As of July 1, as many as 14,000 Sacramentans will have to change their weekly waste disposal routine in order to adhere to the city’s new service changes. Garbage pickup will go on as it always has, but recycling pickup will change from every week to every other week beginning on that date.
Stave Harriman, Waste General Manager of the Recycling and Solid Waste Division, outlined why some of the changes are taking place.
“The city was on an every other week recycling schedule until 2006,” Harriman said. “It was changed to every week because it was believed that the tonnage of collected recycling would increase 30-40% if collected weekly, but really it only increased by five or six percent. It was costing a huge amount of money to put trucks on the street in order to collect this small increase in recyclables.”
While the goal is to collect as much recycling as possible, the bottom line is that the city can only do so much within the constraints of its budget.
“It’s a little less convenient, but we will save $1 million a year by changing it to every other week,” he said.
In addition to the new recycling schedule, some Sacramento residents will have their day of the week for waste pickup changed, according to Harriman. Those affected by this new schedule have either already been informed or will be informed before the July 1 change. While recycling is changing to an every other week schedule, green waste pickup will continue to be every week as before.
In order to combat confusion about the new pickup schedule, the city has launched a free app called Sac City 311 for your mobile phone. With the app you can sign up for a weekly reminder to be sent to your phone about recycling dates. The app will also allow you to report broken cans, report illegal dumping or request a new can.
For people who recycle a lot of materials and are worried that the bi-weekly pickup schedule will leave them drowning in recyclables, a second recycle can is available for $1.76.
The recycling schedule will be broken up into A and B recycling weeks. To find out which week you fall on, you can either download the 311 app, or go to www.sacrecycle.org.
Residents may also take advantage of appointment-based neighborhood pickup of large items. Each household is allowed one free pickup of five cubic yards (or about the size of a pickup truck). Each additional five cubic yards will be charged a fee of $28.60. Appointments can be made through the 311 app or by dialing 311 on your phone.