Did You Get a Garbage Can Sticker Montclair Residents?

BY  |  Friday, Aug 15, 2014 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (53)

Yellow Sticker

Garbage cans with over 35 gallon capacity will be branded with stickers this week. It’s all due to a new ordinance (292-21), which states:

A suitable receptacle for solid waste collection must be made of metal or rigid plastic and it must have a capacity of no more than 35 gallons. The receptacle must have handles and be solidly constructed to prevent spillage or leakage of its contents. The total weight of the receptacle and its contents must not be more than 50 pounds when placed at the curb for collection. Paper bags and cardboard boxes are not suitable receptacles for garbage. All containers must be tightly covered, tied or sealed to prevent spillage or leakage and the intrusion of rainwater.

A lime green sticker will be placed on oversized and/or overweight containers. Oversized containers will be tagged with the green stickers and emptied — if materials are bagged — until Friday, September 12.

After Friday, September 12, overweight containers will be tagged with green stickers and will not be collected at any time. The resident will have to repack the materials into containers that meet the size and weight restrictions in order to comply with township ordinance 292-21.

On a morning run yesterday from Watchung Avenue to Anderson Park, I counted seven garbage cans with stickers (which look yellow and not “lime green” as the notice states.)

garbage can

Has your can been branded with a sticker? What are your thoughts on this garbage can ordinance? Take our poll:

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53 Comments

  1. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  August 15, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    Montclair should sell a branded garbage scale. How else am I supposed to know if I exceeded 50 pounds?

  2. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  August 15, 2014 @ 9:16 am

    Pick it up with one hand and carry the full length of your driveway.

  3. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  August 15, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    Remember that day the airlines charged you for that 50 pound bag, prof, and you’ll have your answer.

  4. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  August 15, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    What is the reason behind this ordinance?

  5. POSTED BY caphilly  |  August 15, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    It’s only ridiculous to those who do not have to actually lift those cans.

    (and please don’t stoop to the “it’s their job, they should stop whining” illogic unless YOU lift overly heavy objects over & over again in YOUR job. Oh wait – you probably SIT all day.)

  6. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  August 15, 2014 @ 10:04 am

    By your logic, caphilly perhaps we should bring our garbage to the town dumb. But really, some towns collect EVERYTHING- bulky, leaves, etc. without the need for “special” days. But here in Baristaville? No way.

    And did you just wait till you see the “instructions” for tossing out your old, oversized cans. Sometimes I think Montclair makes things hard, just because easy is no fun.

    But IF this is about the health of the workers (and I do sympathize with having the wrangle a large garbage container, in the same way a teacher has to wrangle 30 students, or perhaps like an Applegates ice-cream slinger having to wrangle 6 orders on a Saturday night— but then again, if you don’t like your work…….).

    I would suggest a household “bag limit,” rather than weight.

    Because I’m sure I’ll be getting a BLUE SICKER: YOU’VE EXCEEDED YOUR ALLOTTED GARBAGE WEIGHT BY ________ LBS. One more time and you’ll really get it!!!

    Either way, I wish they’d spend more time on the folks speeding and violating the pedestrians in the crosswalk law. But that’s a police issue…..

  7. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  August 15, 2014 @ 10:37 am

    “And did you just wait till you see the “instructions” for tossing out your old, oversized cans. Sometimes I think Montclair makes things hard, just because easy is no fun.”

    Fill your oversized container with bulky waste and put out on bulky waste day. That will make you and the Township even.

  8. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  August 15, 2014 @ 10:41 am

    Does anyone know, as Mrs M asked above, what is the reason behind this change? It tends to help the medicine go down if you know why you’re taking it.

  9. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  August 15, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    This is only a change in enforcement.

    The 50 lb/ 3 can limit was established in 2009 to facilitate twice-weekly refuse collection.

    I personally think it had the benefit of addressing age discriminatory work rules and reduced workman’s comp claims.

  10. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  August 15, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    One is led to believe its a trickle down effect from the union (or other reps) for the workers. Bigger cans typically mean a heaver can when garbage is added..To cut down on potential work related injuries and long term effects we have been passed on the means by which to remedy this situation.

    Frankly, this is ridiculous as we should invest in trucks that pick up the can curbside like they do in many other downs and down the shore. Want to cut down on major issues? Do that. But hey that means less guys on the truck..soo NOOO WE CANT DO THAT. This is a short term band aid for a long term problem. Just like how the men (or women) were told they could no longer pick up bags themselves out of the cans at the curb…this is an ongoing issue that could have been solved by these trucks.

    Fun fact I dont know where the 35 gallon number came from but all I could find at home depot was 32. Soo can I prorate the down for the 3 gallons?

    Recommendation: Pick up the 32 gallon Totter can with the flip lid. Our recycling can’s (which may be 40 gal but it weighs less in theory) lid met its demise rather quickly as some of the employees don’t really give a crap.

    Our previous cans, may they rest in piece(s), had the attached lids and certainly help up well. Though I think its a visual..as these cans tot he eye look correct when they are stood up..the rounded cans are usually the ones that get thrown around. Would make an interesting case study for sure.

  11. POSTED BY Cary Africk  |  August 15, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

    Even if you can’t pass the Common Core math exam, you probably know that GALLONS are a measure of LIQUID, not dry, volume.

    Researching the issue, I find that usage of gallons for dry measure originated by custom around 1006 in Europe and thrived during the middle ages.

    You’d think Montclair could, after 1,000 years, get things straight.

    In any event, there ARE official formulas for converting gallons to dry measure, based on the kinds of things they had to measure in 1006. Probably things like grain, or corn.

    I looked up several “32 gallon” trash cans available for purchase today in Home Depot. None of them, based on their measurements, holds 32 dry gallons.

    A dry gallon converts to something like 4032 cubic inches. My Rubbermaid 32 gallon can converted to less than 16 gallons.

    The concern should be WEIGHT. Whether the can says 32, 35, or 40 it should just be about weight!

    Where’s the common sense?

  12. POSTED BY Jimmytown  |  August 15, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

    Oh well. Hey, if you’d like a 30-33 gallon can and you have a bigger one, I will be happy to trade you mine for yours. In GR, there is no limit. In fact, Both the bathroom and kitchen were demolished without the use of a dumpster. Just put it out with the rest of the trash

  13. POSTED BY stu  |  August 15, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

    You could privatize your town’s garbage collection. Our garbage is collected on most holidays and we are not subject to the same requirements that Montclair is. They even come to the side of my house to pick it up and the cans are always returned standing with lids in place. My cans are so old, the bottoms are nearly worn out. In Montclair, I had to purchase new cans every few years as they would be destroyed due to mishandling by the town workers. One time, I watched from my window as the sanitation worker accidentally threw my brand new can directly under the compactor. I was also sick of having to park my car in the street so I could pick up my cans that were strewn across the apron of my driveway before being able to drive up it.

  14. POSTED BY tonyrod  |  August 15, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

    Alright folks let’s have a good clean debate here. Has anyone done due diligence on the council’s investments? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out a few members coincidentally bought into Rubbermaid last week.

    In all seriousness though I think whippersnapper makes a fair argument for investing in the new trucks. We are eventually going to upgrade anyway, and then it will make sense to go buy the larger cans again. And then Rubbermaid pockets a few more of our dollars. JUST SAYING.

  15. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  August 15, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

    Re: weight limit. Understood, but lifting heavy cans kinda goes with the territory of being a sanitation person, no? I assume that when you apply for the job, one of the questions asked is, “Are you comfortable lifting XX lbs. for XX hours?” Not judging, and don’t want to see anyone get injured, but just curious how this came about.

  16. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  August 15, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

    Mine had one handle and it broke off. Since they pull the bags out of the can anyway, do I have to get rid of a perfectly good rubbish bin now?

  17. POSTED BY sillyphus  |  August 15, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

    You wouldn’t want to get the refuse collectors angry.

  18. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  August 15, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

    “In all seriousness though I think whippersnapper makes a fair argument for investing in the new trucks. ”

    —so lemme get this straight—if this article was about the city investing in new collection trucks, the whole lot of you wouldn’t be on this site, whining about the tax dollars being spent on this initiative?

  19. POSTED BY Cary Africk  |  August 15, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

    The Council recently approved $1MM for new garbage trucks.

    Stu: it depends on who the town is being run for.

  20. POSTED BY caphilly  |  August 15, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

    . . . said everyone who sits down to do their desk jobs . . .

  21. POSTED BY johnqp  |  August 15, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    Only in Montclair. Yes, we “Can”……!!

  22. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  August 15, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    When it comes to talking trash, It’s all about who you rubbish shoulders with.That’s how the waste was won. Just ask Refuse T. Firefly. Not that I’m looking to recycle old movie characters.

  23. POSTED BY jeffjacobson  |  August 15, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

    (Quick disclosure: What follows is my personal opinion only, unrelated to my job in State government.)

    I strongly support this enforcement effort. It’s necessary for the health and safety of our town’s sanitation workers and, not for nothing, it’s good for Montclair’s fiscal health, too.

    Our sanitation workers lift tons of unpleasant trash every day, in all kinds of weather. It’s unpleasant, back-breaking work, and we owe them thanks for doing it.

    When workers have to lift overweight cans, they are more likely to get hurt. That’s obviously bad for them, and it’s bad for the Township’s fisc, too, because it raises our workers compensation costs.

    To my friend Cary Africk, who noted that weight and volume aren’t necessarily related: You’re right, but the volume of a can presents a separate problem. If a can is too large, workers have to reach into it to remove the trash. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to discard syringes and other sharp, hazardous objects in their trash. For their protection, workers need to be able to dump cans directly into the compactor truck without handling individual trash bags.

    To the commenter who said we should buy top-loaders that lift cans automatically, two things: First, we would have to buy 20 new trucks at a cost of $250,000+ each. There’s no money for that. Second, all residents would have to buy compatible containers. That’s less burdensome than what the Township is proposing here.

    Asking us to use <35 gallon containers should not pose an undue hardship. It's important to workers who deserve that minimal effort from the residents they serve. As I said, I strongly support it.

  24. POSTED BY carlas  |  August 15, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

    Jeffjacobson I think you are right about worker’s compensation. I don’t know that I’ve read much about injuries changing with what kind of truck the workers get, but my feeling is that it shows up off the clock with chronic issues.

  25. POSTED BY samwich  |  August 15, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

    Let’s get the only data that matters – what do the garbage men themselves use?

  26. POSTED BY getitstraight  |  August 15, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

    Ok one of the main issues are workers comp claims have risen in recent years due to the layoffs in 2010 and 2011. The layoffs forced older workers to now go on the garbage trucks. Some of these men are over 50 years old.
    Yes it’s also a weight issue! The problem is the residents that have large cans will not fill it up half way, they will fill it to the top. Some of these cans alone weigh 20 lbs.
    As for a private contractor, sure it could be done! Problem is they give you a good deal for a few years, the town sells all their trucks and BAM, the fee doubles! When it snows or there are storms, the collections are suspended and the men go out to deal with those issues. A private contractor just picks up garbage. The men would be laid off, cause the town would not be able to afford both. Now what happens when it snows? The town hires a private contractor for plowing the streets, at around $125/hr! With the amount of snow that we had last year, that would cost taxpayers millions!!!!! The town employees are paid roughly $33/hr in OT. You do the math! Factor in their pensions and benefits, it’s still cheaper to keep the employees. Did you know that the Parking Authority a few years back paid $400,000 to a private contractor to just clear the parking lots in town? Can you imagine the cost to plow miles of roadway.

  27. POSTED BY Cary Africk  |  August 15, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

    Jeff,
    Sure, size of can matters and a monster can is a problem! But most of the large cans are only 40 gallons and hardly larger than the legal cans. Besides, there is no “standard” as the cans that manufacturers are calling 35 gallons are really only 16 gallons. I can’t wait till someone brings this to court and shows what Rubbermaid is calling 32 gallons is really only 16. The Ordinance is really justifying cans twice as big. Put a height limit and/or diameter is you really want to be effective.

  28. POSTED BY jerryk  |  August 16, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    While Jeff and I have had our disagreements over the years, I am compelled to compliment him and provide my unequivocal support for his post. We are talking about a make-sense, worker safety issue that not only has been discussed forever, but has been “advertised” by the Township for a number of months leading up to the change in policy.

    I will actually go one step further, as I also give kudos to the Township on taking steps to enforce this ordinance, in a gentle and professional way. Our collective quality of life is dependent upon effective code enforcement and I would urge more programs like this across a greater range of statutes.

  29. POSTED BY willjames  |  August 16, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    This isn’t a great hardship for us, and it will make a difference in the lives of the men who work hard for the township. Perfectly reasonable ordinance, in my opinion.

  30. POSTED BY flipside  |  August 16, 2014 @ 8:34 am

    @Cary…”Sure, size of can matters and a monster can is a problem!”…..I couldn’t agree more!

  31. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  August 16, 2014 @ 9:48 am

    “I can’t wait till someone brings this to court”

    —not sure what’s more revolting: some pea brain taking this to court or you rhetorically cheering them along.

  32. POSTED BY paolo  |  August 16, 2014 @ 11:08 am

    I wonder if the 3 can limit is transferable?

    A family with two adults and six kids would fill three cans in no time at all. While a one person household might not fill three cans in a month.

    Creating a cap and trade market for can rights could reduce overall wate if you had to buy stickers for each pickup. Works for smokestack pollution, I’m told.

  33. POSTED BY rightwingdem  |  August 16, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    I believe economically and for practicality the best solution is to have trash collection subcontracted to a private firm. Montclair would save a ton of money – other towns have proven this to be correct. No more overhead of trucks – maintenance, insurance, etc -no more expense of prima Donna workers – and the huge overhead that goes with them.
    Matter solved

  34. POSTED BY pat gilleran  |  August 16, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

    there’s an ordinance that says 3 cans per single family home. I wonder if school registration is transferable- let’s say you live in Montclair and I live in East Orange- you have no kids and I have 3 – can I register my kids under your address?

  35. POSTED BY paolo  |  August 16, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

    Pat Gilleran wrote:

    >here’s an ordinance that says 3 cans per single family home. I wonder if school registration is transferable- let’s say you live in Montclair and I live in East Orange- you have no kids and I have 3 – can I register my kids under your address?

    ——————–

    It would make sense that you should be able to re-sell your garbage can capacity if you don’t need it, so why shouldn’t you be able to sell your unused school capacity? You’re paying for it through your taxes.

    Somehow, it would make more sense to require that you should purchase as many stickers as you need for the number of garbage cans you’ll use. A family of two adults and six, eight, ten etc kids will be seriously disadvantaged under the current law.

  36. POSTED BY deadeye  |  August 16, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

    Ridiculous. They simply reach into the cans and pull out the neatly packed bags. Watch them sometime. They don’t pick up the cans.

  37. POSTED BY deadeye  |  August 16, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    Oh, and hire private haulers.

  38. POSTED BY Kristin  |  August 16, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

    It’s not like there wasn’t warning that the un-new ordinance would be enforced.

    For my part, I appreciate now having single-stream recycling. That makes my life a lot easier. So, thank you, Montclair Sanitation and Recycling! Thank you for minimizing the recycling sorting in my life.

  39. POSTED BY PAZ  |  August 16, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

    Kristin…..Single stream may be dead soon. China’s getting picky.

  40. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  August 16, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

    OMG people of Montclair!
    With diligent composting, recycling, and a little farm to table, the average Montclair family of 4 should have one 35 gal garbage can a week.

    Curious how many families of 8, 10, etc in this day and age.

    Geez. We did this whole back and forth in April & May of 2012. The voters voted. BTW, I was on the right side of the decision.

  41. POSTED BY Kristin  |  August 16, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

    PAZ: Then I’ll start being more diligent in separating my plastics and paper. But thanks for the wet blanket!

  42. POSTED BY PAZ  |  August 16, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

    Sorry, but there might be a bright side to this. Some American companies are finally getting on board….but when?

  43. POSTED BY pat gilleran  |  August 17, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    Proto wrote:

    “It would make sense that you should be able to re-sell your garbage can capacity if you don’t need it, so why shouldn’t you be able to sell your unused school capacity? You’re paying for it through your taxes.”

    Does that mean that people should be allowed to rent out rooms in their homes- turning them into a hotel but not paying the hotel tax- lets say I have 3 extra bedrooms- that’s at least $180 per night at the airbnb low rate of $60 in Montclair. You could have what is essentially a rooming house.

    And then of course theirs your parking pass for the train station- maybe an auction is in your future – so it’s against the rules and there’s a waiting list – you paid for it

  44. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  August 17, 2014 @ 10:12 am

    32 gallons of styrofoam peanuts or 32 gallons of dense kitchen scraps in plastic draw stringed smaller bags which are lifted out easily and tossed into the truck? 32 gallons could weigh 10 pounds or 60 pounds. The workers are not stupid, they adjust as they go. Come on. What kind of republican Bull Shxx is this? I thought Dick Cheney lived in Montana or Idaho.

  45. POSTED BY paolo  |  August 17, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    Pat Gilleran wrote:

    Proto wrote:

    “It would make sense that you should be able to re-sell your garbage can capacity if you don’t need it, so why shouldn’t you be able to sell your unused school capacity? You’re paying for it through your taxes.”

    Does that mean that people should be allowed to rent out rooms in their homes- turning them into a hotel but not paying the hotel tax- lets say I have 3 extra bedrooms- that’s at least $180 per night at the airbnb low rate of $60 in Montclair. You could have what is essentially a rooming house.

    And then of course theirs your parking pass for the train station- maybe an auction is in your future – so it’s against the rules and there’s a waiting list – you paid for it

    ————–

    Renting a room to an unrelated party in Montclair can be technically illegal. Not registering your room as a hotel and not collecting the tax is also illegal, as I understand the law. There are laws about fire escapes, bathrooms, smoke detectors hard wired installation, inspections, etc.

    With regard to sub-letting your parking sticker for the remainder of a year, I’m all for that if you paid for it. Lying on your renewal to say you are still using it isn’t acceptable, at least to me.

  46. POSTED BY njgator  |  August 18, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

    getitstraight – Your argument re snow is a canard. GR has privatized trash collection. GR has way better snow removal than Montclair. I live on one of the streets between Grove and Ridgewood where the border between the two towns run (we like to say we live in Glen Clair). You can literally see the border on most of these streets after a snow fall, because the Glen Ridge side of the street is plowed better and faster.

    Oh and post Sandy and our October snowstorms of the last few years, GR cleared tree debris way faster and with less restrictions on the homeowner than Montclair. My tree limbs and branches were removed by GR within a week…while that of my Montclair neighbors remained at their curb for about a month.

    POSTED BY getitstraight | AUGUST 15, 2014 @ 8:24 PM
    Ok one of the main issues are workers comp claims have risen in recent years due to the layoffs in 2010 and 2011. The layoffs forced older workers to now go on the garbage trucks. Some of these men are over 50 years old. Yes it’s also a weight issue! The problem is the residents that have large cans will not fill it up half way, they will fill it to the top. Some of these cans alone weigh 20 lbs.
    As for a private contractor, sure it could be done! Problem is they give you a good deal for a few years, the town sells all their trucks and BAM, the fee doubles! When it snows or there are storms, the collections are suspended and the men go out to deal with those issues. A private contractor just picks up garbage. The men would be laid off, cause the town would not be able to afford both. Now what happens when it snows? The town hires a private contractor for plowing the streets, at around $125/hr! With the amount of snow that we had last year, that would cost taxpayers millions!!!!! The town employees are paid roughly $33/hr in OT. You do the math! Factor in their pensions and benefits, it’s still cheaper to keep the employees. Did you know that the Parking Authority a few years back paid $400,000 to a private contractor to just clear the parking lots in town? Can you imagine the cost to plow miles of roadway.

  47. POSTED BY stu  |  August 18, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    Would garbage pickup be cheaper if privatized? You’ll never know, because it’s never been researched. Former Mayor Fried asked the director of municipal services to look into it. I bet he gave an unbiased response.

    I’m not sure if this is still the case, but I remember about a decade ago when Ed Remsen was in charge and residents were also complaining about the garbage pick up that there was a very disturbing policy in place. The sanitation workers were not paid hourly. If they finished their route in less time than their allotted shift, they could go home early. This might explain the shoddy performance and the cans strewn about the place. Someone should look into if this is still the case.

    Ultimately, who doesn’t like big cans? :P

  48. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  August 18, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

    “Ultimately, who doesn’t like big cans?”

    —what a class way to seal your argument!

    re: privatization…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBLkDdwMVxU

  49. POSTED BY getitstraight  |  August 18, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

    Njgator,

    GR is 1.287 square miles and Montclair is 6.315 square miles! Of course GR can be plowed a lot faster and branches picked up quicker! Duh! Montclair had it a lot worse then GR during Sandy, why? It’s a lot larger town! You can’t compare the two!

  50. POSTED BY getitstraight  |  August 18, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

    Montclair has more trees because of the size of the town!

  51. POSTED BY hipflask  |  August 19, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

    So where do we go to throw out our old larger cans?

  52. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  August 19, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

    from the link provided in the article above (ahem…):

    For residents wishing to dispose of unusable refuse containers the following methods will be available until Saturday, September 27, 2014:

    – Drop the container(s) off at the recycling drop-off at 219 North Fullerton Avenue, on Saturdays (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM).

    – Place the container out empty, upside down with a note saying “TAKE” on your bulky waste collection day.

    – Call the Department of Community Services at (973) 509-5711 and request to be placed on the list for an earlier collection, if your bulky waste day is not convenient.

  53. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  August 25, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

    For Montclair residents wishing to dispose of unusable refuse containers, contact a friend in one of the other, less enlightened towns of Baristaville. We’ll be glad to take them.

    Seriously though, it really seems like a waste to just collect them as bulky waste to recycle.

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