinitely more food-producing plants). I have had over 10 years of experience with green waste containerization. My mother still lives in that neighborhood, and is flabbergasted at the resistance to green waste containers from those who have never used the system. It is reminiscent of the massive problems we were going to experience after removing two vehicle lanes on 5th street. Change is often frightening as we are asked to modify the actions that we’ve become accustomed to. How could 5th street possibly work better with less? Well, we looked at how it was working in other communities that were facing similar issues, we realized that streets are not just to move cars, we realized that safety should be improved, and we realized that with a bit of effort and some changes in behavior, that we could make it work. Sound familiar? And in the end, the town is better off, even if some people had to modify their behavior more than others.

      And briefly back to the bike lanes: Having never experienced a “fully blocked” bike lane is not a strong argument against the effort to keep the lanes clear. Earlier this week there was a pile 60’ long, and the full width of the bike lane in front of Greystone apartments on 5th street by the Police Station. Of course it was not removed until regular pickup. A week earlier, 100’ of the bike lane (so completely filled that the piles spilled into the vehicle lane) was completely blocked on Pole Line just North of 5th street. The fact is, these lane-blocking piles happen almost every day in Davis. I have several hundred photos from the last three months alone, to demonstrate that they exist, even if you have avoided seeing them in person. Code enforcement has notified and visited countless residents and businesses that are in violation. The documentation of these blocked lanes exists, so little is gained by assuming it does not. Law enforcement can only go so far though – our municipal code needs to be fixed. Currently it IS legal to dump yard waste into bike lanes, as long as it does not **completely** block the lane. The grey area makes enforcement dicey at best.

      1. South of Davis

        Darel wrote:

        > Change is often frightening as we are asked to modify the actions
        > that we’ve become accustomed to.

        A friend in rural California told me his neighbors were upset when the county banned the burning of trash (and said some still do it)…

        1. darelldd

          Few people want to lose a convenience (real or perceived) that they once had, and to which they feel entitled. Same way that few wish to lose a subsidy that they once had or to which they felt entitled. 5th street is again a good example of the former. The detractors saw it has having their “right” to drive fast taken away between A and L. Not much accounting for the people who wished to travel that area safely, or by bike.

          It’s odd that the rights of OTHERS is so rarely considered. Like the people who wish to have cleaner air, in the case of burning trash. THAT doesn’t matter, because we really never had the right to clean air. Just like we don’t have the right to yard-waste-free streets. Because we’ve just never had that. And anybody who wants it is clearly an extreme activist.

      2. Frankly

        Simple. The solution is to outlaw kitchen scraps and leave it green waste… green waste that falls naturally from the trees and clogs the storm drains.

        Everyone go check out B street between 8th and 14th Street. That solution is the perfect compromise.

    2. South of Davis

      Rich wrote:

      > Green waste containerization for side streets is a horrible, terrible, bad and stupid idea.

      More often than not I agree with Rich but I think that switching to bins and finally cleaning up the city that if full of piles of yard waste, dog poop bags and random other trash is a wonderful, great, good, intelligent idea that has been a long time coming.

      > The pros can grind tree branches into mulch and fit that easily in green waste
      > containers. That is impossible for anyone doing his own yard work, if he has
      > mature trees.

      I use an 18V reciprocal saw with a long “pruning” blade and cut all the tree branches bigger than my thumb in to fire wood and 90% of the time the rest will fit in to the black trash can (if I jump on it to compact everything).

      > Some of them–like the idea that this will decrease the amount of green waste
      > going into the landfill–are totally bogus.

      Like just about everyone I know I like to keep the front of my house clean and after I mow the lawn and do yard work I put the clippings (sorry Don I don’t mulch) and everything else in my black bin. I only leave a pile in the street for the claw a couple times a year (If I had a third green bin I would never need the claw).

      1. John

        “I use an 18V reciprocal saw with a long “pruning” blade and cut all the tree branches bigger than my thumb in to fire wood and 90% of the time the rest will fit in to the black trash can (if I jump on it to compact everything).”

        Heck, you don’t need a reciprocal saw. A simple hand saw will do. The exercise will sweat a pound or two off our bodies. Good exercise. if you can ride a bike, you can pull a saw backward and forward enough times to sever a limb into two parts.

        Since Rich says he does his own tree trimming, I suspect he has either a hand saw or one of SouthofDavis’ electric reciprocal saws.

        1. South of Davis

          John wrote:

          > Heck, you don’t need a reciprocal saw. A simple hand saw will do.

          I still have my old Craftsman folding bow saw, but the power saw is “much” faster.

          P.S. After decades of buying Sears Craftsman “hand” tools with the lifetime no questions asked return policy it has been less than 10 years that I have known the guarantee also applies to “garden” tools (so now when my saws are dull, I snap a shovel digging the Davis clay or when I break my hedge clippers using the blade to dig a root out of the ground I just stop at Sears next time I am in the Arden area and get a new one for free)…

    3. David Greenwald

      Rich:

      My parents in San Luis Obispo have had green waste containerization for probably 20 years and I fail to see how it’s a horrible, bad or stupid idea.

      1. Frankly

        The picture of your parent’s house with three large ugly plastic containers stored right next to and practically blocking their door is exactly the reason that it is a horrible idea.

        It is not so much stupid as it is disrespectful. It is disrespectful for a few bike activist extremists to push making us have to find room to store a 95 gallon mega-sized large ugly plastic container in our yards that are generally smaller than average largely because these same bike activist extremists are also the first to vote no on any new housing and hence the cost of property stays so high that people cannot find or afford a larger lot.

        The model of B Street between 8th and 14th is perfect. Do that and bike riders don’t not suffer any material difference in their safety than they would with a maze of large plastic containers.

        1. David Greenwald

          “The picture of your parent’s house with three large ugly plastic containers stored right next to and practically blocking their door is exactly the reason that it is a horrible idea. ”

          That’s the side of the house and that door is the side door to the garage.

          1. Frankly

            I have 5 ft between my side Garage door and the fence. That is the normal 5ft setback that most development over the last 25-30 years has. I have 2 ft of clearance between the fence and my air conditioner. There is not enough room in front of my air conditioner to store a 95 gallon container. It would have to remain in the front yard. My home owners association would attempt to fine me for doing that. Then I will sue the city for cause to pay the fine.

          2. darelldd

            Frankly – wouldn’t everybody in your HOA be living in your same development with the same clearances? Would not the HOA members who “would attempt to sue you” also have their cans marooned in the front yard? And wouldn’t they have to sue themselves and the entire development? I’m not sure how that would work. But it certainly sounds dramatic. And it would be awesome to watch your entire development march on the council with your cans in tow.

        2. darelldd

          >> The picture of your parent’s house with three large ugly plastic containers stored right next to and practically blocking their door is exactly the reason that it is a horrible idea. <> It is disrespectful for a few bike activist extremists to push

          I don’t suppose you bothered to read anything I wrote above in my response to Rich? Containerization is not being done for cyclist safety, nor by bike activists – unless you feel that the city council is unanimous in their bike activist extremism.

          >> not suffer any material difference in their safety than they would with a maze of large plastic containers. <<

          You realize that the garbage and recycle containers are not going away, right? Adding one more during the SAME time is an incremental, insignificant issue to navigate. This isn't a case of no containers vs three containers. It is a case of two containers already in place, and the addition of one more.

          Your vision of B street perfection is ludicrous. I can't think of a better word.

          1. Frankly

            You do realize that this container will be at least 2-times larger than the other two I already store in my yard?

          2. Frankly

            B Street is the model of a perfect compromise, I did not say it was perfect. If you are pursuing perfection, then it will be one-sided perfection. Hence is can never be perfect and we will need to compromise.

          3. darelldd

            >> You do realize that this container will be at least 2-times larger than the other two I already store in my yard? <<

            You were not complaining about storing the bins in your yard this time. You were talking about the "maze of them" on the street. Thus my response about the others already being out there. And since most residents already have a 90+ gallon garbage can, adding the 90+ gallon green can is insignificant.

            Complaining about having to store it in the yard is another subject. A subject that I just don't have the energy to deal with, so knock yourself out. Yes I've seen your yard. Yes I think you are being overly dramatic in your concern of where to put it. I'm not saying a storage problem does not exist. And I understand that this is a huge deal for you. Now… can you describe the problem without seeming "extreme?"

          4. darelldd

            My fault. You were indeed complaining about both the “maze” on the street AND storing the bin. Sorry. I was only responding to the maze of cans on the street. Carry on.

        3. Dave Hart

          My support for containerization has nothing to do with bicycles. It is both workable and cheaper (Go! Option 1!, Go! Option 1!, Go! Option 1!) and a talented person like yourself can find a way to make it work. I know you can if you put your mind to it because you’re an entrepreneurial kind of guy and this is not a complicated problem.

        4. Dave Hart

          Frankly, my support for containerization has nothing to do with bicycles. It is both workable and cheaper (Go! Option 1!, Go! Option 1!, Go! Option 1!) and a talented person like yourself can find a way to make it work. I know you can if you put your mind to it because you’re an entrepreneurial kind of guy and this is not a complicated problem.

      2. darelldd

        Yeah… I had green containerization for ~10 years before moving to Davis. My mom has now had it for 27 years. And at 80 years old, she can’t imagine an easier way to garden and bring the stuff up front. But direct experience is no substitute for fear of the unknown.

    4. Alan Pryor

      The elephant in the room is the extra $79/year that everyone who will not pile their green waste in the street pays to subsidize those who do. For a person who often rails against unreasonable compensation to public employess and/or our welfare system helping low income folks, it appear Rich Rifken is quite willing to have the rest of Davis waste ratepayers pay more to subsidize his convenience of throwing his waste of the streets. But isn’t that the way it always is – if your getting the subsidy it is perfectly fine and reasonable to have others pay more so you benefit but if it takes a nickel out of your own packet then it is those free-loading welfare bloodsuckers who are destroying American values……..sigh!

      I’d like to see how the Council explains the fact that they are “taxing” everyone $79 per year for a service that really only benefits large lot homeowners and apartment house owners and then say they have our financial backs so trust them to spend a new parcel tax money wisely. There is a real disconnect there.

    5. Alan Pryor

      Rich wrote:

      > Green waste containerization for side streets is a horrible, terrible, bad and stupid idea.

      I guess that is why all but 3 cities in California have gone to green waste containerization. Rich often likes to rail about Davis citizens living in a bubble because of they way we do things differently here but it seems he is now embracing bubble living. Welcome to the Bubble Club, Rich!

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        “Rich often likes to rail about Davis citizens living in a bubble because of they way we do things differently here”

        Alan, you have the right to your opinions. However, you have no right to make up b.s. like that claim about me which I have never once uttered in 49 years of living in Davis.

        I know making up false facts is a thing of yours: It is largely how you got your bag ban passed by making up a fake story about plastic grocery bags floating in the air out of the Central Landfill on Road 28H. I ride my bicycle by their every week, have been doing so for many years, and never once have I seen that road or its sides covered in plastic grocery bags. However, the sides of that road are heavily polluted by garbage, probably just stuff which fell off of the back of pickups on their way to the dump.

        1. South of Davis

          Rich wrote:

          > I ride my bicycle by their every week, have been doing so for
          > many years, and never once have I seen that road or its sides
          > covered in plastic grocery bags.

          I also spend a lot of time on my bike and I agree with Rich that there has never been many bags flying around.

          I wonder if Rich will agree with me that there are a lot of “green” waste piles with bags of dog poop and other trash on top (and an overall mess of leaves and twigs blowing around and in to bike lanes (and the street of smaller streets w/o bike lanes).

          Davis also has a large number of “petrified grass pucks” that are formed when a (banned) grocery store bag size of clippings are poured out on the street and then flattened by a car (and the “claw” will not even try and pick it up).

          1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

            It is a code violation to put poop out in the manner you suggest is happening. I have seen that, but I don’t know anywhere that it is a recurrent problem. No one on my street (Cornell Drive) does that.

            Insofar as some individuals are violating the city code, the best solution is to enforce the code, including fines for repeat offenders. It’s not a reasonable solution to change the green waste collection process which causes great harm to every homeowner on a side street where there is no problem with using the claw, but will be very problematic with containers.

          2. darelldd

            >> Insofar as some individuals are violating the city code, the best solution is to enforce the code, including fines for repeat offenders. <<

            Just to be sure I understand what you wrote, you are now saying that enforcement of code is the best solution to violations of our green waste policy.?

            Earlier this year when I came to the same conclusion, and I was asked by the DPD to assist in green pile enforcement in bike lanes. I helped develop an web-based violation reporting tool. When I posted that tool to the Davis Bike Club listserve, you were not so keen on helping or even being supportive of this enforcement idea. You denied that there was a problem with blocked bike lanes, and you were clearly only worried about how this process of finding violations might negatively effect you personally. Instead of showing support of this “best solution” of pile violations, you tied it to a worry of containerization that had nothing to do with the presentation of my reporting tool.

            So… is enforcement a good idea… or will it just lead us down the wrong path?

      2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        Alan, I am awaiting your apology for making a false claim about me. I’ll presume you have been too busy to post since you made your mistake and won’t presume you don’t feel guilty about making up a lie about me, which, admittedly, is hurtful.

  2. Frankly

    B Street between 14th and 8th has been painted with traffic guides that seem to be the perfect solution. There is space between the curb and the first line that is a bike path when there are no green waste piles. However, there is another smaller striped section before the line of demarcation for the road.

    The city should require that no green waste pile encroach on the striped path. That then becomes the safe passing lane for bike traffic having to avoid a green waste pile.

    Problem solved.

    Move on.

    1. darelldd

      I’ll assume this is tongue in cheek. You can’t possibly envision an effective bike lane of 1-2′. Our streets are primarily there to move traffic efficiently and safely. You propose giving 6-7′ for storage of green waste, and 1-2′ for bicycle transportation when the green waste is in the way (while cars consume 11′ for travel and another 7′ for parking)??

      If nothing else, this violates our Transportation Element’s Vulnerable User Clause. But there’s so much else wrong with it, that I have trouble even getting rolling. I’ll assume you were kidding unless (he asks trembling) you say otherwise.

      As we’re all learning, paved roads are crazy expensive. Why are we using them to store green waste?

      1. Frankly

        Do you ride on those streets? I do and it works fine. A bike and rider is how wide?

        Remember that the majority of the time the bike rider gets the entire space between the curb and the car traffic line. That is at least 5 ft if not more. The striped lane is only to pass safely around the green piles.

        Frankly, because I am, arguments against this are indicative of bike activist extremism.

        1. darelldd

          I ride B street regularly, yes. If it is experience on the subject being discussed that most impresses you, I would suggest that you spend a little time learning something about street design and safety. About the standards that the state and our city have created. And why they were created.

          There’s no hope of meaningful discussion if it starts with “you either believe my opinions, or you are an extremist.”

          Would you like to try again? Or will you be sticking with your extremist view of anybody disagreeing with you as being on the fringe?

          1. Frankly

            You have a point. I don’t know if you are an extremist or not. But I bike around town enough over the 36+ years I have lived here, and I can say that I have NEVER encountered any problems with green waste on the streets. And my route from west Davis to downtown where I work has me riding down B street. And I never would have guessed that simply painting those lanes would have made such a big positive difference. And I never have a problem seeing green waste on the street… even though I have low tolerance for crappy aesthetics. And I absolutely have zero space in my yard to store another container.

            The fifth street road diet is just lane painting. It seems to have given the biking community what they wanted. I think we just need to do the same for the green waste issue.

  3. Don Shor

    I feel like I’m missing something.

    Under this plan residents will receive a 95-gallon green waste cart for yard waste, food scraps, and other compostable materials that will be collected weekly on a year-round basis. Loose in the street weekly collection will occur for 2 months of the year, and tentative dates for collection are Oct. 15-Dec 15. For the remaining 10 months of the year one loose-in-street collection day will scheduled. Council advocated for DWR to implement a consistent monthly pick-up schedule in order to minimize confusion.

    The council has voted on this issue. It’s decided. Why are these commissions revisiting it?

    1. darelldd

      The job of commissions does not always end after a council vote on an issue. It has already been publicly stated that the plan that’s now on the books is NOT the final goal for green waste. So it appears we still need to figure out that final plan.

      1. Don Shor

        Why not implement the council’s decision first? Why is the NRC going on record now to advocate for something the council already rejected? Is reconsideration of this issue even on the council’s agenda?

        1. darelldd

          Hi Don,

          As far as I am aware, this issue is not on the agenda. At the same time, nothing is ever on the agenda until it is placed there…

          Here’s my take:

          The commissions seem to feel that implementing the council’s current plan in advance of what has recently been termed “the final decision” is not in our best interest. Maybe a little like continuing with our first new water rate? In the case of the new green waste plan, a compromise that incorporates ALL options on the table is often not the best choice. Instead of just paying for loose pickup OR paying for bins, we will now be paying for both. The folks who despise another bin will be forced to have it, and the folks who despise green waste on the street will be forced to have it. Bike lanes remained blacked at LEAST one week out of every month. And we’ll all pay more for that privilege.

          1. Don Shor

            It’s a compromise. The council considered all the things that this article has put forth. Council members may not have considered them in as much detail as the commissions would like, but IMO they were balancing competing demands here. That is the essence of compromise. And it seems the NRC is simply not accepting that compromise, and wants the council to revisit the issue and vote the way the NRC wanted them to in the first place. And they want the council to do that before their initial decision has even been implemented.

          2. Mark West

            The Commissions are wasting CC, staff and the communities time and resources by continuing this fight. Implement the policy that the CC passed and move on to other priorities. We can revisit it in a couple of years when there is new data to evaluate on our storm water quality.

          3. David Greenwald

            I spoke to one of the councilmembers earlier this week, the belief expressed to me is that within a few years, we will have full containerization as the community realizes that containerization is cleaner and easier.

          4. darelldd

            All relevant points, Don.

            As I said, though – an effective compromise rarely encompasses ALL options as this one does… (complete with additive costs of all the options).

            While council did consider most of these items, they still voted for a plan without knowledge of just how much it will cost the rate payers. DWR presented costs associated with a few scenarios. Then what was chosen was a combination of different plans. The best guess is $78 per year extra for every rate payer. And if that’s in the right ballpark, and it was that easy to get people to pay (clearly nobody knows what the new rates will be) then we should have no trouble passing the extra “taxes” to do the other things we still have to fund around town, right? Has it been assumed that all rate payers have an extra $78 to budget for services that most won’t be using? How much money is $78 per rate payer? And what else could we be doing with it, if we chose not to subsidize large pile generators?

            A “compromise” that still maintains availability of loose pickup – (on-call with consumers of the system footing the bill) – makes more sense to me. It covers all the bases, and is financially “fair.”

            The one sure way to find out how much the approved plan will cost is to implement it. I certainly agree on that! Seems to me that knowing the cost up front would have been the better move. Then we could at least know up front how much the small-pile generators are subsidizing the few big-pile generators.

          5. darelldd

            > The Commissions are wasting CC, staff and the communities time and resources. <

            I too, find that subjects I don't care about, or that I feel don't effect me, are a waste of time. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Barack Palin

      I’m with Don Shor on this one. It’s already been voted and decided on. Just because a few activists don’t like the outcome they must still learn to live with it just like the what I feel majority of Davis citizens who don’t like the plastic bag ban have to now deal with it.

      1. Frankly

        While we slumber in comfort knowing that the Council voted and the issue is behind us, the activists only rev up for round #2, and #3, and #4, and #5…

        And here we understand why we cannot even compromise.

      2. Alan Pryor

        “I feel majority of Davis citizens who don’t like the plastic bag ban have to now deal with it”

        Actually, phone polling conducted by a reputable firm before the bag ban was ever approved showed over 60% of residents supported the ban.

      3. darelldd

        I’m curious where that line is – between this “extreme activism” that Frankly keeps talking about, and the civic duty of our commissioners and council members.

        Is the implication here that the only people who care to improve things are extreme activists? And that our council and commissions are filled with these extreme activists?

        Why is it that so many find the time to post their complaints here, yet fail to extend the effort to support what they think is best? Where is the time spent at council meetings? The time spent on commissions? The time spend on education about the situation? Its a lot easier to sit anonymously behind a computer screen and complain, but it sure does nothing to advance our city. When you complain about and deride those people who care enough to work for what they feel is best, I have a difficult time listening.

        I find the suggestion amusing that in this case – just because the council voted on the current plan – that the citizenship and commissions should just accept it and move along. As if that *ever* happens in Davis. Heck, that would be the death nell of the Vanguard if we all just accepted council’s decisions every time.

        The current yard waste plan is not the “final decision” and yeah… there are some folks who don’t like it. And they’re putting in the effort and research in an attempt to make it better.

        1. Don Shor

          I will avoid the term ‘extremist’, since it has been applied to me ad nauseum, and I will even avoid the term ‘dogmatic’. I see the NRC members as uncompromising.

          And they’re putting in the effort and research in an attempt to make it better.

          They are trying to reverse the decision and have their original preference adopted. There is nothing new in what I’ve read here that constitutes research. It’s a series of rationalizations on behalf of a pre-determined position: vote the way we wanted you to vote originally.

          1. David Greenwald

            I see them as advocates pushing the council and the community on issues that they believe to be important. The city and council have to weigh in on the merits and costs of each proposal and then act accordingly. In this case, the odd thing is that the supposed extremism is getting Davis into line with pretty much the rest of the state. This whole debate seems odd to me and always has.

          2. Don Shor

            The city and council have to weigh in on the merits and costs of each proposal and then act accordingly.

            Seems to me they already did. I suppose they could ask DWR to vet the number the NRC has come out with as to annual cost.
            As to what they do everywhere else, and how our family members deal/dealt with it. My parents had these containers in San Diego. Pretty big yard, and fairly active gardeners. The bin was full every week. They had nine trash cans lined up to hold the overflow from gardening until the next week. There was never enough room in the bin.
            When I went down to close up the house last winter, I found several years worth of palm fronds piled up in one corner of the yard, because they were too big to fit into the bin and the gardening service wouldn’t or couldn’t haul them away. They had been a serious fire hazard all those years.
            As I’ve said before based on my experience in landscaping, pruning services, and consulting: most people could mow their leaves into their lawns and mulch much of their debris on site. But some will need pickup services in leaf-drop season and winter pruning season, and the need for that is not evenly (“fairly”) distributed by income.
            Many people will use and appreciate the bins. Some won’t want them or have room for them.

          3. darelldd

            re. “uncompromising.”

            I’ll just point out that on-call loose-waste picukp is a compromise proposal that is NOT offered in many (most?) other containerized communities.

          4. Don Shor

            The council already enacted a compromise. The NRC — and evidently you — are not happy with it. That’s the nature of compromise. But it’s basically done. Other than finalizing what DWR is going to do, anything else about green waste should just be tabled for a couple of years.

          5. David Greenwald

            As I understand it, the council doesn’t see the compromise as a permanent solution, so the idea that the decision has been made is really somewhat inaccurate.

          6. Alan Pryor

            To Don re: “When I went down to close up the house last winter, I found several years worth of palm fronds piled up in one corner of the yard, because they were too big to fit into the bin and the gardening service wouldn’t or couldn’t haul them away. They had been a serious fire hazard all those years.”

            That’s ridiculous!. There are hundreds of lawn care services in the San Diego area that will haul yard waste away for a fee. I have a nephew who runs a landscape service in San Diego and he says the competition for any work at all is brutal.

          7. Frankly

            I’ll just point out that on-call loose-waste picukp is a compromise proposal that is NOT offered in many (most?) other containerized communities.

            Most California cities have NOT banned plastic bags, and of those that do, MOST of them are coastal communities.

            It seems that the comparison argument is used only when it is convenient, otherwise we should be celebrating our uniqueness and quirkiness.

            Keep Davis quirky then… ban big plastic green waste bins!

          8. Barack Palin

            Yes Frankly, the zealots want to have it both ways, uniqueness or fall lock step in line when it fits their agenda.

        2. Tia Will

          Darelidd

          “Why is it that so many find the time to post their complaints here, yet fail to extend the effort to support what they think is best? Where is the time spent at council meetings?”

          While I do not know the identity of many posters here, regardless of side of the issue, I did want to point out that Frankly has spent a fair amount of time presenting his views at City Council. I know, because we are generally presenting on opposite sides of the issue .
          So at least this one anti containerization activist is engaged. Which I actually find kind of amusing given that he calls others extremist activists when they advocate for their views, but considers his own activism completely rational, fact based and unemotional. ( Even when accusing me of trying to poison the children of Davis, right Frankly ? ; ).

          BP

          As for zealots, I say bring them on: definition of “zeal”

          “fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor.

          I’ll take someone who demonstrates these traits over someone who is apathetic any day whether or not they agree with me.
          The only catch is that there are those who only recognize and use the term “zealot” pejoratively when describing those whose opinion differs from their own and consider similar traits used to further their cause as determination or due diligence.

          1. South of Davis

            Tia wrote:

            > So at least this one anti containerization activist is engaged.

            Does Frankly self identify as an “anti containerization activist”?

            We all know that “activist” = “crazy person”…

            Someone that does not like putting yard waste in containers will post to blogs and go to city council meetings.

            An “anti containerization activist” will bring yard waste in to city hall and/or chain themselves to a chair in the council chambers and refuse to leave until they vote to “save the claw”…

          2. Barack Palin

            Tia Will, I like how you only used part of the word, here’s the definition of zealot.

            zeal·ot
            /ˈzelət/
            noun

            a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

            I think that word perfectly fits some of our local activists when it comes to getting their way on things like plastic bag bans and the sort.

          3. darelldd

            Thanks, Tia.

            It sure would be great if I knew who I was talking to. I have no idea who Frankly is… nor any of the other folks hiding behind their screen names. All I know about Frankly is what you’ve just said:

            He calls others extremist activists when they advocate for their views, but considers his own activism completely rational, fact based and unemotional.

            He also has a knack for making huge logical leaps.

            And it does get tiresome. It detracts from the conversation consistently.

    3. Alan Pryor

      “Why are these commissions revisiting it?”

      1) Because the Council’s decision, in their infinite wisdom, actually “increases” the volume and amount of time that some piles of green waste will lie in the street making it even more dangerous for bicyclists. Under the Council’s plan, we will have piles of waste accumulating for up to 30 days before it is even removed.

      2) Because the Council has decided to charge everyone $79/year more solely for the convenience and pocketbooks of those homeowners who choose not to use the free green waste containers. Not a smart idea to raise garbage rates by $79 right before a parcel tax of $100 or more hits the ballot.

      1. Don Shor

        Under the Council’s plan, we will have piles of waste accumulating for up to 30 days before it is even removed.

        That depends on how it is implemented.

        Council advocated for DWR to implement a consistent monthly pick-up schedule in order to minimize confusion.

      2. Mark West

        The decision has been made. The commissions should move on to other priorities. Those members who are unable or unwilling to do so should be replaced, or if they believe there are no other priorities worth focusing on, the commissions should be disbanded until they are needed again in the future.

        I don’t use the current system as I keep and process all of our green wastes (from food waste to pruned branches) on site, recycling everything back into the garden. The only change this new policy will have on me is that I will now have to find space to store a large container that I have no use for, and pay extra for the privilege. So what!

        The City is facing more important problems than re-evaluating a so far unimplemented policy.

        1. Barack Palin

          “Those members who are unable or unwilling to do so should be replaced, or if they believe there are no other priorities worth focusing on, the commissions should be disbanded until they are needed again in the future. ”

          Best post of the day. Just disband them for good.

          1. darelldd

            >> Just disband them for good. <<

            Right. Those people who donate their valuable time to causes they believe in should be dismissed. Thanks for your support.

        2. darelldd

          >>and pay extra for the privilege.<<

          Uh, no. Full containerization will cost you less than you pay now. What you'll be paying MORE for is what you are arguing to keep in place – the currently adopted plan.

          Would you like to change your answer?

          1. Frankly

            How much less? I really don’t believe that it will save the city much money at all after a full accounting. But it will definitely be a service cut.

          2. darelldd

            How much less? Does that mean you have not read the article on which you are commenting? The report makes an estimate of costs, and it would be good for you to understand these costs. And if you are still not convinced by the published tables, there are supporting documents available that show how the cost were calulated. The amazing part here is that nobody knows exactly how much the adopted plan will cost us, so we have to make a best guess. Council has passed a plan without knowing the actual cost.

            Here’s a test: Imagine how much full containerization will cost. Maybe call that “zero” or “default.” Now add loose waste pickup once a month. Will that additional service cost MORE or LESS than just full containerization?

            Question #2: You don’t “believe” it?

            So today we have three trucks rolling by every house in the city every week. The dump truck, the claw and the sweeper. With containerization, we need ONE truck rolling by every week. And we can choose how often the sweeper is deployed (not needed during those many weeks out of the year when the only thing to sweep up is the loose waste left-overs).

            So you “believe” that the cost of three trucks (and drivers) will not be less than one truck (and driver) plus an occasional second truck? How do you arrive at your belief system?

            >> But it will definitely be a service cut. <<
            It will only be a service cut to those who have been subsidized all these years. The folks with huge piles will need to pay their own way. The rest of the rate payers will be serviced at a level more inline with the money spent for the service. For most residents, the service will be superior, will cost less, and be more convenient. I know this because I have experienced it both ways for many years.

            You sound much like the pre-implementation 5th street detractors. you have indicated that you know exactly what the problems will be… before implementation, with no experience in the process, and without understanding the benefits. I understand that you are focussed on the negative aspects from your perspective. I know you don't want a bin to store. But I have great confidence in your adaptability. Make me proud!

          3. darelldd

            I mistakenly wrote:

            >> So you “believe” that the cost of three trucks (and drivers) will not be less than one truck (and driver) <<

            That should have been "three trucks will not be *more* than on truck…"

            Sometimes, I wish we could edit!

        3. darelldd

          >> The City is facing more important problems than re-evaluating a so far unimplemented policy. <<

          Yes… none of this matters because it has already been decided, and there are more important matters to attend to.

          For example, we have streetlights that are too "white" and too bright. You remember the street lights – a replacement policy that was done and decided and was being implemented until… there was outcry by the residents alerting the council that the light was bothering them.

          The "decision has been made" plenty of times…. incorrectly.

  4. Don Shor

    So, with respect to the essay Alan has posted:
    1. It was understood that continuing a dual pickup system costs somewhat more.
    2. Alan’s anecdotal observations and informal survey are in fact, as he says, “not constituting a statistically sound survey.”
    3. Costs of municipal services are often – probably more often than not – averaged across the population in a manner that could be construed as possibly unfair to one group or another at any particular point in time.
    4. The proposal reduces the frequency and duration as to when waste would be near bike lanes from the current practices, and it is noted that putting waste in bike lanes is already illegal and could be more strictly enforced by means of citizen complaints.
    5. The proposal reduces the amount of run-off from current practices, and likely meets current and near-term regulations. If the RWQ Control Board tightens those regulations, then the council would need to revisit them at that time.
    6. Speculation about the impact of this plan on the likelihood of a parcel tax passing is just that: speculation. It seems far-fetched to me that a $6.50 per month addition to the current DWR bill would have that electoral impact.

    1. Alan Pryor

      Don – Re: “The proposal reduces the frequency and duration as to when waste would be near bike lanes from the current practices”

      Not true because there are absolutely no restrictions on how long before DWR pickup that green waste can be put on the street. On a monthly pickup schedule. a heavy waste generator could start piling it up on the street the day after after the scheduled monthly pickup and it would build and accumulate for the entire month before the next pickup. So instead of having a big pile cleaned up every week, you could have a 4x big pile only cleaned up once per month. If you think our streets look crappy now with piles of green waste sitting around, wait until this this ill-advised scheme is rolled out.

      1. Don Shor

        And how likely do you think that is? But if that is a major concern of the NRC, then you could recommend that a rule similar to El Macero’s be implemented.

        1. darelldd

          >> But if that is a major concern of the NRC, then you could recommend that a rule similar to El Macero’s be implemented. <<

          Don, that is exactly what the NRC report put forward. Specifically to emulate El Macero's plan.

          Containerization, plus on-call pickup service like El Macero's. (instead of regularly scheduled pickup for the the entire city regardless of need or want.

          1. Don Shor

            That is not what I said, or meant to say. If the concern is that length of time the stuff might be in the street, they could enact a policy (the NRC could recommend the council enact a policy) regarding that as they have in El Macero: no more than ___ days before pickup. Regularly scheduled, fixed monthly schedule as recommended to DWR; add to that a provision as to how long stuff can be in the street.

          2. darelldd

            >>That is not what I said, or meant to say. <<

            Ah. Got it. The proposal is a one-week limit as it stands today. Where the limit in El Macero is basically the weekend before the Monday on-call pickup, this "one week before" business is going to be troublesome to enforce. Which basically means that it will not be enforced. One week before the Monday pickup of pickup week, is two weeks before the pickup of Friday's piles. At a minimum, a "one week before" policy means that piles are out in town at least half the month before anybody. And if it's out half the month, well, what's another few days?

            My proposal – assuming we keep the scheduled claw – is to allow two days. But no matter how you slice it, enforcement just really isn't going to work. We don't have those sort of man hours to squander on this when there's a bullet-proof vehicle to maintain and train on! (sorry).

          3. darelldd

            >> I assume it’s complaint-based enforcement. <<

            It is a bit more involved than that. Multiple complaints will move the process along faster, certainly. Think of it is moving the complaint up the priority ladder. But code enforcement is out there every day actively looking for violations as well. It's just that there are a bewildering number of code violations in the city every day, so blocked bike lanes and such isn't always a priority.

            If you want to make a difference in Davis, volunteer for code enforcement duty. No lack of activity there!

          4. Don Shor

            It’s just that there are a bewildering number of code violations in the city every day, so blocked bike lanes and such isn’t always a priority.

            Really? About how many code violations is the city enforcing every day?

          5. darelldd

            >> Really? About how many code violations is the city enforcing every day? <<

            Really.

            I can't hazard a guess as to the actual number. All I can tell you with confidence is that code enforcement duties are well beyond a full-time job. I am now part of that process and have seen it first-hand. I'll say it again: Bewildering.

            We have a lot of muni codes. How we assign priority to their enforcement is frustrating to me. You would think safety first, right? Well, maybe not so much.

        2. darelldd

          Under “recommendations” here is the part to which I am referring:

          Recognizing, however, that use of the claw pickup is still highly desired by some small segments of the population for the conveniences and potential cost savings it can provide, we believe DWR should still provide on-call service on a scheduled basis for a fixed fee exactly as is now provided to El Macero. This is actually still a greater degree of service than is now provided to the residents of 8th who do not have any claw service even if requested.

          During a recent meeting, I believe it was at least proposed to change “exactly as is now provided” to something like “similar to how it is provided to El Macero.” I am not sure if that new wording was adopted, but you get the idea.

          The whole point here is containers for most, and on-call pickup for that which cannot fit in a bin – paid for not by all rate payers evenly, but but the few who require it.

  5. Alan Pryor

    To Don re: “Alan’s anecdotal observations and informal survey are in fact, as he says, “not constituting a statistically sound survey”

    So why has the City not done a statistically sound survey as to how much green waste is really on the street and a statistically sound poll as to what the public actually wants before having us spend millions of dollars extra a year?

    Re: How many people actually generate the green waste piles: I also presented info to the BAC about the number and size of green waste piles in Village Homes last Wed eve at 8 pm (the night before their scheduled green waste pickup). Of 225 homes in Village Homes, there were only 44 green waste piles (19% of the 225 homes). Of those 44 piles, 9 constituted single or multiple piles that could not fit into a 95-gallon bin. 9 piles for 225 homes means that only 4% of households had a pile that would not fit into a 95-gallon bin. Why should 100% of the ratepayers pay to provide a service used by so few residents?

    If anyone can tell me how to post a jpg file here, I’d be happy to post the street map and locations/sizes of those piles

    1. Don Shor

      I also presented info to the BAC about the number and size of green waste piles in Village Homes last Wed eve at 8 pm


      How many were there in November? During fruit tree pruning season in January? Yard waste tends to be seasonal, as you know.

      1. darelldd

        As you point out the seasonality of green waste, please don’t miss the relevant point about the city having precious little (possibly zero?) data about how much green waste needs to be picked up, and what service would be most practical for the bulk of that waste.

          1. darelldd

            All true… but…I didn’t pose a question. I was doing my best to point out other aspects of *your* question that might be considered. Like… how many residents put out how much waste how often?

            DWR no longer does the processing, as you know. So knowing what they *used* to generate may not help us here. And it still would not tell us how many residents it is serving how often.

      1. Alan Pryor

        To Don: “You win today’s hyperbole award!”

        Your right, I should have calculated the numbers first. So an estimated 16,500 ratepayers times $79/year is only $1,303,000 and not millions. Still seems like we could find a better use for $1,303,000 a year.

    2. Frankly

      I own what is probably an average sized Davis home on and averaged size lot. I would say we create green waste piles 6 times per year on average from tree and shrub pruning and replanting of perennials, fall leaf drop, etc. Also, the garden, when we have one, tends to create 1 – 2 additional piles.

      Then about once every 5-10 years it seems we have to severely prune or remove a tree. That is a big job and it can create some big piles.

      However, the other piles can be small and compact… certainly not any bigger than a 95 gallon container.

  6. Biddlin

    Does anyone know if the containers are made of recycled material or the percentage of recycle materials used in their manufacture? Does Davis have a requirement with the hauler to use environmentally friendly containers? Does the hauler profit from the sale of compost?
    Sacramento’s greenwaste, all collected from the streets, where any oil cans or other contaminants could be easily seen, was once wind-rowed, composted, cured and sold to happy vineyards and gardeners. Waste removal is always all about the money. This program is all about enhancing the bill you pay.
    ;>)/

    1. Frankly

      The waste bins are not made out of recycled materials from what I can tell. They are made out of industrial polyethylene or polypropylene to handle the ethel alcohol that derives from fermenting green waste.

      The city might want to check with all the residential CCR because if the city delivers one to my house, I am either going to store it on my dead front lawn, or I will roll it to city council chambers on Tuesday and present it to the mayor as a return award for one of the more disrespectful decisions he has had the pleasure of presiding over.

      And if I store it on my front lawn and my home owner’s association fines me for it, I will send the bill to the city. And if the city does not pay it, I will get busy with my attorney working with the city attorney.

      What this really comes down to is rental. If the city wants to store another one of its containers on my property, they can rent space from me.

      1. darelldd

        If you follow through on any of this, please let us know. I’d seriously like to be in attendance to witness how it all goes down. Of course that may blow your secret identity. But I’m OK with that too.

        1. darelldd

          The whole residential/business differentiation thing is confusing.. and certainly muddy. I have yet to hear how this will work. It wasn’t part of the plan that was adopted, certainly. This is just one more reason why I’m not convinced that this plan was thought through completely before the deciding vote.

          As far as I know, bins will NOT be optional. But hey… since the council voted and it is a “done deal”, we shouldn’t revisit this thing… right? 🙂

          I apologize Don. I couldn’t help myself.

          Now.. more seriously – regardless of what Rich Rifkin seems to believe, the bins are going to be deployed NOT for bicycle safety, but for storm water and food waste concerns primarily. And in many instances, there are no concerns for either issue. If I were running the show (can we all breath a sigh of relief that I’m NOT?) I would allow any resident to opt out of the green bin if they assured the city in writing that they would not dispose of their green waste or compostables in the garbage. Businesses for sure should be able to opt out if they already have a means to dispose of their green waste. The businesses that have no food waste, and no green waste really shouldn’t be part of this process.

          But again… the council has voted on this, and I keep hearing that we should be happy with it, and not worry about the details that make no sense.

        1. Don Shor

          Answering my own question, a 95-gallon green waste cart is about $100 at Home Depot. How many is the city paying for? How much per? What’s the lifespan of these?

        2. darelldd

          $100 is about the going retail cost. I can only assume that a bulk purchase would be somewhat less. lifespan depends significantly on how the truck’s grabber thing (technical term, as far as I understand it) treats the bin. I’ve had several of my garbage cans cracked by the grabber. It seems that a bit more attention to that could save the city a significant amount of money. If not cracked by the grabber, it appears that the bins are quite durable and seem to last indefinitely.

          As far as I can tell, we’re going to have the green bins. I can foresee no other option at this time. So we might as well stipulate that cost – plus whatever other loose waste pickup we decide to offer. My semi-educated guess is that we would pay off the cost of the bins in less than a year if we switched from our current system to bin-only. Additionally, the cost to the average consumer would be lowered.

          1. Don Shor

            Per Alan Pryor earlier:

            So an estimated 16,500 ratepayers times $79/year is only $1,303,000 and not millions. Still seems like we could find a better use for $1,303,000 a year.

            Think we can get them for $79 each? So that’s only an initial outlay of $1,303,000. Seems like a lot to stipulate. Maybe it should be phased in, see how many people decline them — that sort of thing.

          2. darelldd

            Wouldn’t that price be convenient? Then we could pay them off in exactly one year of containerization. $79/year in the plus column from then on. At least until we crack them.

            Odd that $1.3 million seems like a lot to spend on containers, but not much at all to charge customers for scheduled loose waste pickup when only a few who need it. Why is it a lot to stipulate for bins, but not a lot to ask from rate payers? Serious question.

          3. Dave Hart

            Darell, thanks for your knowledgeable and especially patient answers to the “it won’t work” tirades. This seems like another replay of the Fifth Street diet. After living with and in some ways loving the claw, I also understand it is not the only or best way to go. Life will be better with fully containerized green waste. Even the detractors will, in time, learn how to live with these green beasts. And to Alan Pryor and the rest of the NRC, keep up the good work and don’t give in to mediocrity.

          4. Alan Pryor

            Darell & Don – $79 per year is the estimated increased ratepayer cost of using the claw seasonally and once per month for the rest of the year over and above the cost of green waste containerization alone. I did not intend for that number to be used as the estimated cost of each 95-gallon green waste bin. I am guessing DWR will get them quite a bit cheaper if they are buying 15,000 – 20,000 at a time.

          5. darelldd

            >> If someone opts out of the bin, should they get $79 credited to their account? <

            If "fair" is what we're after, then I'd need to receive a $79 credit to MY account for opting out of the claw. None of it works this way because the prices are all based on a mass scale of purchase and service. A bit like water. The bin will be like your "fixed rate" for having trash service, and the claw would be like your usage charge, when needed.

            Hey, that's pretty good. I just made that up.

            Clearly this can never be perfectly "fair" for everybody. And I do sympathize with those who will have no use for the bins.

          6. darelldd

            >> Darell, thanks for your knowledgeable and especially patient answers <<

            Thanks, Dave. Generous of you to chime in with some nice words.

            Yes, there are many advantages to the claw. No question. We're just to the point where we have to modify our behavior a bit to fix some issues that have become bigger than the claw convenience we may have enjoyed. Some of the issues are decades old, some are relatively new.

            Just like the 5th street redesign, containers don't solve everything, nor do they make everybody happy. In the end, they'll make Davis a better place to live.

          7. Barack Palin

            “I am guessing DWR will get them quite a bit cheaper if they are buying 15,000 – 20,000 at a time.”

            Hillarious, one of the people who strongly pushed for the plastc bag ban is now talking about 15,000-20,000 big ass plastic bins at a time.

          8. David Greenwald

            It’s only hilarious if you don’t understand the difference between a single use plastic bag and bins that could last 10 to 20 years.

          9. David Greenwald

            Yeah watch out Darell, those dumpsters tend to get loose in a stiff breeze and clog the waterways 😉

          10. Barack Palin

            Yeah, those dumpsters have about the same chance as a plastic bag of making it all the way from Davis to the Pacific Ocean. LMAO

  7. Tia Will

    Barack Palin

    And I like how you posted only one definition of the word “zealot”. If you go a bit further down, or higher up depending on what dictionary you are using, you will find it defined as one who exercises “zeal”. I agree with your point about not limiting expressions to slant the conversation our own way. We have both been guilty of that this morning.

  8. Frankly

    Let us all understand the true motivation for this continued push by those that are clearly in the bike activist camp.

    As I understand, the green waste issue is a potential impediment to Davis being awarded a more prestige (from a bike activist perspective) in the form of bike-friendly certification.

    This is the driving motivation for those still pushing containerization.

    It is just an ego thing.

    Go look at B Street between 8th and 14th and do the same to other streets, then tweak or municipal code, and the materiality of the problem is solved.

    But unfortunately we will still have the problem of an ego gap within our small minority bike activist community. I truly do not know what to do about that.

    1. darelldd

      > Let us all understand the true motivation.
      > This is the driving motivation for those still pushing containerization.
      > It is just an ego thing.
      > an ego gap.

      Wouldn’t it be great if everything were so neat and simple? And we could turn to you for all the answers instead of wading through all those pesky facts, experiences and differing opinions? You’re quite convinced that containerization is driven by a few people who wish for Davis to achieve the League of American Cyclists Diamond award? That no other reasons for containerization exist beyond what you apparently woke up thinking this morning?

      Containerization has been envisioned, encouraged and needed in Davis before the Diamond award existed. Containerization was encouraged and needed in Davis before the League even started handing out ANY awards for bike friendliness. Few of the countless other CA communities that employ containerization have ever been close to even being considered for a “prestigious” league award.

      Sure there are people in town who would very much like to achieve the Diamond Level award. But man… that is SO not what is driving the push for containerization. Have you not read or understood that I’ve written on these pages? This little “minority bike activist community” with the ego problem is not all that happy that the council has stepped so far away from the benefits of containerization for cycling. I’ll say it again: The current plan is not being implemented for the benefit cycling. NOT FOR CYCLING. It can’t be – because then the compromise to keep loose waste pickup doesn’t make sense, does it?

      I want safe cycling facilities in Davis. I think it would be a mockery of the League’s award system if we earned the next level while we still dump green waste in our bike lanes. I’m not sure we should be at the current award level with this sort of lazy effort toward bicycle safety and convenience. But all those feelings aside – even the mere consideration of that award is so far down my priority list that I can’t even see it from here.

      1. Don Shor

        “small minority bike activist community”
        Common disparagements also include zealots and extremists, usually applied to the selfish, change-averse, no-growth nimby farmland moat people, often with a hidden agenda. They may or may not also be moochers, looters, or feel entitled.

  9. Tia Will

    Frankly

    I am going to take exception once again to your insistence that everyone who disagrees with you is doing so only for “emotional” or “ego” reasons, or even that you have any idea at all what motivates others. Not every one who strongly prefers containerization is part of the bike activist camp. My reasons for preferring containerization:

    1) It has been the predominant form of disposal of “green waste” in every other community that I have lived in
    since I left my rural hometown therefore I do not see it as a terrible impediment to my life.
    2) I do not like the aesthetics of piles of “green refuse” in the street.
    3) I don’t like having someone else’s ( or my own greenery) strewn up and down the street by cars that
    run over it getting out of the limited parking spaces that are left available by these piles.
    4) Although I no longer bike ( preferring walking post bone breaking fall), so the biking issue does not affect me
    directly,
    but just because one cyclist doesn’t info the piles a problem, does not mean that there are many others who
    are not made to feel less safe.
    5) I have no interest one way or the other in any certificate, so there is certainly no “ego” involved in my
    preference.

  10. Biddlin

    Don, around $50/unit is pretty common for midsized accounts from, say, Toter, a major player.
    There is usually very juicy delivery contract with a “logisitics” company, for the rollout, who will deliver, en-masse, with young men, riding precariously on stake-bed trucks dropping cans at every driveway, even if you have two, until the city is saturated.
    ;>)/

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