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32 days left to avoid paying $51.75 fee to switch carts

There are 32 days left if you want to avoid a $51.75 fee to switch a brown garbage cart to a larger size to accommodates items such as paper, magazines, paperboard boxes used for everything from shoes to cereal and other things that can no longer be placed in blue recycling carts under new Manteca collection rules.

The deadline to request a switch to a different sized brown cart is March 18. You can fill out the form in person at the Finance Department at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., or download it from the city website at and submit the form by fax (209) 923-8930 or email to

In the coming months the city will start a more thorough inspection of blue carts using county conservation corps work crews to go ahead of collection trucks. Those carts with contents out of compliance with new recycling rules will not be collected. If a subsequent inspection shows the blue cart at a specific address is still out of compliance, the city will remove the blue cart.

That will force the residential customer to go to a large brown cart that will not only involve a monthly charge increase of less than $2 a month but the household would also have to pay $51.75 to cover the cost of switching the cart.

While there may be no charge for switching to a larger container by March 18, the move will result in a higher charge for garbage collection. The monthly charge for a 32-gallon brown cart is $28.48, a 64-gallon cart is $30.28, and a 96-gallon cart $31.97. To go from a small to medium cart would be an additional $1.80 a month and from the medium to large is $1.69 a month. 

The change is being forced by tightening standards by those who purchase recyclables to produce new products.

Contamination levels as defined by items in the blue cart that were once OK but no longer have a recycling value based on the current market as well as garbage such as food waste and other items must be in the low single digits for it to be accepted. Any truckload for household routes that aren’t that low in terms of contamination has to be landfilled at $52 a ton. The cost of burying contaminated recyclables is not built into the current monthly solid waste rates. If customers don’t comply with the new rules and contamination is still in  the double digit range — it has been as high as 20 percent — the city will be forced to raise rates.

Blue carts can now only be used for California Redemption Value (CRV) containers, No. 1 and No. 2 plastic containers, clean corrugated cardboard, and tin cans.

All paper, newspapers, magazine, paperboard boxes uses for everything from cereal to shoes, Styrofoam, glass, plastic bags, and all plastic containers that do not have No. 1 or No. 2 on the bottom must now go into the brown garbage cart.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email