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Nearly empty blue carts & used batteries

It is blue cart week in Manteca and more than a few folks aren’t putting them at curbside.

Many more hardly have anything in them.

And those that have their blue carts filled to the brim and then some have garbage, trash, and items that were once collected for recycling but no longer are in the blue carts legally.

This has led to some rather interesting observations being made by more than a few people.

Given that the only things that are legal to place in a blue cart these days are No. 1 and No. 2 plastic bottles/containers, California redemption value cans and bottles, corrugated cardboard, and tin cans why is the city bothering to collect blue carts every two weeks instead of every four weeks?

If people are recycling as they are supposed to and not placing food boxes, all paper-related items, Styrofoam, all plastic that is No. 3 or higher, glass, garbage, and general trash in the blue carts they will have a hard time even getting them a quarter of a way filled every two weeks.

Eight different people who are following the new recycling rules have confirmed that is the case.

It would seem the quickest way to get renegades to comply with the new rules would be for the city to switch recycling collections to every four weeks given the new Manteca rules have significantly reduced the recycling volume. That would force them — at least to a degree — to stuff their garbage and trash into the brown carts.

The city could then reduce its greenhouse footprint by not only idling trucks every other week that usually do the recycling routes but they’d extend the life of the trucks and reduces fuel use as well as ease up a bit on the pounding residential streets take from the weight of the trucks.

Of course that begs the question about what the city would do with solid waste drivers every other week who normally run the recycling route.

While you might be able to harness the manpower in other departments, solid waste might be able to use the freed up manpower for special cleanup projects or cleanup sweeps of junk dropped along city streets.


The city does collect

household batteries

Manteca resident Dave Brush penned a letter to the Bulletin (that appears below) about what to do with household batteries.

The city accepts small alkaline batteries (A, AA, AAA, C and D) at the Solid Waste Division office at 210 E. Wetmore St. free of charge Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are illegal under state law to toss in the garbage. The same is true of light bulbs. You can drop light bulbs off at the Home Depot in Manteca just inside the front door.

Here’s Brush’s letter:

“A couple of weeks ago I wrote a letter that the Bulletin published. I admit, I was a bit upset. Our mayor, Mr. Ben Cantu, who seems to be doing a fairly good job — albeit he's only been at it a few months and hasn't really had his feet held to the fire yet. Time will tell.

“At that time I responded to his comment about how the populace of Manteca just didn't care when it came to recycling and I took great exception to that assertion. I mentioned that in all the years (I'm not sure how many years it's been. I only know it's a heck of lot longer than I thought) of the three bin system I have been very particular about making sure my containers all had the proper items in them. The one exception to that rule was batteries. I didn't know then and I don't know now what to do with them. I know they are poison and should not be thrown in the garbage only to end up in the landfill. Previously, I disposed of them by throwing them in the recycling bin. I thought someone would see them and properly dispose of them. After reading some of the comments in the paper since then I no longer believe that.

“I'm pretty sure now that there never was anyone picking through the recyclables and that my batteries may have contaminated the whole bin and the whole thing ended up in the landfill regardless of my desires. I'm writing this because I have two dead, or almost dead, batteries sitting on my desk and I don't know what to do with them. I'm afraid someone is going to tell me that I can take them somewhere to drop them off and they'll properly dispose of them.

“Like newspapers. I know I can take them to the Bulletin but, truthfully, I'm never going to do that. Those I just throw in the garbage. And I'm afraid I'll do the same with my dead batteries. I'll put them in a bag with the intention of saving them up to take somewhere and after some time passes I'll eventually get tired of seeing them around and I'll throw them out — probably in the recyclable bin. Maybe the city could issue some kind of bag that we could put them in and then, two or three times a year, have a recycle day for batteries. We could put them out with our regular blue container.” 


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email