(UPDATED Wednesday morning with additional information from Seattle Public Utilities)
(Click to see full-size map, as PDF)
ORIGINAL 11:56 PM TUESDAY REPORT: 200 homes in Highland Park will only get trash pickup every two weeks, for six months, starting in July. You might have heard about the city’s “One Less Truck” pilot program, to see if every-other-week pickup will work (explained here); tonight, we learned that part of West Seattle will be in the program. Carl Woestwin of Seattle Public Utilities made the announcement during the WS Crime Prevention Council meeting tonight (though trash pickup has nothing to do with the group’s usual scope). The area affected is bounded by SW Barton on the north, SW Roxbury to the south, 15th SW to the west, and 11th SW to the east.
Woestwin says homes from single-family through fourplexes in the area will be required to participate, and will get a $100 stipend for their trouble. All the affected homes have been notified via letters and/or flyers, he said. They can choose to get larger trash containers, or try to see if they can make it work, and that’s what the experiment is for. Woestwin said that the city estimates changing to every-other-week pickup could save $6 million citywide. This part of Highland Park is the only test area in West Seattle and one of only four citywide; a community meeting is planned in early June (he wasn’t sure of the date – we’ll seek confirmation Wednesday) and then SPU will come back to the neighborhood in September “to find out how they’re going.”
ADDED 11:25 AM: We followed up this morning with SPU, whose Brett Stav provided some information, including the FAQ they have put together (apparently, though, it is not on their website, because, he says, “We’re trying to keep the study as scientific as possible and avoid confusing our non-participating customers, so we haven’t broadly advertised this project outside of the participating neighborhoods”) and the rate card for participants – read on:
First, the rates. Here’s the rate card (PDF) that has been mailed to the participating households, according to Stav. Note that if a participant already have one of the smallest trash containers, the rate reduction during the six-month experiment is small – a one-dollar reduction from the $17 monthly rate for “microcan” users” – but those with the largest container, 96 gallons, will see their monthly rates more than halved (from $84 to $39).
Second, here’s the FAQ:
What is this “One Less Truck Project” that the Seattle City Council is considering?
The Seattle City Council has asked Seattle Public Utilities to conduct a six-month study of the effects of every-other-week garbage collection among 800 single-family homes in Seattle.
What are the benefits of every-other-week garbage collection?
Seattle Public Utilities estimates that citywide every-other-week garbage collection will reduce waste sent to the landfill, increase recycling, reduce noise, air and traffic pollution, and save $6.4 million on Seattle’s annual garbage system collection costs.
When will this project begin?
The six-month project will start on July 1, 2012, and end on December 31, 2012.
Where will this project take place? How will these areas be chosen?
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will choose approximately 800 households in four areas of the city that closely reflect Seattle’s overall demographic population. SPU staff chose pilot areas with several considerations in mind, including geography, age, income, race and garbage-service level that best reflect the city’s overall makeup. By making the pilot program representative of diverse Seattle residents, SPU will be able to accurately observe what would happen if the entire city switched to every-other-week garbage collection.
One Less Truck Project areas include:
30th Ave NE to 35th Ave NE/NE 85th St. to NE 90th St.
31st Ave S to 34th Ave S/S Dearborn to S Day
Rainier Ave to 45th S/S Clover to S Kenyon 11th Ave SW to 15th SW/SW Barton to SW Roxbury
Can I opt-in to the every-other-week garbage program?
No. In order to keep the results of the program as scientific as possible, volunteers cannot be accepted.
Is leaving garbage out for two weeks sanitary?
The King County Public Health Department has approved every-other-week garbage collection. Other cities that have implemented every-other-week garbage service, including Olympia and Renton, have not found any measureable increases in odors or pests. Now that food waste is allowed in weekly curbside food and yard collection, there aren’t a lot of things left in the garbage that would cause odors.
When will the City of Seattle switch to citywide every-other-week garbage collection?
The results of this every-other-week garbage program will be used to help city officials decide whether to launch citywide every-other-week garbage collection, possibly as early as 2015.
Again, this ONLY is affecting a 200-household area in Highland Park during the July-to-January test – the only area in West Seattle that’s part of the pilot project – but its results will be reviewed, along with three similarly sized areas elsewhere in the city, to determine whether to try it citywide.
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