Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Latest Rage...

in Eureka, Anyway.

You might have seen these huge 96 gallon waste bins showing up around town if you've been through Eureka, lately. Most of them are colored green but it looks like they ran out of the green ones so some just have green tape on them. They're green waste receptacles.

I was wondering how much they cost as I knew someone that was using them, but I never had the chance to ask. Finally, the wife was hacking on our fig tree, ending up with the usual pile of debris, and she suggested maybe we should look in to how much the big bins cost. I reluctantly agreed to check.

I go to City Garbage fairly regularly but sometimes I just don't have time to throw the green waste around the house in the back of the truck. We actually generate enough organic debris we could use something like that.
As it is, an awful lot of our cuttings just end up staying on the ground where they were cut.

So a couple weeks ago I went in to dump green waste and stopped at the office and asked about the green waste bins. $3.00 a month (if you already have garbage service), I was told, and I believe they pick up weekly. SOLD!

Now we have the bin sitting out in our back yard and we have all week to go around finding stuff to put in it. Of course, it will take some time to cut up all the fig branches to fit them inside the bin, but better than hassling with hauling down to City Garbage in my truck.

Connie suggested I could probably just dump all the grass from work in the bin and forego trips to the dump. Problem is I get much more than I could fit in that bin this time of year. I am thinking, though, in late summer and fall when I don't have so much grass to deal with, it might be worth renting an extra one. I might be able to save money and trips to the dump by doing so.

I see more and more people signing up for these bins. In the last week I've found two customers with them in their back yards. The other day I saw a truck with a trailer full of them driving down my street.

As much as I'm pissed off about mandatory garbage service, I think these are a bargain. Of course, they probably could have offered these bins without forcing everything else on everybody.

13 Comments:

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Mike Buettner said...

Definite bargain. We got ours earlier this year. We also opted for the cheaper 20 gallon insert for our regular trash.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Yep. We use the 20 gallon insert and there's nearly always plenty of room for the week's worth of trash we generate. As I mentioned earlier on, I don't see how a house with 2 people in it would need one of those bigger trash cans, yet I see a number of 2 people households using the big ones.

The only downside with the green waste bin is your trash bill does go up, regardless of being a bargain. I'll be getting a bill for probably over $60.00 every 3 months now, instead of the $51.00 I've been paying. It certainly is a bargain at $3.00 a month, but when you pay it all at once it's kind of an ouchie.

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are your cans picked up by a mechanical arm in Eureka, or handled by a person?

In McKinleyville, a person drags the cans (scraping them from the curb to the middle of the road and back again) regardless of whether the can has wheels. The end result is your can's bottom is worn through within a year and you have to buy a new can.

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger Fred said...

It's all done mechanically here, for the most part.

The bins are on wheels. People are instructed to place the bins- on pick up day- by the curb in a specific direction.

The truck has an "arm" and it drives by next to the curb and picks up the bin, picks it up, and dumps the contents into the truck. There's usually no reason for the driver to get out of the truck, from what I've seen.

I suspect these bins could last for years. I see no wear and tear on my garbage bin that I've had for at least a couple years.

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous mike Buettner said...

I agree with Fred. The stuff is well built and a good deal for now. For me to get my Study pickup out of the garage to make a haul isn't worth it. Plus I do more gardening now.

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Eel River Ernie said...

We have had that service in Fortuna for some time now. We split the costs and share with a neighbor simply because we don't generate enough stuff to fill it on a bi-weekly basis all by ourselves. Works well for us.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Heck, at $3.00 a month, it would be even worth it just to dump the lawn clippings from a medium lawn each week.

Funny, you mentioned sharing it. One of my customers told me to start dumping the grass in the "Green Waste", which was the first indication I had she'd gotten one. She specified to just dump her clippings in there, not everybody else's as she'd let neighbors dump their grass in it.

I was pleased as punch to do so but, when I went to dump her grass in it, it was full of grass to probably 6" of the top. Still managed to cram the grass in on top, though.

She must have more than just her next door neighbor using it.

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger Carson Park Ranger said...

I'm going to get one of those bins and put a bit of Mt. Turfmore in there every week.

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Carol said...

That is a benefit of living in town. We can get garbage service out in the county, but not recycling and green waste services. We go to the HWMA about once every two months for our garbage and every other week for our recycling combined with a shopping trip. Our greenwaste is composted and the larger stuff burned once or twice a year during a permnissive burn day. The burn permit is about $15/year. We had to put the fire out the last time, because a breeze started to blow the smoke toward the back of the garage. We are discussing renting a shredder for the bigger items. We still have a big burn pile, which may have to wait until next fall.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article and the picture, Fred! I had been imagining the 96-gallon green waste receptacle and an unwieldy, long, sled-like bin. This big upright wheeled green thing looks much more manageable. Do you happen to know how high it is and how wide it is at the top? Thanks again!

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Fred said...

It's about 2'4" wide at the top and 3'9" high. It seems pretty easy to handle. I didn't have any trouble rolling down the stairs to the sidewalk last week.

This week will likely be the real test. I filled it full of cut up fig branches so it's fairly heavy. Connie thought it might be too heavy to move but I rolled it from the back lawn to the sidewalk near the back door with no problem.

One other concern is whether the branches will hang up or get stuck when they try to empty it. I cut the branches into pieces small enough to fit easily into the bin, but wonder if they might shift while unloading and get jammed. I pretty confident it will work, though.

As an aside, I thought it would be a rather unpleasant task cutting up all those branches. I actually kind of enjoyed it. I think one more bin load will take care of all the fig tree branches.

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

People throw out grass clippings?

 
At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the measurements, Fred.

I'm glad to hear it is easy to handle the bin and roll it up and down steps, since I have steps myself.

I am a little concerned that you are disposing of fig tree cuttings that could be given to hungry fellow Eurekans to plant in their own yards. Doing things like that might help eliminate hunger on the North Coast without resorting to the use of food banks and food stamps. It is just the kind of tradition a local Libertarian like you might enjoy starting!

 

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