Every-Other-Week Trash Pick-Up Update

The City of Tacoma reports that the switch to every-other-week garbage pick-up is meeting goals for cost-savings and greenhouse gas reduction.

The every-other-week program, rolled out last year is cutting City fuel costs by 44%, for about $163,000 saved over the course of the year, according to a City press release. The City also says a lot of Tacoma residents were able to save money by downsizing their containers after the initial roll-out.

“What we found as we went out and talked to customers was that many were paying for a higher service level than they needed,” Torres explained. “By helping them get the right sized container we were able to make the proper service level adjustments for them to make the new collection schedule work.”

The latest from the City sounds like the change is working out well. What has your experience been?


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Comments

JDHasty

Why anyone would take the City of Tacoma’s word is beyond me.  The federal government is saying that many people are saving money under the Affordable Care Act, what they fail to include in that statement is the CNN Poll: Twice As Many Americans Were Hurt By Obamacare Than Helped.

Here’s the data:

If the City wants a fair and accurate assessment of how this nonsense is being received, throw the door wide open and let Lemay and other garbage collection service compete for resident’s business.

July 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

July 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

Can’t trust the city to believe that fuel costs would be reduced via cutting the pickup times in half?  Still amazed you can operate the internet.

July 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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CJ

Of course they’re saving money! They cut residents service in HALF and are still charging FULL PRICE.
Name any other business that could do something like that…. give half the service and charge full price. If a vendor did that to the City, they would cancel the contract immediately. But, the residents don’t have any choice in trash service providers, so we’re stuck with getting screwed.
The idea that people have been able to “downsize” their containers is total BS. Twice the amount of trash into a smaller container = BS.
I’m smelling two weeks worth of trash, baking in the 80 -90 degree heat at my house. I own a two family duplex / rental and the single container can’t hold two weeks worth over there… so I had to pay for another container @ $35.00 per month. I haven’t raised the rent by $15 per unit to cover the cost, so I guess I get to suck it up.
The mafia was more fair, when they ran the garbage business.

July 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jason

Everyone either got a replacement container double their original size or a second container of what they already had. So they did not cut the service in half while keeping the same price. There is no reason why your original garbage amount is now insufficient with the larger or additional can.

July 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

The service is pickup of trash and that pickup is half as frequent.  Ergo the service has been cut in half.  I suppose you could try to make the case that if there were some way for them to preventing your toilet from flushing until you had made two deposits that since the waste is eventually removed from your toilet bowl the service has not been cut, which simply isn’t the case.  I, for one, don’t like two weeks of diapers sitting around before being hauled to the dump. 

If LeMay were able to provide garbage collection at my residence I assure you that they would offer weekly garbage pickup.  I am saying that the City of Tacoma’s survey (as reported) is simply not giving an accurate assessment of resident’s satisfaction.

July 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RHTCCComedyfanRegistered

It helps combat anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions (awesome) and saves money.
My only beef with it is the dilemma if one forgets to put out the garbage (big trouble as it won’t be picked up for another two weeks.Same thing with the recycling.One has to be very vigilant and not make a mistake Before forgetting to put out the weekly garbage was a darn I missed it but workable.Now it can be a bigger smellier hardship.
I have downsized my garbage service to save money on my utility bill but have upgraded to larger recycling bins.Just last week I ordered and obtained a second 90 gallon yard waste container for my property (I need it).

July 25, 2014 at 7:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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thackerspeedRegistered

And Now This Special Report From The Mofo News Network:
(MNN Staff. Tacoma WA.)
A manufactured financial crisis may result in reduced consumer spending. Consequently, the redistribution of product waste including packaging, from seller to consumer to landfill, may decline in excess of 50%.

The reliability of municipal scheduling of waste collection from consumers may be suspect as an indicator of economic conditions, however, the opportunity to herald a municipal good deed should never be wasted. Controlling perceptions is far more important than controlling the environment.

July 27, 2014 at 7:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jenny JRegistered

I’m quite happy with the every other week pick up schedule. We were able to downsize our can and save a few bucks that way, and there are fewer mornings where noisy garbage trucks run down our alley.

It’s a win-win in my book, especially if it’s saving fuel costs, and probably ultimately man hours.

July 28, 2014 at 7:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Perhaps you would be able to save even more if the service were opened up to competition.  Maybe trash pickup every three weeks suits your lifestyle better than every other week service.  Weekly service suites me better and I would like that option and am willing to pay for it.  As things stand today it is a one size fits all service that does not please many customers.  What I said is that it is not a win-win for many residents and the solution to that is simple: Throw the door open to competition and let’s take a look at what people really prefer.

July 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Garrett

I’m also happy with the every other week pickup. Works fine for us.

Hey Tacoma, you know what we need? A blog that posts a statement or question, and then the purpose, see, would be for half or more of the commentary to consist of a whole lot of negativity and government-hating remarks, most of which would not be immediately related to the original statement or question.  The main goal would be, of course, to not propose any solutions to any of the complaints aired, but just a forum to kind of, you know, vent your general disdain for this miserable world we live in.  OH WAIT, we HAVE that!! Exit 133.

July 29, 2014 at 6:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Garrett

Actually, I have a better idea: I’ll demonstrate another possible type of commentary. Let me demonstrate taking the side of the ‘can’t-live-without-my-weekly-pickup’ people, as an example. Keep in mind this kind of discourse could be applied to lots of other Exit133 posts:

“I am unsatisfied with the every-other-week schedule. I can’t imagine we are actually saving money. I do not believe that emissions are really reduced by that much, compared to all the other types of emissions we produce.  Does anyone know how to find out how much drivers are paid, or how much the head of Tacoma Public Utilities is paid, or how much the City of Tacoma spends on garbage/recycling? And how does that compare to some other similar cities?  I imagine other cities do it better and wish we could go back to weekly pickup.”

July 29, 2014 at 6:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

You know I learned from reading all this that I could downsize my garbage can to save a couple bucks.  Just called Solid Waste Management to do that.  The 2 week service is fine for me obviously since I’m not throwing away 65 gallons of waste every 2 weeks.  I don’t understand what the big deal is, if you need to throw something away the dump is open but I think this definitely incentivizes people to recycle more.

July 29, 2014 at 9:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

You know I learned from reading all this that I could downsize my garbage can to save a couple bucks.  Just called Solid Waste Management to do that.  The 2 week service is fine for me obviously since I’m not throwing away 65 gallons of waste every 2 weeks.  I don’t understand what the big deal is, if you need to throw something away the dump is open but I think this definitely incentivizes people to recycle more.

It is more than that.  Failing pavement an other infrastructure and sub-standard service (passed of as an efficiency - when anyone who wished to downsize their service had that option already) are symptoms of a City that is on a downward trajectory.  Such services as weekly garbage pickup and maintenance and preservation of existing infrastructure are basic functions of local government and a shortfall in these areas is one of the best indicators of a municipal government’s general condition. 

Tacoma has been following the Detroit Model for a couple decades and as the City of Tacoma has gotten deeper and deeper into that mode the financial health of Tacoma has followed that of Detroit.  As things stand today the short sighted and outright scandalous mismanagement of the City’s infrastructure assets has brought Tacoma to the brink of financial ruin.  Municipal bankruptcy is on Tacoma’s horizon unless a paradigm shift in how revenues are programmed and budgeted takes place in the near future.  The inability to continue to fund basic services, such as weekly garbage pickup, is an indicator of where Tacoma is along the timeline Detroit followed into bankruptcy. 

I am no Johnny come lately to pointing out where Tacoma was headed if the status quo is allowed to continue, I have been pointing this out for decades and I have not made a single prognostication regarding Tacoma’s flaky programming and budgeting of transportation revenues that has not come true.  Call me a “hater,” call me “negative,” call me whatever makes you feel superior, but when you are so engaged in name calling…. remember this, I was right all along.  And you might want to consider this as well, what has happened in the past is the best indicator of what will happen in the future and given my track record of predicting where certain governmental policies and practices will lead the City of Tacoma I am perfectly comfortable saying that I am far more likely to be right than any of my detractors are.

July 29, 2014 at 10:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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