In my opinion, city policies kill the baby to save the bathwater. All the easy recycing is already being done. Oakland has as much garbage today as it had in 1990, 50+% notwithstanding; that's not progress to me.
The 1992 deal with WMX was a disaster for recycling by putting large buildings in the mandatory service requirements (although that is not stated in the documents that Peter Slote provided me; all that is listed there is buildings with 5 to 20 units). As much as I can tell, using the 5-20 rates to apply to larger buildings is without an ordinance-based foundation, and would be an illegal usurpation by the city.
But all I want is for us to pay your chosen higher rates for multi-init buildings at what we use in actual volume garbage service. If one landlord is a crook, don't punish us all.
I think the success of Oakland's recycling program speaks for itself. Thousands of renters, whether in single-family homes or large multifamily buildings, participate in Oakland's recycling programs despite the lack of economic incentive to do so. They do this for the same reason as property owners, because they think that recycling is a meaningful and important way to take care of the environment. The garbage rate model provided by City Ordinance requires minimum garbage subscription to ensure that the community as a whole, and renters in particular, are not victimized by property owners who would save money by subscribing to insufficient garbage service, and exacerbate problems like illegal dumping and blight in our city. This solution is not ideal, and Recycling Program staff long ago identified that despite the fact that weekly recycling collection service is available at no additional cost to all Oakland residential properties, for some building owners only cash-in-pocket is sufficient motivation for them to allow their tenants access to the benefits of the citywide recycling program. Mr. Boone is incorrect in suggesting that Oakland adopted a zero waste goal and plan without paying attention to this matter. In fact, the Zero Waste Strategic Plan calls for the adoption of "New Rules and Incentives to Reduce Waste Disposal" including restructuring "Oakland?s municipal code, garbage franchise agreement, and residential recycling service contracts to provide clear and consistent incentives to reduce waste for both generators and service providers so that those who waste pay the
most." Our work on "new rules" is underway, and we are optimistic that at the very least we will improve the imperfect system we have now. Solid Waste/Recycling Program Supervisor Public Works Agency/Environmental Services
Division 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza #5301 Arthur raises a good issue, how do we incentivize apartment owners/dwellers to recycle?
From: arthur boone [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 3:19 PM
Cc: Quan, Jean; Slote, Peter; Gagliardi, Mark; Lautze, Steve; email@example.com; Dowdakin, Becky; nancy platford
Subject: Setting Garbage Rates for Apartment Houses irrespective of Recycling.
Here in Oakland, California, I have been asked to design a recycling program for a senior housing apartment house owned by the Episopal Church. The City insists that we pay for garbage based on the number
of dwelling units (195 apartments, 225 total residents) rather than based on the quantity of garbage service we actually need which will be, after program implementation, a small fraction of the 21 yards per week of current service. Has anyone had any luck getting a city to change its mind about garbage volume requirements for apartments to reward strong recycling behavio rs? Oakland declared a zero waste policy two years ago and is adopting a plan without paying any attention to this practice which punishes people (higher fees for less service) for recycling. Arthur R. Boone, Total Recycling Associates. 510/910-6451.
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