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[GreenYes] Re: Single Stream Using 18-gallon Curbside as opposed to Carts?

On January 1, 2006, Omaha switched to single stream and continued with
18 gallon bins. Omaha does everything by contract (collection,
processing) for all materials (recyclables, yardwaste, garbage). It
simply came down to cost. Carts are not used for any materials. For
garbage residents provide their own 32 gallon cans or use clear trash
bags. Yardwaste used 32 gallon cans or paper bags. By state law
Omaha can't charge residents solid waste collection. The general
revenue fund must pay for all of the expenses. Since it is by
contract, worker's comp isn't a compelling issue. Our current
contracts don't preclude carts, however the city won't pay anything
more for that service. The City pays for replacement and additional
bins. These contracts are for 10 years with one 5 year extension
possible. Garbage and recyclables (combined price) are collected for
$5.14 per household per month (adjusted annually, at rate of 75% of
Kansas City CPI). The relative annual cost per household (122,000
households in Omaha) for providing all solid waste services is just
over $102 (this was an estimate calculated before 2006. I haven't had
time to gather the numbers and calculate for real. My hunch is that
we are actually under $102.).

Going to single stream wasn't an easy one. Omaha had a Chicago style
blue bag program before Chicago did, and it wasn't well liked.
Puttling recyclables in a "garbage" truck would look like a step
backwards to the public. Omaha changed to curbside sort in 1996.
When we switched to single stream, we also dropped glass from curbside
collection (glass is still collected at drop-off sites). Again, not
an easy decision, but one that we are generally pleased with. Glass
was previously 10% of the total weight (curb & drop-off). For 2006
our total weight (curb only) was only down by 5.2% so there has been a
boost in recycling for other materials or more people are recycling.
Recyclables collected are ONP, RMP, OCC, PETE bottles, HDPE bottles &
snap top, UBC, steel cans, aerosol cans, and aluminum & steel license

As for cart's I'm not a huge advocate of them for recyclables. Having
observed several single stream operations prior to writing our
contract, my observation was that for many people this container was
just another garbage can. The amount of residual was way to high in
my opinion, and according to my guide had been increasing. Omaha's
residual is very low (no exact numbers, just observation, because the
processor takes in material from more than Omaha). I would never
advocate for fully automated collection of single stream recyclables.
Semi-automated, where the collector can observe what's in the
container. Litter is definately an issue with open top containers
especially with the winter winds Omaha has, but with some public
education and now that we no longer have curbside sorting it is much
better. Much of Omaha is very hilly, we have a bunch of alley
collection areas and in the older part of the city there is a lot of
on street parking all of these make fully automated out of the
question and would make semi automated a real challenge. No
contractor would want to have two sets of collection trucks.

Landfill tipping fee is $22.24/ton. Recyclables tip revenue is
adjusted monthly based relative to Official Board Market's Chicago #8
News. In January 06 it was $39.29, January 07 it's $48.02. 2006
average tip revenue rate was $41.96. We are paid for all tons
delivered and no residual is deducted. 2006 revenue was $638,533.71.
We have $170,000 for public outreach for all solid waste programs. A
4 time per year publication, Wasteline, uses up about $110,000 of the
outreach funds.
--Paul Dunn
Omaha Public Works
402-444-3915 ext 226

On Jan 29, 11:25 am, <Christine.Mc...@no.address> wrote:
> Has anyone switched to single stream, but still use the curbsides boxes as
> opposed to carts? Please let me know if you are out there and how you made
> the choice to stick with these containers. For those who needed to urge
> the change to carts - what were the arguments that helped you win folks
> over? Does anyone have information on how long it took to recover the
> cost of the carts?
> Also, can you provide the per household cost for outreach education that
> was needed to initiate this change?
> Any info. and/or advice would be greatly appreciated!!
> Christine McCoy
> City of Alexandria
> 703/519-3486 ext. 132

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