This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 4, 2010 9:52 PM. The previous post in this blog was No-go for Renaud. The next post in this blog is Goofing on the principal on MySpace. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Freeze your garbage

If, like me, you're in charge of waste management at your place, prepare yourself for this. At our place, we already compost everything but grains, meat, and dairy. And cutting the landfill pickup to every two weeks is going to take some getting used to. But I'll bet we can do it. We're going to have to.

Comments (26)

I get the not composting meats or dairy totally -- but why not grains?

This is not new.

Sunflower Recycling was picking up separated compostables curbside in 1982.

They ran two stationary concrete mixers at their dropoff site and customers got compost back, if they wished.

Grains attract vermin. RATS.

I see from the neighborhood blurb that they are looking for experimental families (specifying two children) for a "one can a month" garbage can.

I could do that, if I went back to a standard 35 gallon can. But we don't meet the specs.

Most of the stuff that actually goes in my garbage can is messy food wrappers (high content of plastic film) and multi-material bonded packaging. Oh...and styrofoam.

Add this to the thread about Portland's appeal to families with young kids.

So, we move from weekly service to service every-other-week --> for the same cost. What's not to like?

The scariest part of that article is where the bureaucrat gleefully says this is the City government "coming right into [the] kitchen" of Portlanders to tell us to change our habits. I wish they'd stay out of my kitchen, actually.

I just keep kicking myself over not having bought a house just outside the Portland boundaries. If the housing market were not in the dumps, we'd be voting with our feet.

"If the housing market were not in the dumps, we'd be voting with our feet."
There's a lot of that going around in Portland today.

Oh well, there is still the dumpster behind Target! When I lived in SE I never had garbage service. I either took a bag to work every couple days and tossed it in the dumpster, or stopped off at one of those apartment buildings along Powell and used theirs!

If, like me, you're in charge of waste management at your place

I'm more in the production side, myself.

Ah yes. More of the "less for more" in terms of what you get for your money with PDX garbage. 20 years ago, my garbage service (Miller's) drove up everyone's driveways and serviced the cans there. Then the city monopolized garbage - aka no more competition. My part of SW got hit with hill fees (but not Alameda which fits the profile better) and we got Waste Mgt which charged a fee for anything but curbside pick-up. I could live with that latter (but it was hard on my elderly neighbors) and of course rates went up and they've kept going up.

"Details of the pilot program –including where it will take place – are still being ironed out in advance of Portland Mayor Sam Adams' state-of-the-city speech Friday, Walker said."

For Sam, it's just something he can work into a speech. Why is that?

Where do you find every other week service? I have ("special") monthly garbage service that costs more per pickup than weekly, even if you count every recycling or yard debris opportunity as a pickup. I wrote a letter about it once, and after about 3 months got a non-responsive response.
My neighbors would like to go together on weekly garbage service, but the rates don't allow yard debris service without garbage service.
I'm curious whether they know, when they calculate the rates, that when your service is on the first Tuesday, every third month has five weeks in it.
Here are the rates:

Forcing us to do something we don't want to "for our own good" and charging us more for it.

Nothing is more Portland than that.

Sorry, but I am getting a good laugh out of yet another IDIOTIC idea from Portland City Hall. Here in Reno we are paying about 40% of what we paid in Portland for weekly garbage pickup and have a can that is close to twice the size of the one we had in Portland. recycling is no big deal here. In fact, there IS NO DEPOSIT ON CANS OR BOTTLES HERE IN NEVADA. We simply toss them in the trash with everything else. And believe it or not, there is far less trash on the freeways here compared to what we used to see on I-5 in Oregon.

We switched from weekly garbage pickup to once a month pickup over a year ago. We have a small garbage can (32 gallons maybe?) and still do not fill it up completely.
We are allowed to recycle every week.
This change halved our garbage bill from appx $40 to $20 a month. Total savings a year
$240. Not exactly chump change.

We already compost, and I like the idea of separating out other waste food, but ewwww...pick up only every 2 weeks? Who wants to have THAT can sitting around in the summertime? Who wants to be the garbageman who has to pick that up in the summertime? And no, I don't have room in my freezer for 2 weeks' of food waste. And, won't that can attract rodents, racoons, and other vermin? Or even stray dogs?

We were recently able to down-size our garbage can, but we'd have to up-size it again with less-frequent service. And we'd need a 2nd blue can for non-food recyclables.

I find this hilarious because I don't generate enough trash to justify weekly pickup as it is. I called the company that does the hauling for my neighborhood to see if I could get every-other-week service, and they said that they either do twice a week, once a week, or once a month.

So, I already pay for weekly, but only put the can out every other week. I've been on this plan, but without the composting, for over a year.

I guess I should be asking for some kind of royalty payment from the city for this brilliant scheme.

OHG - not only is the idea absolutely repugnant to me, but I'm blown away by the commenters who seem to be supporting the idea. Okay, fine for you but I really hate the way government basically forces everyone to do it (sooner or later).

I moved to Texas for job reasons. Oregon just keeps piling up reasons to never move back. Once upon a time Oregon was a good state - once upon a time.

I wouldn't want to have a dog and have his, er, "production" sitting in a garbage can in the garage for two weeks, especially in the summer.
I find it a little disturbing, however, at the glee that some people seem to feel at using other people's dumpsters for their own trash, or at not having any recycling and just throwing everything away. It seems that some folks want the city to act responsibly (which it should) but don't feel that they themselves should be held accountable for their own actions.

My Mom in Renton has the food scrap recycle service. It works pretty well. It's hard to get the biodegradable bags for the food scraps sometimes. She has very litte regular trash now. She does have two enormous yard/food waste carts, a recycle cart, and the small garbage can. Luckily, she has room for the regular recycling and garbage can in the garage and the food/yard waste ones outside. I don't know the details of the cost.

"I wouldn't want to have a dog and have his, er, "production" sitting in a garbage can in the garage for two weeks, especially in the summer."

I have two kids in diapers.

So in addition to less service and more cost, you have to purchase special biodegradable bags???

Either my household's food scraps go to the composter or to my chickens (though they don't get chicken). So I don't have any leftover meats, dairy or grains. Hey, maybe if every house in Portland had chickens...uh, oh, better stop now before one of the city commissioners gets an idea.

I understand that goats will eat just about anything. And they'll ride TriMet! http://www.kptv.com/news/16478486/detail.html

Gil, I share your concern, if a city commissioner has "an idea" most likely it will turn into an Edict. In our socialist city everyone must share the idea, heck with any independent choices.

"I like bikes, I'm physically able and young, 40% of you shall ride bikes" or "40% of you shall take mass transit in SoWhat", or "I have no kids and I recycle everything from the kitchen, and you with four kids shall also recycle everything".

What would you like to tell the Portland Utility Review Board (PURB) about your suggestions for sustainability? Keep in mind the goal is to reduce waste, increase sustainability (meaning reduce green house gasses and find ways to reuse waste) reduce the number of trips made by garbage/recycle trucks and reduce what Portlander’s pay for waste pickup. Five people on the same street have far different demands and follow different consumption/recycle/reuse habits. Not everyone has chickens, not everyone composts, people who are vegetarians produce less waste and much of what waste they have can already go into the compost bin. A person with a new baby or more than one child in diapers may have a garbage can full of dirty diapers. That’s not going to wait two weeks. If one person out of the five on the street requires weekly pickup and the rest only need it biweekly, then it still means that garbage truck is using fuel to go the same route weekly. And what about plastics? A garbage can full of Styrofoam weighs the same as a few banana peals.

The city says they have performed survey’s of neighborhoods and found that a majority of people are in favor of the proposed change in litter pickup (I will let you know a reference when I find one or have one). The city has analyzed waste weights at the Metro refuse center and found 30% of garbage by weight (again, I will let you know the accredited details on the study once I have them) is from food waste. This all supports the city’s plan for a “Pilot” program to analyze the success of an increased food waste pick up program. Several metropolitan cities have implemented this program to great success and without an increase in waste pick up cost. I am not sold on it, but if a majority of constituents are in favor I will go along. Please let me know if you have any ideas of suggestions to pass on to the PURB.

Chaz, I have an suggestion. Why not have all garbage bills have inserts requesting a vote on the issue. Those that pay by computer, have payment only registered if a vote is made. Then have a requirement that over 2/3 of all garbage accounts have to have voted before any change is made.

I'm tired of having stacked committees, a few letters or emailers determine so much of our lives that is forced onto all of us. PURB is an example of Portland's numerous stacked committees that seem to run this city and gives pols absolutely questionable "endorsement" of their "ideas".

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