Posted by Allen Edwards, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:34 am
So what happens to things that are not recyclable and are not food scraps like styrofoam and milk cartons? Maybe they will just sort that stuff out at the recycling plant. Sounds like a great idea though. Hope the pilot program goes well.
Posted by Jeanie Smith, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:09 am
Pick our neighborhood! Please! Nice mix of single- and multi-family residents... :-)
I LOVE this program--I've seen it in operation in Seattle area and other NW cities, and it works great, and reduces actual "garbage" by AMAZING amounts... Well worth the slight effort it takes for people to adjust to using it...
Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm
This is a great idea! Can we implement adding food scraps to the yard waste for the whole city now? And I was not aware of the requirement to bag "landfill items such as foil beverage pouches, diapers, bathroom products such as dental floss and hygiene items, and pet waste" although I do it anyway.
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I am for the food scraps being in the green can. I also recycle everything I can, but there is still garbage. What are you to do with wood scraps when constructing a new deck? What are you to do with styrafoam, household items (tissue, paper towels) etc.? I feel that there will be some problems with this and that some people will just leave their trash around the neighborhood. We have neighbors whose house is full of garbage and with no garbage cans it is only going to get worse. The plan still needs more thinking through.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm
Not my area, please.
Bagging refuse before putting in blue can, with what? You have banned plastic bags and propose charging for paper? Does this mean now that we have to start buying bags to throw garbage into before putting it in the trash?
I think I will end up taking my trash to the local park, school, store, or somewhere so that I can just dump it altogether for someone else to bother about - not really, but certainly feel like it.
Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm Douglas Moran is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Depending on the mix of items currently going into the various carts, this change might be counterproductive. Below is an email I sent to Council on this item
I urge you to impress upon staff the need to do well-designed measurements and ensure that they are prepared to collect this information before this pilot program begins. The information in the staff report is very vague and mentions only having the _capability_ to do unspecified comparisons.
I missed the most recent presentations of the idea of eliminating the black cart, but in earlier ones, what was presented as "typical" was households putting out all three carts every week. This is not what I observe on my street on the nights before pickup.
Although I am NOT typical, my situation illustrates my concern. I live in a small household and put out the recycling cart only when full, which typically is once every 4-8 weeks. I compost most of my soft yard waste myself and put out only branches, vines,... in my green cart. Since these don't rot, I can wait until I have a full cart and thus I put out that cart only once every 2-8 weeks.
If the black (garbage) cart is eliminated, instead of putting out only that one cart most weeks, I will be forced to put out the remaining two every week. The bulk of my garbage is cat litter, which would now go in the blue (recycling) cart. But I will also need to put out the green (compostable) cart because there is almost always some food waste that I will not put on my own compost pile (insects, scavengers, smell).
I fear that the hoped for savings from not picking up the black carts will be offset by increased pickups of the other two carts and the additional expenses of processing those materials.
Posted by Unhappy Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm
In the 18th Century slave women had to wash out their mistresses feminine protection. In the 21st century the rich community of Palo Alto will be forcing poor immigrant women who work at the recycle center to sort through Palo Alto's garbage to pull out women's feminine protection, disposable diapers, animal feces, bandages all items contaminated with bodily fluids, and transfer them for final disposal, this is wrong.
Palo Alto should take responsibility for disposing of these items without forcing those less fortunate to handle contaminated garbage.
Posted by Patrick Muffler, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm
i would be less skeptical of this proposal if I knew that the City staff had actually inventoried what currently goes into the black carts. It is a lot more than kitchen waste! I suggest that the City staff get some real data by rooting through a statistically significant number of black carts.
Posted by Bob , a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:51 am
When a previous issue hit the fan regarding garbage disposal etc, someone asked if the staff dreaming this up lived in Palo Alto. Seems that NOT ONE lived in Palo Alto. I would suspect this same regulation-committee has no elderly parent to care for, no babies, no dogs, no
influenze and colds, live in apartments and don't "compost" or don't want to (that is not a social crime) and it is an all-male household. It is time for this city council to come to grips with the fact that residents are getting increasingly fed up with this 'nanny-state" with big brother at City Hall interfering in our lives. ENOUGH ALREADY!! Fix the @#$% streets. Also
PS Not everybody in this town rides a bicycle and the reportedly the thousands who go through it or into it each day drive cars.
Posted by Dan , a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:41 pm
I guess this would be OK. We would just use the blue bin for garbage and won't need to put any minimal effort into sorting recyclable items any more. garbage volume would be the same but the can color would change from black to blue. Can't bag pet waste or other items though because plastic bags are evil and banned in Palo Alto. What a yucky mess and wonderful smell when liquids leak onto the recyclable items. Since they would be picking up less maximum volume per household, I am sure our garbage bill would go down... or maybe it would go up because it always goes up no matter what. The statement will be that due to reduced garbage volumes and the extra cost of sorting the mixed trash stream a rate increase is required. We have properties in a couple other cities and the garbage collection rates are significantly lower in most cities.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm
I finally get why city of palo alto thinks this is a money saving plan. Because they take away 1/3 of the cans you currently have for garbage. Just sort everything you have in to two remaining blue and green cans.... But that's same amount of garbage in TWO cans instead of three? Residents will quickly call and say "I NEED ANOTHER CAN". And Palo Alto will gladly say "NO PROBLEM!, what size, and that will be an extra $$$ per month for the new can"
Has there been an environmental impact study done on this? It sounds like it introduces quite a bit of new plastic 'bagging' in to the environment. And what happens to recycling that is too dirty and contaminated?
Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm
@ Unhappy: The staff at the SMaRT station is very much co-ed. And they are represented and paid union scale + benefits.
The SMaRT station collects trash and recycling materials from many (affluent and not so affluent) communities in the Santa Clara Valley. Trying to pin your guilt trip attitude on Palo Alto rings very hollow.
Posted by Angry mom, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm
I just received a letter from zero waste program saying our neighborhood has been selected for the pilot program.
To members of the City council (if you guys are reading this):
I am NOT going to sort food scraps/non-recyclable trash. (Both my husband and I work full time. If I have spare time, I would rather spend it with my husband and kid, rather than going through trash cans). If you eliminate the black cart, everything is going right into the blue cart.