Serving the community since 1970

New trash collection service advances at Shafter council meeting

The City Council approved a proposal by American Refuse for the company to service the city residents for trash collection.

Earlier this month the council had agreed to use American Refuse for trash collection, but did not formally approve the resolution.

With the enacting of SB 1383, the state of California requires all residents to move to a three cart system that is aimed at reducing the amount of waste that gets taken to local landfills.

With the new regulations that will take effect in March 2022, all residents will have three different carts for their residences; a blue cart, a green cart and a black cart for household trash.

The council had an option that would have had American Refuse service the city residents for the green waste and recycling materials and the city would retain the regular trash collection service. They did not go with this option.

The option that was approved has American Refuse servicing the complete trash collection needs, including regular trash cans. This would mean the city would no longer be collecting waste in the city.

Public Works Director Michael James said with the proposal submitted by American Refuse, the cost for Shafter residents would be about $27 a month for the collection service per household. The cans would be picked up at the curb in front of the residences, ending the alley service for all residents.

James also said that the residents would be informed of these changes and there will be two workshops for the public to explain what these changes will mean to residents, including what trash will be picked up.

American Refuse will offer a free bulky waste service for residents once a week. The resident would need to call American Refuse to schedule the pickup and the company would pick up the item or items free of charge. These items include mattresses, furniture and appliances.

James also said the state did extend the deadline for implementation of the plan, giving cities and extra three months to get these plans in place. The deadline was moved from January 2022 to March 2022.

Council member Pete Espinoza asked Jeff Martin, of American Refuse, where residents would be expected to keep their cans when not at the curbside for pick up. Martin said residents would be required to move their cans within 24 hours of pickup service, rolling the cans away from the curb and stored on their property where it is not a nuisance.

Some residents voiced concerns over the changes.

"I am currently sharing a 300 gallon can and it is full all of the time," resident Colleen Diltz said. "The size of the individual cans are going to be very restrictive on how much we will be able to dispose of. Is it going to end up costing me a lot more money for the same service?"

Pam Sutton, another resident, was worried about the logistics.

"I don't think I will be able to move a trash can by myself," Sutton said. "I don't even think I will be able to keep my cans and the different kinds of trash separated. It seems like a whole lot of trouble."

There will be a public workshop on Nov. 30 to inform residents about the local impacts of the new regulations and the current compliance action plan, James said. There will be another workshop on Jan. 25 to talk about specific services and charges.

Residents can contact James at Public Works at 661-746-5002 with any questions or concerns.


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