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City needs to replace trucks, establish material separation & compost facilities
solid waste bottom

One day when you finish reading the Bulletin and toss it into a city-issued cart it could end up as compost or — if the market is favorable — recycled to create newsprint.

If you happened to have an orange and a banana while you were reading they could end up either as compost or fueling Manteca’s solid waste trucks that collect your garbage each week.

And if by chance you picked up coffee to go at Starbucks to enjoy while reading your newspaper you will have brought it home in your own cup or paid 25 cents for a disposable cup.

Work on initiatives to do that and more are well underway at City Hall.

The Manteca City Council when they meet Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., at 7 p.m. is being asked to authorize a solid waste rate study. Besides looking at ongoing operational costs the study will include funding for the city to establish its own material separation facility and creating its own compost operation in a bid to get control of long-term costs.


Need to replace nearly 20

solid waste trucks to meet

new state clean air standards

The rate study will include funding to replace upwards of 20 solid waste trucks that could cost almost $8 million altogether so they can run on compressed liquefied gas the city is creating with its food waste to fuel operation at the wastewater treatment plant. The fuel is being created by combining methane gas produced by the wastewater treatment process with food waste collected from restaurants, grocery stores, and school cafeteria programs.

The city, like all California jurisdictions, must switch to cleaner burner vehicles for solid waste fleets within the coming years. Manteca had been replacing vehicles as they reached the point they were no longer cost effective to operate due to increased repairs. So far more than a half dozen diesel trucks have been replaced.

Manteca — because it is a full-service city that has its own solid waste collection as well as wastewater treatment plant among other services — was able to harness food waste it collects with methane gas created by the wastewater treatment process to produce clean burning liquefied compressed gas.

In doing so the city is able to meet looming air quality standards for both the treatment plant and its solid waste truck fleet as well. At the same time they will be able to meet a state mandate regarding the eventual near elimination of burying food waste of food waste in landfills.


City needs to reduce

garbage it buries under

state mandates that will

also reduce operational costs

In diverting food waste, it reduces one of the biggest costs of the solid waste operation — fees charged to bury trash.

The fee at the start of 2019 was $52 a ton. The city buries an average of 600 tons of garbage a month.

Building a material separation facility will allow the city to sort its own waste.

Currently Manteca is landfilling what is collected in blue carts for recycling given roughly 40 percent is contaminated with items that can no longer be recycled as well as garbage that never could be that was tossed in as well.

Without changing how Manteca handles its recyclables, the city will not be able to send many items they would like to start recycling again such as paper once domestic markets are established due to the high contamination rate.

“This gives us control of our future,” noted Interim City Manager Miranda Lutzow of the material separation facility as well as the proposed composting operation.

Both facilities would be placed at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.



City also drafting ordinance

to ban use of non-compostable

containers et al for food takeout

At the City Council’s request, the Community Development Department is drafting an ordinance that could make Manteca the first jurisdiction in the San Joaquin Valley to ban the use of non-compostable containers, cups and utensils for takeout food

The Californians Against Waste website notes there are 120 cities or counties in the state — roughly just under a fourth of all jurisdictions — that already ban items made out of polystyrene that are neither compostable or recyclable in today’s recycling market.  Davis is the only jurisdiction in the Great Central Valley that stretches from Bakersfield to Redding that has such a ban.

And if the council ultimately adopts the proposed rules, Manteca would one up Davis by also requiring restaurant customers to pay 25 cents for a disposable cup or else bring their own. That is similar to a landmark ordinance Berkeley adopted in January that went into effect Jan. 1.

The Berkeley ordinance also allows disposable items like utensils, straws and napkins to be available only upon request or at self-serve stations. It also requires that takeout food be served only using compostable dishes and utensils since the first of the year. At the same time dine-in food will be served only using reusable dishes and utensils by July 2020.

That means a casual dining places such as Chipolte Mexican Grill in Berkeley would be required to provide dine in patrons with reusable utensils and dishes uses for their burrito bowls instead of the same containers that are used for takeout orders. It also would ban aluminum they use to cover the takeout burrito bowls.

Considering such rules in Manteca is a logical extension of existing city efforts to reduce waste.

  The goal is for the city is to be able to take residential food waste along with fiber based waste such as newspapers and product boxes for items like cereal and combine them with yard waste to make compost. Polystyrene products that now dominate the Manteca food takeout market are not compostable meaning they would still have to be landfilled even if Manteca invested in its own sorting and composting facility.


One more round of annual

rate hikes left to implement

from rate structure put in

place in March of 2017

The existing garbage rate structure was put in place in March of 2017 after the city went for 11 years without a rate hike.

 The monthly rate structure as adopted was designed to be phased in from March 2017 through January 2021.

After the last hike goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, Manteca’s solid waste rates will have risen for a:

*35-gallon cart from $19.78 to $30.67 for a $10.85 per month increase.

*65-gallon cart from $25.49 to $32.61 for a $7.12 per month increase

*$30.02 to $34.33 for a $4.11 per month increase.

*senior low-income cart service from $12.72 to $19.72 for a $7 per month increase.

*1-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $67.57 to $119.80.

*a 2-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $97.44 to $132.71.

*a 3 yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $120.05 to $145.62

*3 yard commercial bins picked up three times a week from $317.96 to $436.85.

*4-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $146.72 to $158.53.

*4-yard commercial bins picked up three times a week from $388.31 to $475.58.

*6-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $196.06 down to $184.34.

* 6-yard commercial bins picked up three times a week from $529.42 to $553.03.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email