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Unwanted gift: Blue carts filled with trash by others

 Better keep an eye on your blue cart.
Councilwoman Debby Moorhead reported that a neighbor of hers who had no recyclables to put out on collection day still set her cart curbside in case city crews would be in the neighborhood to place the new recycling stickers on the blue carts. She ended up being stuck with a cart  overflowing with garbage.
“You couldn’t even get the lid down,” Moorhead said at Tuesday’s council meeting.
 Someone who couldn’t cram their garbage into their brown carts apparently made use of the lady’s blue cart. The city wouldn’t pick it up because it was filled with trash and not recyclables meaning the neighbor was left holding someone else’s garbage.
Public Works Director Mark Houghton said such incidents are happening fairly frequently creating another challenge for rule abiding citizens and the city as Manteca switches to new recycling rules.
Councilman Gary Singh indicated he’d like to see the city move toward lockable carts now that the new blue rules means what is left in blue carts will be primarily high valued corrugated cardboard and California Redemption Value (CRV) containers worth a nickel apiece. Singh noted businesses with larger bins have ongoing issues with people dumping off their garbage.
Houghton said a spot check of commercial accounts has shown there is already a high compliance with not putting items the city is now longer collecting for recycling in them.
He added people having garbage that is not theirs garbage placed in their carts frequently occurs in areas in Manteca that have alley service. Houghton also noted the Solid Waste Division routinely fields complaints about illegal dumping of trash in alleys besides being placed in other people’s carts.
The council on Tuesday approved the second reading of an ordinance giving the city manager the authority to suspend the $51.75 switch out fee for those who wish to move up to a larger cart to accommodate items that can no longer be placed in blue carts under the new recycling rules.
City Manager Tim Ogden said the first 90-day suspension will start today. He expects to extend the fee suspension another 90 days when the current period ends.
While there may be no charge for switching to a larger container, 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.  If someone went from a small to large cart the monthly increase would be $3.49 a month.
You can sign up at the finance department at the Civic Center or solid waste office on Wetmore Street for larger brown carts.

Nuño interested in
exploring affordable
housing fees
Councilman Jose Nuño who was elected last month is interested in pursuing the possibility of adding an affordable housing fee to the laundry list of fees charged to new home construction.
He expressed the desire to pursue such a fee during an annual report on growth-related fees the council was voting to accept.
Nuño has a background in developing and managing affordable housing. He also made working to improve affordable housing opportunities in Manteca one of his main campaign points.

A question right
up Cantu’s alley
Mayor Ben Cantu wants the city to develop a game plan for what to do with alleys that are in need of paving.
He made the inquiry after council approved vacating the alley at 140 East Portal that only serves as a driveway for an adjoining motel.
The motel owner had asked the city about making repairs to the alley. Staff, in looking at the alley, realized it only served the motel property. The property owner was open to taking possession of the alley and doing the work.
The city staff has indicated in cases where abandoning alleys makes sense, that they believe that is the best course of action. That said there may be few opportunities where an alley can be vacated as it is being done at 140 East Portal.

Straight shooting
on his bid to appoint
commission members
Give Ben Cantu credit.
He made it clear he wanted Planning Commission members first and foremost who had the most experience with the planning process regardless of anything else.
That was certainly the case in his effort move to appoint Ron Laffranchi whose resume impressed him even though he didn’t know him personally. That was verified when he struggled with the enunciation of Laffranchi’s name. (He apologized for getting it wrong.)
And when one of his preferred choices for the commission — his campaign manager David Cushman — didn’t even garner a second, he remained the gentleman and moved on until the council was able to come to an agreement on who else to appoint.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email