Monday, April 11, 2011
What comes in must go out. You go shopping and bring home stuff and it later mysteriously transforms itself into garbage. This is the way life goes.
Earlier this year, the county board of supervisors voted to raise the garbage rates for unincorporated Contra Costa communities (cities set their own rates).The local paper reported: “The supervisors approved a nearly 14 percent garbage rate increase for about 7,700 customers in unincorporated Brentwood, Concord and Oakley, as well as Bay Point, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island and Knightsen. Starting March 1, the cost of a 96-gallon can will go from $31.85 to $35.85 a month, while a 32-gallon can will go from $28.85 to $32.85 a month.”
We had a 96-gallon toter can, supplied by the garbage company, for years. We didn’t have a choice. The 96-gallon can was way too big for our minimal garbage. Most weeks I only have two 10-gallon plastic bags in the can.
When I learned of the rate increase I called the company to have them take away the big can and asked for a 32-gallon can. They told me they did not have them available for our area. They told me to buy my own 32-gallon can. I went to every hardware store around here to get one. I could not find a toter can – the one with the big wheels that can be hefted up by the garbage truck’s automatic lifter. I bought a regular 32-gallon can for $18. The first week I put it out at the curb; the lid was tossed aside and squished. I bought another can. I put it out and it was damaged somehow.
I called the company and asked if I could put my garbage at the curb in a big black plastic leaf bag. They said I could do it one time, but that I was required to use a garbage can. I said I really wanted a 32-gallon toter from them. They said the small toters might be available in September. That meant I had to pay $215.10 for a 96-gallon can for six months, or keep on buying 32-gallon cans at the hardware store to get the lower rate of $197.10 until September (maybe).
I had toters on my mind when I visited a friend in another city. I asked about garbage services in their area. It turned out that my friend just happened to have an extra 32-gallon toter sitting around unused. The little toter came home with me. It’s just perfect – not too small, not too large. I had to get special permission to use this illegal immigrant toter. The staff at Supervisor Federal Glover’s office helped me with the garbage company arrangements.