Daly City could make significant changes to its solid waste services in an effort to improve its recycling program, but the proposed changes are not sitting well with some local seniors.
In order to improve its 24 percent waste-diversion rate, the city is considering a program that would increase recycling pickup frequency from once every two weeks to once a week; would replace the old 32-gallon recycling bins with 64-gallon single-stream bins; and would implement a 40 percent increase in monthly fees. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the issue Nov. 26.
Some seniors and other homeowners who live near Westmoor High School are not happy with the proposed changes and have expressed concern about the 40 percent rate increase, which would pay for the new bins and new automated trucks for Allied Waste Services, Daly City’s waste management company. Some seniors also don’t see any sense in using bigger containers.
“This will not solve the compliance issue because it doesn’t have anything to do with the size of the container,” said Daly City resident Bill Pate, who introduced a petition against the changes.
Pate said that he sees several problems. The new bins will not fit into people’s homes, seniors and other single residents do not need such a big bin because they don’t produce that much waste and those who don’t recycle are not going to start just because they have a new 64-gallon bin.
“I am against it 100 percent,” said Daly City resident Florence Powers, who signed Pate’s petition. “I am an 85-year-old widow living alone. I have one little grocery bag of garbage a week. I can’t lift those crazy cans and I don’t have any room for big cans in my garage.”
Joseph Curran,Daly City’s assistant city manager, said he frequently hears that argument and believes the solution is to make a smaller bin available for households of or fewer people.
He said he believed closed-lid bins would help prevent waste from being carried away by wind. Curran said he is also sure that single-stream recycling, which has been introduced in many cities in the Bay Area, is the way to go.
“Single-stream container is going to make it easier,” Curran said. “It has been proven that participation just jumps up when you introduce these bins.”
Allied Waste of San Mateo County manager Chad Wilson said that one of the main reasons preventing people from recycling is the chore of separating cardboard, plastic and cans.
Single-stream recycling, he says, eliminates that problem, leading more people to recycle.