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Councilman Singh talks trash with Manteca residents on Facebook
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Just how much does it take to manage the solid waste disposal of a growing California city?

Turns out it takes quite a bit.

In an effort to better educate the public on the steps involved in municipal government, Manteca City Councilman Gary Singh welcomed the public on Wednesday night to an informative session on Facebook detailing the format and the structure of the city’s solid waste division – which is responsible for all of the garbage and recycling operations in the city as well as sweeping the growing number of streets.

While other neighboring cities have outsourced these services, Manteca provides it along with other municipal services to residents and must maintain the collection, transportation, and distribution of refuse amidst an ever-changing landscape.

With a number of city workers popping onto the online forum to explain how things operate, Singh facilitated the forum to detail things like why the city’s recycling rules changed, and exactly how the routes operate.

Elements addressed in the presentation include:

*The layout of the city’s garbage routes – of which there are nine that hit approximately 500 houses each day that the department operates. Drivers first pick up residential trash in the brown bins to start the shift, and then return to run the route a second time to pick up either recycling or yard waste depending on the week.

*The changes to the city’s recycling program were spurred by changes from the Chinese government on which types of recycling the country would be willing to accept. Currently corrugated cardboard – like the Amazon boxes that people get – is the only paper product allowed in the bins, as are plastic containers with a No. 1 or No. 2 logo. Aluminum and tin cans are also allowed. The city is working to try and secure recycling services for other products like glass but is having a hard time finding recycling brokers since they’re dealing with the same export restrictions.

*The fact that the shelter-in-place order has prompted people to use more items in their homes during the day and thus created even more trash. Drivers have noticed that the majority of the bins that they’re picking up are either full to the brim or overflowing and sometimes include other bags of trash that simply won’t fit. The city has worked to alleviate this by allowing for trash bags to be dropped off at Northgate Park, but drivers have been accommodating given the circumstances.

You may temporarily drop off extra garbage bags along with bulky items such as appliances and furniture at Northgate Park, 1750 Hoyt Lane.

Drop-offs are on Tuesdays and Thursdays only from 7 to 10:45 a.m. Vehicles will be cut off at 10:45 a.m.

This program is for City of Manteca residents only. Proof of residency will be required with a current utility bill or driver's license. This program will terminate per city manager order.

The city’s website has more details.

Manny Santos, who works on the residential side of the department, encouraged people to make sure that there is ample clearance around their bins when they’re placed on the street – he recommended at least three-feet between them – so that the operator of the joystick doesn’t have to worry about potentially knocking over the adjacent bin or hitting any vehicles that may be close by.

Singh’s forum was the second in as many weeks held by a member of the council as a way of connecting with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and getting questions answered by city staff. With the city’s public meetings shifting to an online format during the era of shelter-in-place, the sessions – which Singh has held before to specifically address COVID-19 and the city’s response to it – allow the public to connect with elected officials and staffers that they can’t see face-to-face at the regularly scheduled business meetings.


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.