Universal Garbage/Recycling Collection
On June 3, 2008, the Eureka City Council voted unanimously to amend Eureka’s existing Solid Waste ordinance to enable a mandatory/universal garbage and recycling collection program in Eureka. The ordinance was adopted to assist the City in meeting State recycling/waste diversion mandates and reducing illegal disposal and public health concerns in Eureka. The ordinance enabled the following services:
- Universal Curbside Garbage and Recycling Collection.
- Voluntary Curbside Greenwaste Collection (extra cost to subscribe).
- Residential Universal Curbside Bulky Item Collection (large appliances, furniture, etc).
This program applies to all improved properties within the City of Eureka. Providing collection service to all properties took several years to complete, and was implemented in phases. As of January 2013, all occupied residential, multi-family and commercial properties are enrolled in the program.
For more information about the program, click on the following links:
Features of the New Mandatory Collection Ordinance :
1. Universal Curbside Garbage collection. This program applies to all improved properties within the City of Eureka. Providing collection service to all properties, if approved, is expected to take several years to complete, and would be implemented in phases. All occupied residential single family and small residential multi-family properties (up to a four-plex) would be implemented initially, totaling roughly 8,800 households. The larger residential multi-family, commercial and other uses would be implemented as programs are developed and become available, likely 2 years away.
2. Universal Curbside Recycling collection. This program applies to all improved properties within the City. Like garbage collection, providing recycling collection service to all properties will be implemented in phases, and will follow a timeline similar to garbage collection. Initially, a rolling recycling cart, divided into 2 compartments (two-stream), will be provided to each applicable residential property. The system will enable residents to recycle most items in one convenient rolling cart instead of the 3 bin/stacking crate system we currently utilize. The two-stream collection system is intended to correspond with the new local two stream processing facility in Samoa. Recyclable materials accepted curbside would include:
- aluminum cans
- glass bottles and jars
- plastic containers and packaging
- plastic bags (utilizing “bag in bag” storage method)
- bi-metal cans, tin cans, aerosol cans
- newspaper, magazines, catalogues
- junk mail
- white paper, colored paper
3. Universal Residential Curbside (On-demand) Bulky Item Pick-up. The ordinance offers this program to all residential properties. The program provides curbside pickup of large bulky household items including old furniture, refrigerators, mattresses, washing machines and other large appliances and household items. When applicable, many of these items will be forwarded to the Eureka Recycling Center to be recycled or reused. The program provides 2 pickups per year per residence. It is expected that this program will lessen the number of bulky items currently disposed of illegally into our gulches, parks, sloughs and alleys. The city currently spends significant resources cleaning up these illegal disposals.
4. Voluntary Curbside Greenwaste collection. The ordinance enables a curbside greenwaste collection service to be offered to all properties in the city by Recology Humboldt County. The program is not mandatory due to the seasonal nature of greenwaste disposal and because numerous properties are either low maintenance or do not generate substantial green waste. A separate rolling cart will be provided for diversion of green waste materials which include grass clippings, branches, leaves and other yard waste. The green waste will then be sent to our regional compost facility. Food waste should not be placed into the green waste container. Use of the program would involve an additional cost to the ratepayer at a rate to be set by the City Council.
1. Exclusions. The program would include a process whereby citizens may show cause why they should not be required to subscribe to garbage and recycling collection service. Such reasons may include that the property is vacant or not located within the city limits, or that there are unique parcel specific conditions which compel the property owner, tenant or occupant to self haul their garbage, recyclables and green waste to the Transfer Station. Such conditions may include residential properties with long, narrow or steep driveways where the garbage company, in the opinion of the City Manager, is unable to properly and safely use its equipment.
2. Market Based Rates/Incentives to Recycle. The ordinance allows metered service which provides market based incentives to reduce waste and increase waste diversion through the curbside recycling and green waste collection program. Metered service will ensure that residents, particularly those who recycle and compost the vast majority of their waste, have the opportunity to pay lower rates for smaller garbage carts, thus encouraging higher rates of waste diversion toward recycling and green waste carts.
3. Recycler’s Declaration. The ordinance does not wish to punish those devoted recyclers who are already diverting virtually all of their household waste. Therefore, the program may exclude those residents (owner or occupant) who legally recycle and/or compost virtually all of their refuse. All persons claiming this exclusion shall be asked to sign a legal Declaration or Affidavit once per year stating that they legally recycle and/or compost virtually all their refuse so that no unsanitary condition, hazard to health, or public nuisance will arise upon the premises owned, managed or controlled by them if they are not provided with collection and disposal of refuse services by a collector. The Declaration will require a detailed report explaining how diversion is accomplished for a wide variety of specific household wastes, including food waste, plastics, glass, fiber, metals, e-waste, hazardous wastes and others. Currently, there is no fee proposed for administering the Declaration program.
4. Discontinuance Upon Vacancy. Property owners required to subscribe to collection service under this ordinance could discontinue service for one or more months when their premises are vacant or the occupant is traveling out of town. The owner is required to submit written notice of such vacancy to the garbage company. Monthly garbage fees shall continue to accrue until such time as notice is received by the garbage company.
5. Appeal Process. The ordinance allows the City Manager or a designated representative to endeavor to resolve all disputes concerning the administration or enforcement of program requirements. Any affected person who is dissatisfied with the determination of the City Manager may appeal the same to the City Council. No alleged violation shall be permitted, or be continued, during the time any appeal is pending.
6. Enforcement. There is a cost to the city to sort out household garbage from recyclables, and to sort recyclables from the garbage. Thus, the ordinance enables the City to develop and implement an inspection program whereby the City may periodically inspect garbage and recycling bins, and have the ability to fine those households which are placing recyclable materials into their refuse containers, and/or are placing refuse and garbage into their recycling containers.
7. Scavenging. Section 51.33A of the ordinance addresses scavenging by making it unlawful for any person (other than City’s contracted collectors) to gather or collect recyclables (except as provided in the Chapter, i.e. temporary non-profit events, etc.). Under Chapter 10.99 of the Eureka Municipal Code, assuming such a violation would be charged as an infraction, the penalties/fine would be $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third offense and each subsequent offense of the same ordinance within one year.
8. Failure to Subscribe. If the City Manager has reason to believe that any person required to subscribe for service has failed to subscribe, the Manager may cause written notice to be mailed to the Owner of the real property so affected directing the Owner to subscribe for such service within ten days after the date of the notice. Any such notice shall provide 10 days to subscribe for collection service or show cause why such person should not be required to subscribe. If service or cause is not established, the Manager will authorize such service and the billing charges to be assessed against the real property upon which the premises served are located. After notice and a public hearing, unpaid delinquent accounts shall become a lien on the property and collected with property taxes.
9. Delinquent Accounts. When a delinquent account is forwarded to the City by the garbage company, the city shall then, pursuant to the authority and notification processes contained in California Government Code § 38790.1, attempt to collect the delinquent fees in the manner described in California Government Code § 25831. Prior to forwarding a delinquent account to the City, a late fee shall be applied to delinquent accounts by the garbage company as an incentive to secure payment. The amount of the fee shall be determined by the garbage company and authorized by the Eureka City Council.
10. Administration and Billing. Recology Humboldt County will continue to provide all billing and customer request services. For delinquencies, the city will assist Recology Humboldt County annually in securing authority to amend County property tax billing statements.
11. Individual Waste Removal. Nothing in this Ordinance will prevent persons from carrying their own solid waste and recyclable materials to the Transfer Station for those weekend cleanup projects and other jobs private disposal site for which a valid permit is in effect.
Recycling / Waste Diversion Program
The City of Eureka currently offers numerous recycling and waste reduction programs and services to provide residents and businesses with opportunities to divert their waste out of the landfill. By practicing effective waste reduction and recycling habits, you will assist the city (and the nation) in conserving our resources, saving energy, reducing pollution and the need for more landfills, and meeting the State’s ambitious waste diversion mandates.