Town Square

PA faces big choice about garbage next spring

Original post made on Oct 2, 2007

Early next year Palo Alto will face an unprecedented choice: It must find a new garbage collector and recycler. The cartoon mascot "PASCO Sam" may be about to retire.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 3:43 AM


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Posted by Casey
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2007 at 9:55 pm

This I don't get. The compost and recycling cans are standardized, but some people have the black, square-ish Palo Alto garbage cans and others use the Home Depot/OSH/Lowe's round variety. Seems quite inefficient to have different garbage cans in the neighbor, some which can be dumped mechanically and others that have to be manually dumped. If all houses used the black, square-ish ones, wouldn't we reduce workers' compensation claims and the risk of repetitive stress injuries by not having our workers manually dump the garbage into the truck?

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Posted by Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Quotes from the web link:

"Issues include the nearly $4 Million cost by 2011 of increased re-cycling". I don't remember that cost being revealed when we went over to the new recycling system.

"The City is having a vigorous disagreement about the ownership of the trucks". Expect the city to cave and give those trucks away!!!!

Why do I have such little faith in our Utility Department?

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2007 at 11:04 am


To answer your question, we have only had the present cans a couple of years. When they came, to a great fanfare, all households were given the green and blue with an offer of a black if you so desired. You had to opt to get one but it was up to you to make the choice. If you didn't respond, you got neither. We had just bought a new one so decided not to get a black one. When we saw the efficient way the cans were emptied we changed our mind and called PASCO and within a couple of weeks, a black one was delivered. Anyone who hasn't had a black one already, can call and get one. It will take a couple of weeks, but it will come. Neighbors have since done the same and they do come.

It does make sense for us all to use the provided cans rather than our own. It also makes sense for us to put them out properly with the right side facing the street. It does help PASCO and it does look neater.

The only thing I would ask PASCO to do is to replace them neatly. I walk to our neighborhood school after our collection and the sidewalks are an obstacle course with cans left anyhow blocking the sidewalk. This makes it difficult for pedestrians, and must be horrific for anyone pushing a stroller.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2007 at 1:26 pm

With heavy lifting no longer a requirement, will we finally see women join this lucrative career?
And will we finally see Palo Alto join some Pacific Northwest cities and rail ship containerized garbage to the Northwest deserts?Probably not.

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Posted by heavy lifting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2007 at 4:35 pm

re: women
That's right, Walter. And they can push the retirement age back by a few years, too.

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Posted by CH Ncider
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 5, 2007 at 3:43 pm

'Issues include the $4 million......." Please - do you believe everything you read in the paper or think they get it right everytime?

That cost was NOT included in the discussion or approved. It was likely extracted from a previous story about the long range potential costs of Zero Waste programs post Palo Alto landfill closure in 2011 up to 2021. The Council had then said they wanted to review those costs and programs further on a case by case basis prior to approval.

I guess it's just really fun for some folks to over react act blame the City for incorrect assumptions when they don't even have the facts straight. Wonder if they can get away with that on their jobs?

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2007 at 3:55 pm

The reason I did not opt for the offered black can and continued to supply my own was that if you supplied your own, they would still retrieve it from the sideyard which is handy when you go on vacation.
In the offer, it stated the black can is required to be curbside to be picked up.

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Posted by D Riley
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 10, 2008 at 11:50 am

I don't really like the mascot - good riddance.