Monday, February 2, 2015

Reduce your garbage costs

Now that the Hayward City Council approved a garbage collection rate hike of nearly 10-percent come March, residential customers should re-evaluate their disposal habits and determine their true garbage collection needs. Doing so could offset the rate increase by manyfold.

According to the most recent StopWaste Benchmark brochure, 45-percent of what Hayward residents are discarding in their garbage carts should actually be placed in their recycling carts or green waste carts. If this is true, then the average Hayward resident may be using a garbage cart that is at least one size too large. Think about it: a 35-gallon volume reduced by 45-percent is about 19-gallons; a 64-gallon volume reduced by 45-percent equals 35-gallons; and a 96-gallon volume reduced by the same amount leaves 53-gallons. Admittedly there is a bit of incongruity here as the StopWaste survey was conducted as a percentage of weight not volume. However, it's reasonable to assume that more meticulous sorting and more conscientious consuming could reduce needed cart volume by at least one size.

If an overly large cart is currently desired for the purpose of occasional overflow, consider metering out some of the garbage to future regular pickups, a special bulk pickup, or a free transfer station drop-off (customers can get two free bulk pickups and two coupons for free transfer station drop-offs each year). Or consider purchasing a trash compactor, the year-after-year savings might justify it.

          Possible savings:

          Switching from a 35-gallon cart to a: 20-gallon cart will save $113/year

          Switching from a 64-gallon cart to a: 35-gallon cart will save $280/year
                                                               20-gallon cart will save $393/year

          Switching from a 96-gallon cart to a: 64-gallon cart will save $280/year
                                                               35-gallon cart will save $560/year
                                                               20-gallon cart will save $673/year

In addition to the above, cart based customers with low incomes may qualify for a reduced cost savings of $93/year.

To adjust cart size, schedule bulk pickups, request coupons for transfer station drop-offs or to learn of eligibility requirements for a low income rate reduction, call
Waste Management of Alameda County at 510-537-5500.
The various collection cart sizes. The 20-gallon size is the 35-gallon cart with a small bucket liner inside.

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