A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Yard debris: Albany OKs weekly collection

Written April 28th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

In Albany, Republic Services will start collecting yard debris from carts like this every week.

With the approval of the mayor and three other council members, Republic Services will charge Albany households $2.95 more per month for trash service and start picking up yard debris every week instead of every other week.

The added charge and change in schedule is authorized to start as early as Aug. 1, but several council members suggested September would be better, so it may happen then instead.

The council voted 3-3, giving Mayor Alex Johnson II the opportunity to break a tie. He voted in favor.

Councilors Stacey Bartholomew, Ray Kopczynski and Marilyn Smith voted yes. Dick Olsen, Matilda Novak and Bessie Johnson were opposed.

Republic wants to encourage residential customers to start adding all food waste to their yard debris, and for that, weekly collection is essential to prevent odors and other problems.

Julie Jackson, Republic’s municipal manager, said in a letter to the council that the change removes food waste from the Coffin Butte landfill and “creates a more sustainable environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Emissions? Nobody said anything about the added diesel exhaust as the yard debris trucks, including two new ones Republic will have to buy, make twice as many trips.

As for food waste, Councilor Bessie Johnson said the only time she and her husband have any is when she cleans out the refrigerator.

Republic processes yard debris and food waste at a site on Camp Adair Road in order to make compost to be sold as a soil amendment.

According to Jackson, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality estimates that food waste makes up nearly 25 percent of our trash. If that’s the case, we’re buying too much food. (hh)

25 responses to “Yard debris: Albany OKs weekly collection”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Your headline is deceiving – the council didn’t “OK” added charges and weekly pickup, they imposed it. The lowly consumer had no choice in the matter.

    Next up: City Council mandates every household to serve avocado toast with a side of raw cauliflower for breakfast each day. This will guarantee the new bins get used.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      You’re right, they imposed it.

      Being well attuned to semantics, hopefully you can also see corporatocracy (as suggested by Albany YIMBY, below).

  2. JJ Johnny (Jack) Hartman says:

    The Council gives their nod to Republic to charge more for the service.

    1. Republic gets additional revenue ($2.95 month tacked-on)
    2. Republic gets your food waste, raw materials to generate compost, which Republic sells back to ratepayers at market rates, shifting composting costs back on ratepayers again. In short, Republic gets paid twice for the “privilege” of hauling your trash away.

    It almost seems like a Ponzi scheme…and the entire monopolistic cycle is financed by ratepayers who do not appear to have needed or asked for this new service. And Republic seems to have suddenly become “woke” to the notion of “saving Coffin Butte” from excessive methane. Based on the Council’s vote, it seems Coffin Butte is but one source of methane.

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask how many shares of Republic Services do Council members own.

  3. thomas earl cordier says:

    Thank you Dick, Matilda and Bessie for standing up against the fee that does nothing for me. Hex # on the four others who adds new costs on everybody. Last time Julie Jackson whined “What do I tell people who want weekly yard waste removed?”
    We said “tell THEM to ask and pay for that extra service”.
    I’ll give donations to any effort to recall/replace any of the four socialists forcing us to comply.

    • Albany YIMBY says:

      In what world is supporting corporate interests socialist?

      For once I agree with you that this is an outrageous cash grab by Republic, though.

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        Don’t forget. There are two palms being greased here.

        Clearly Republic’s, but they can’t grab the cash without city government approval.

        And the City of Albany, which takes 7% of Republic’s gross revenues each month.

        Absolute authority to do this without the people’s permission resides with the city council, not Republic. Sounds more like a dictatorship to me.

  4. The beast says:

    If they want to do this, they should have to buy electric trucks

  5. James Engel says:

    So weekly pickup it is then. For fun, when there’s nothing in the yard debris, I’ll fill it with water just to make the “stop” worthwhile for the driver.
    We already have a composter for food etc that gets well used. So now I’m supposed to put it in the yard debris to let Republic turn it into compost then go there & buy it back. Makes Socialistic sense to me & to the four twits on the council.

    • Albany YIMBY says:

      I think you guys need to review the definition of socialism. Benefiting the interests of private companies over the people is called “corporatocracy” as happened during the Gilded Age and it is exactly the opposite of socialism.

      • James Engel says:

        Say young Yimby, just what Funk & Wagnal’s dictionary or Roget’s Thesaurus are you getting that word from? It’s not in either copy of mine. I guess Liberal Socialists will make up as they please.

        • centrist says:

          Actually Oxford online has a nifty definition.
          F and W wasn’t a highly rated reference. (Except as a running gag on Laugh-In).
          Roget lists synonyms, but doesn’t explain the subtle differences very well.
          A large portion of many HH responders’ posts show dissatisfaction with government activity, while crying out for accountability to the people. Mayhap YIMBY has pointed to the reason snd should be thanked, not upbraided.

  6. Bill Kapaun says:

    Meet the new mayor. Same as the old mayor.

    I’ll make sure my garbage can is full of grass clippings from now on. 3 cans out each week even if 2 are empty.

  7. Zayne Underwood says:

    Republic services is an evil corporation at the highest they don’t care about the consumer on any level the corporation is a virtual and literal mess the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing they are concerned with nothing but profits and they have a monopoly over us and this city why don’t we entertain new bids for lower rates….

  8. David Cross says:

    Spring and Fall yard maintenance along with a household member’s gardening hobby required we add an extra debris container to our service. We also regularly use the containers for disposal of vegetable tops, stems, skins, cores, seeds and husks. The occasional bit of over-ripe fruit and vegetables too long in the tooth to serve find their way there as well. I find it hard to believe that food waste makes up 25% of our household trash, but I would agree that we buy too many fresh fruits and vegetables when in season. Glad to hear that I’ll no longer be composting these materials for up to two weeks.

  9. Ace Cee says:

    I suppose I wouldn’t be opposed to this if adding all paper/cardboard (even with food contamination!) to the composting bin was allowed in addition to the food scraps and yard debris. Then we could have the recycling bin actually take all the plastics/metals that are recyclable without worrying if that pizza box lid as a spot of grease on it and therefore has to be put in the trash..

    • Amanda K. Wilson says:

      Yes! I think Republic lets Corvallis do that. Let’s hope it is true here too.

  10. Amanda K. Wilson says:

    Will Republic be supplying a container for our kitchens to put the food waste in or are we expected to run out to our yard bins every time we chop up a head of broccoli?

    I have had my issues with Republic over the years and wouldn’t mind seeing another company throw their hat into the ring to pick up our garbage, recycling and yard debris.

    • thomas earl cordier says:

      Of course we can’t place the food scraps in a baggie in the bin.

  11. Letha says:

    I like the idea of debris pick up each week. We need additional service starting in Spring when we have more grass, shrub, and tree leaves to get rid of. Why the delay with a Fall start ? It would be good if a person had a choice as to whether they want more pickups or not.

  12. Bob Woods says:


    More proof that some (most?) people have no clue about what they are talking about.

    Republic is owned by Cascade Investment L.LC., which is mostly owned by Bill Gates.


  13. thomas earl cordier says:

    The reason I use the word socialism: when elected governments don’t listen to the majority of tax/fee payers; and not allow freedom of choice for services our representative form of governance fails. Once again Bob your “no clue” diatribe rings hollow. The Council mandates ( a hallmark of socialism) I must pay for services I don’t want and do not need—that is the link. The long standing relationship between a for -profit company and elected officials wanting more income is collusion against citizens. Another hallmark of socialism and marxism. The industrial sector of Germany profited
    under Hitler until they didn’t

  14. JoAnnRachor says:

    I wish the council and Republic would consider smaller trash cans and lower prices especially for those single family homes that have only one resident. This would be appropriate to go with weekly yard/food recycling which will reduce the amount of trash needed to be collected.

    Currently Republic has a 20 gallon trash option but they have no 20 gallon cans so small families are forced to pay for a larger can than they need. Another option is to go every other pickup especial now as food waste can go in the weekly food/yard debris cans. Color cans that only want/need pickup would make this option viable. Other cities already use a similar system.

    Also is there any incentive for Republic to find expanded recycling markets which reduce the amount of recycled items in trash cans. Albany seems to have a much smaller list of allowed recycled items than other Oregon cities.

  15. DAVID SMITH says:

    A person previously wrote on this or a previous blog that there was a 10% discount on Republic billings for Senior Citizens. I wrote the Republic on-line Help Center about this and asked how to apply. They responded back promptly that I was already receiving the lowest rate for service and that Republic does not offer a discount for senior citizens in Albany.

    Republic does offer a discount for senior citizens and those with disabilities in other areas, for instance Inglewood, CA and Renton, WA. The Renton discount is 50% but is subject to a maximum income qualification.

  16. Paula B says:

    I personally only use yard garbage once a month. I have a very small yard and no trees. I would like to be able to opt out of additional fee for more pick-ups or stop my yard garbage pick-up but it sounds like that won’t be possible. On fixed incomes, these raises in fees are a burden on our budget.


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