Allied Waste increase approved; second carts cost $8
At the July 5 Pleasanton City Council meeting, the council voted 5-1 to approve the increase of solid waste disposal rates based on the increase of the Consumer Price Index from April 2011- 2012. The increase is 2.651 percent, which comes out to 38¢. So residential rates will go from $16.71 to $17.09. Voting against was Councilwoman Jeanne B. Israel.
Mr. Rodriguez from Allied Waste explained this is an annual increase based on the Department of Labor Consumer Price Index. Rodriguez also said that Allied Waste is now dropping the rate of a second cart to $8.
“We’re dropping that rate to encourage the residents to use that second cart,” said Rodriguez. “We’re seeing a lot of families that need that second cart. Our guys have to reload it and we charge per cart fee... how you pass that on, that’s obviously your discretion.”
Councilwoman Kathy Coronado said she recalled that in the past, customers were able to place their cart to be picked up, along with one or two bags.
“Are you saying you are not going to pick it up if it’s not in a second cart?” asked Coronado.
Rodriguez then talked about workman’s compensation and how expensive the garbage trucks are.
Rodriguez then added, “It’s not really a citywide problem, but some of those, they just require that extra cart.”
After clarifying that the rate was going to $17.09, Councilman J.R.Gallegos commented that they understood the Consumer Price Index.
Gallegos then said, “People are putting out in excess of the amount they should and you all (Allied Waste) are still taking care of that. I appreciate that, too.”
Councilwoman Israel said she did not hear a clear answer from Rodriguez, that answered Coronado’s question. So she asked Rodriguez if he could clarify whether or not there is an additional charge if a resident places an extra bag or two of trash out.
“We invoice you per cart. It’s $16.71 per resident. It’s been standard that it is supposed to be per cart and that is what they were doing. Out of their courtesy... they picked up the bags or they did not pick up the bags... that was at their discretion,” said Rodriguez.
“It was two bags generally that a resident was allowed and I’m not sure where that all changed,” said Israel, “but I’m hearing that change, so I’m asking for some sort of clarification here.”
She then asked if it was known how many residents have a second cart and Rodriguez responded that 52 do.
Israel then asked that certain things be in writing, such as whether a resident can or cannot have a second bag out to be picked up.
Gallegos said that in his district, when people have additional cans out, they have always been picked up. He said he did not have any complaints on them not picking up additional trash. Magel also said they had been good at picking them up.
Israel then asked City Manager Bruce Pearson what their options were, as far as getting something in writing about the services provided. Gallegos said that was the next agenda item.
Council then moved on to the next item, discussion of options for waste disposal. Israel said in the past, their option has been to consider other bids and other companies, within 90 days of a contract renewal. She asked again about other options, as well as requiring absolute written direction, as far as the services being provided. She was concerned about the taxpayers and the fact that she just heard there is an option for the drivers to not pick up additional bags. She wanted citizens to be clear on that.
Pearson said this could be done through the media and Facebook or mass mailing. As far as options the council has, Israel asked if the city could look for alternatives when still under contract.
Pearson then gave a detailed explanation of the history of the city’s different agreements and extension with Allied Waste in the last few years. Pearson also mentioned one of the recent changes, reducing bulky trash and brush pick-up to twice a year.
Gallegos said that yes there are less times a year, but more is picked up than if the city went with bulky/brush pick-up three times a year. If the city switched to more times a year, the rates would go up sky high, said Gallegos.
Councilwoman Coronado suggested that at a later meeting, they may want to include the specifics on the second cart and that no additional bags are allowed.
Mayor Pearson agreed on the need for a current ordinance with everything spelled out. He also said Rodriguez came to the city in April about the reduced rate and therefore, some people have paid full price for a second cart when they should have paid $8. A second cart being offered at a reduced rate may help the city with excess garbage and debris, said Pearson.
More discussion ensued but no action was taken, as it was not an action item.