New waste bins, rates set to roll out in Lodi
Lodi residents should start receiving new trash, recycling and yard waste containers sometime this year as the city and Waste Management begin implementation of SB 1383, legislation that will require residents to place food waste in their yard bins.
The new bins will be green, but with different colored lids indicating what type of waste goes where.
Those with blue lids will be for recycling, those with gray lids will be for trash, and those with green lids will be for yard and organic waste.
Alex Oseguera, vice president and manager of Central Valley Waste Management, told the Lodi City Council during Tuesday’s shirtsleeve meeting that with the issuance of new trash containers, rates will increase.
Customers with 20- and 35-gallon containers will receive 64-gallon bins, with corresponding rates of $25.82 and $35.60 a month, respectively.
The new rates, effective April 1, are increases of $5 from the current costs for 20- and 35-gallon bins.
Customers who currently use 64-gallon containers will see a $2 decrease to $44.06, and those with 96-gallon containers will see a roughly $51 decrease to $49.06.
Public works director Charles Swimley said rates for customers who used to have 20- and 35-gallon bins will increase by $5 each year until they meet the new 64-gallon rate of $44.06.
Oseguera said the move from 20- and 35-gallon containers is being made to reduce the amount of monthly contamination and overstuffing of bins currently practiced by customers.
He said under SB 1383, the state has mandated that every container — trash, recycling and yard waste — is audited and reviewed to reduce contamination.
One out of every three homes in Lodi overfill their bins, Oseguera said, and the city’s recycling contamination rate is 38%, adding one in eight homes place garbage bags in the wrong containers.
The contamination rate should be 1-5%, he said.
“If you go up and down the streets, you’ll see it,” he said. “Unfortunately, you just don’t see the overstuffing of trash containers. It’s the overstuffing of trash containers, then (customers) take additional materials that were there and put in the recycling container. If it’s not enough, they put it in the green waste container.”
To ensure customers are placing the right materials in the proper bins, each Waste Management truck will have video equipment taking pictures of containers as they are emptied.
Containers for every customer will be audited, and if any of the bins contain materials that do not belong, Waste Management crews will make note of the address.
A letter will then be mailed to the customer describing what materials go in which bin. A first violation after the warning letter will result in a $50 fine.
A second violation after the warning will be a $100 fine, and a third violation will result in a $250 fine, staff said.
Customers with 20and 35-gallon bins account for 64% of the current recycling contamination, and those with 64-gallon bins make up 33%, Oseguera said.
“If we have the contamination we’re having today (after new bins are issued), we can’t send them to facilities that are cost-effective,” he said. “You’ll have to send them to facilities that have a lot more processing and a lot more costly.”
In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1383 into law, setting methane emission reduction targets for California.
The bill’s goal is to reduce organic waste disposal in landfills 75% from 2014 levels by 2025, or from about 23 million tons to 5.7 million tons.
The law requires every jurisdiction in the state to provide organic waste collection services to businesses and residents.
Organic waste includes food, green material, landscape and pruning waste, organic textiles and carpets, lumber, wood, paper products, printing and writing paper, manure, biosolids, digestate and sludges, according CalRecycle.
When these organic materials break down they emit methane, a climate “super pollutant” 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
According to CalRecycle, organic materials make up 20% of the state’s methane.
The new law requires residents to place all excess food into their yard waste bins instead of the trash.
When local trash collectors such as Waste Management collect the bins, the contents will be placed on a compost pile to create biogas, a renewable energy source that can be used as fuel for vehicles or a replacement of natural gas used for heating and cooking, according to www.nationalgrid.com.
“It seems to me like people are forgetting how to recycle,” Vice Mayor Lisa Craig said.
“Putting plastic bags in the recycling that are filled with recycling is not recycling. I think you’ve got an opportunity here for more outreach on what basic recycling is.”
Waste Management will hold public outreach and education workshops at the Lodi Boys and Girls Club on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m., and another at the Lodi Rotary Club meeting on Feb. 2 at noon.
Meetings at Hutchins Street Square and the Lodi Public Library are planned, but dates and times have yet to be determined.
The council will hold a public hearing and vote on the rate increases at its March 15 meeting. Customers should begin receiving notices next Monday.
“It’s a good deal,” councilman Alan Nakanishi said. “What you’re trying to do is make those people with 20- and 35-gallon (containers) go higher up so we won’t have contamination. For many, $5 a month is high, but it’s a good deal.”