A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Weekly ‘organic waste’ pickup likely in Albany

Written April 14th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Albany yard debris carts like this would be emptied weekly instead of every other week.

Republic Services has renewed its pitch for weekly yard debris collections in Albany, and with a new council, this time it will likely get what it wants.

The council rejected previous proposals along this line at least twice, in 2016 and ’17. But this week, at Monday’s council work session, Republic’s Julie Jackson got no push-back from the council’s current members.

Jackson will present a formal request for approval of the added service — and the added charge that goes with it — later. She said an ideal time to make the change would be August or September.

Republic would charge an extra $2.95 a month for weekly yard debris pickup, which now is done every other week without a surcharge.

The weekly schedule would allow people to put all their household food waste in with grass clippings and such. This in turn might enable some customers to lessen their monthly bill because they could get a smaller trash can.

Republic expects to have to buy two additional trucks to handle weekly collections of yard debris. The stuff, by the way, would then be called “organic waste.”

The company already has weekly organic waste collections elsewhere in the area. It turns the food waste and other muck into compost.

One upside: No more confusion about whether it’s this week or next when you have to put out the yard cart. (hh)


27 responses to “Weekly ‘organic waste’ pickup likely in Albany”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    This action will probably increase revenue for Republic.

    And the City, who takes 7 percent of Republic’s gross receipts each month, will see more cash flow.

    A financial win-win for both.

    Not sure about the lowly consumer who has zero choice here. Such is the nature of a government granted monopoly.

  2. James Engel says:

    In reading the latest work of “our” City council I think Republic Services ought to stop by after each council session & pick up the councilors! They are organic & at times “wasting” time. O wait, I guess “we the people” need to do that at election time.

    • Dick Olsen says:

      Thanks James, I’m assuming you’d rather not pay the extra $2.95. I’m a depression kid so I eat everything I buy, or feed it to the nutria.

  3. Angie says:

    That would be fantastic! I would gladly pay a small surcharge to have more composting options and less food waste in the landfills

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Buy a composting bin instead of expecting the rest of us to support your whims.

  4. JJ Johnny (Jack) Hartman says:

    This scam sounds like Private Sector Overreach. You know….where privately owned companies attempt to force the public, who are fenced into that company’s services by a government-awarded franchise, to pay for unnecessary and unwanted services so more fees can be collected. The ultimate aim is higher and higher profitability and what better way to do that than to propose a service nobody is asking for. A solution in search of a problem.

    Why does everyone gripe to high heaven when the government raises fees, but then everyone goes mute/deaf when for-profit businesses do the same?

  5. Jill E Morgan says:

    About time for this to occur…just wish it would start sooner!

  6. Bill Kapaun says:

    Just recently I tried to downsize to a 20 gal. can from the 30 gal. REPUBLIC no longer provides that size, so their downsizing pitch contains a lot of BS!

    Several years ago, REPUBLIC was granted a “mid year” raise because fuel prices went up. Did REPUBLIC ask to reduce rates when fuel prices went down? NO!

    REPUBLIC will not accept cash to pay your bill although our currency states “for all debts public & private. That is simply UNAMERICAN!

    This City Council will raise your utility rates because they get a few PENNIES in “franchise fees” (aka SALES TAX) for every extra DOLLAR you spend. How immoral is that?

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Extortion at 2.95 per mo.

      I could agree with you B.K. if you give up on your trumplican values, your 45 views.
      Doubt this is enough to get you to come around. Maybe something sooner or later?

      • HowlingCicada says:

        I agree with both of you about extortion.

        But, everybody, please don’t call it $2.95. Call it what it really is — $3.00 — THREE dollars, not TWO-something-mumble-mumble. The blatant .99 or slightly more subtle .95 you see at the end of most prices almost everywhere is either psychological manipulation or outright intimidation (“Ha, ha, sucker”). I’ll bet that many millions were spent over the years researching this. Though I suppose some small businesses use it because they fear doing anything different from the “norm.”

        One reason this really bothers me is that it’s another factor raising the comtempt level toward all institutions, and that level is dangerously toxic now. The whole world looks more and more like it’s made of nothing but bullcrap. I won’t overstay my welcome by relating this to the last two presidential elections.

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        You’d agree with me about garbage fees if I had different political leanings? TYPICAL LIB LOGIC, which is NONE! Thank you for reinforcing your lack of credibility.

    • Julie Jackson says:

      Republic Services does offer a 20 gallon cart in Albany. Also, the mid-year increase you mentioned was not for fuel increases. It was for a very large increase in the cost to recycle during the China Sword Initiative. This cost has remained, but communities throughout the valley have made the decision to continue to recycle.

  7. thomas earl cordier says:

    Open letter to Council
    I don’t want any more Republic Services charges to pay for weekly biological waste. My once every 2 week pick up works fine and I have big yard and lots of trees.
    Those who want weekly pick-up should pay for that service which has been the process for years. This is a case where the company wants more revenue and hypes the need based on a small fraction of customers. Republic Services has done no research to find customers for a variety of plastics that can actually be recycled—too lazy so they just put in our local landfill. The company says they send nothing to the permitted incinerator North of Salem–why not?

    • centrist says:

      Are you sure about the plastic recycle market point?
      Strikes me that China was the primary market for plastic. They dropped out because of poor quality (contaminants including dung).
      The tariff “war” hasn’t been a positive driver in reopening the market.
      The US business model focuses on contracts rather than on manufacturing. Much less overhead in offshoring manufacturing. Reversing a 30ish year trend takes more than tweets

    • Julie Jackson says:

      The cost of disposal at Covanta in Brooks is triple the cost at Coffin Butte Landfill. We do not believe our customers want to triple their disposal cost. There is also a good conversation to be had about Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

  8. Richard Vannice says:

    How about the customers who never use the yard waste bin provided by Republic? I am aware of several addresses who never use that bin. So they will get charged $2.95 per month for a non-service??????????????
    If this goes into effect how about putting out that bin every week even if it’s empty?

    • Abe Cee says:

      Agreed. Let the can be optional, especially if it’s going to incur an additional fee. No reason to pay it if you don’t need the service.

  9. Bib Kahn says:

    Great! This just another way to charge seniors MORE money that people on fixed incomes can’t afford . Between utility fees and crazy property taxes, I guess it might be time to leave Albany

  10. GregB says:

    I do not need this service every week. And, now it is proposed I pay for those that do? Some thing is wrong with this picture.

  11. Connie says:

    Contact your city councilors here:

    Tell them you don’t want this! For those who want this, I have to ask why are you wasting a substantial amount of food? Eat your food and compost your vegetative wastes. I barely need the yard bin in the first place. I put it out about twice a year. If they implement this I will indeed put it out every week.

    As for bones, they belong in the garbage. Give the archaeologists something to find a thousand years from now.

  12. Rich Kellum says:

    Folks, it didn’t pass before because the Council was contacted by a lot of folks, don’t gripe here, gripe in an email to individual councilors and the Mayor.

  13. Albany YIMBY says:

    I agree.

    I was a witness of Republic going to Memorial MS once to talk about recycling to the students. They explained all the process to put plastic in their containers. They “right” way to do it is so involving that I doubt anyone follows it. For example, they want everyone to clean every container thoroughly with hot water before putting it in the recycling.

    I asked them if it is not more energy efficient to wash the plastic using an industrial machine rather than making every person in Albany waste water and energy washing every single container. I got crickets for an answer.

    Their customer service and organization is the worse. We moved to a new house and they were slapping us with late fees because they were not using the bank account we provided for them twice. Horrible.

    I wish the city could just buy the trucks and hire people to do the job. Cut the middleman and at least the benefits will lower our taxes instead.

    • Connie says:

      The city used to do that until they pushed it to the private sector. It was called Albany-Lebanon Sanitation if I remember correctly. I think this was before can pick-ups were automated.

  14. Cheryl P says:

    I’ve gone many rounds with Republic Services over the years.

    They were picking up our Garbage and Recycling, but we weren’t get a bill. Since it’s a every-other-month bill, I spaced it out until I got a bill for almost $700 for “missing” cans. So I called them up and explained that 1) the cans weren’t missing, they were sitting in front of my garage, and 2) I hadn’t received a bill from them in several months. It took several phone calls to get it straightened out.

    Then one day I came home to find our cans missing. I call RS and find out that they have been picked up for non-payment. Huh? Once again, it took several phone calls and calling BS on their excuse that my payment was credited to the wrong account since I pay my bill online. It turned out that my account had been closed by accident and even closed, the payment was allowed to go through and was sitting in lalaland. So I asked them what time they would be bringing my can back and they said…next week. Told them that that was unacceptable since it was their error. They tried to sell me some song and dance about how they only deliver cans once a week and I called BS because they deliver within 24 hours for new service and if they can do that, they can bring my cans back. Nope, their company, their rules…I had to store my garbage and recycling in the garage for over a week…thankfully it was winter instead of summer.

    And then when I got my next bill…they had a ‘special delivery’ charge and a charge for a Yard Can. WTH?!? Once again, it took multiple calls and a threat of legal action for them to remove both charges (I never ordered a Yard Can…I have a landscaping service who hauls it away).

    By this time, I’ve had it with RS. I told them to come and pick up their Garbage Can. I don’t have all that much garbage since I Recycle and Compost and my boss is fine with me dropping a Kitchen Bag in the work can…they can just leave the Recycle Can since it’s a free service. No…they can’t do that. Recycling is only “free” in the sense that they don’t charge you for the can, but you HAVE to pay for Garbage service in order to receive it. And no, you can’t pay for the Recycling Can because it’s a “free” service.

    It’s a scam, just like every other kind of utility.

  15. Connie says:

    For the older folks and disabled: Republic Services offers a 10% discount for seniors over 65 and disabled folks. All you have to do is send them proof of identification. Copied from their website:

    Proof of identification includes the following: driver’s license, identification card, birth certificate, Department of Motor Vehicle disabled parking permit.

    Seriously? Who in the world would send any of these items to a private company? Not me for sure. Thanks for nothing, Republic!

  16. Bill Kapaun says:

    City council “peeps”. Call Republic and see how long you are on hold. it’s ridiculous!

  17. Beck says:

    After the ice storm of Valentine’s Day, it will take months of filling the cart to catch up. When Republic offers the weekly service for yard waste, I will be jubilant!


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