Concord to Hire Trash Removal Company to Pick-Up Illegally Dumped Items

March 24, 2014 8:00 am · 48 comments


The Concord City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a contract with an Oakland-based trash pick-up company to remove illegally dumped trash from city streets throughout the next year.

The company, Bernardini Enterprises, Inc., will be paid no more than $15,000 for trash pick-up during the one-year period.

The City of Concord Public Works Department has contracted to remove trash illegally discarded on public property since July of 2006. Typical items include beds, couches, major appliances, construction material, and garbage dumped on the street and sidewalk.

The Public Works Department has contracted for two reasons. First, staffing reductions in the Public Works Department decreased availability of personnel and increased response time. Over three years beginning with Fiscal Year 2008, the number of full-time personnel in Public Works decreased by 30% and part-time staff by 27%. While Public Works staff often are not available to immediately pick up trash, the contractor is always available to respond to incidents the same day if reported before 11 a.m. and the next day if reported after 11 a.m. The second reason was to save money. The contractor can pick up and properly recycle or properly dispose of any item like a refrigerator or couch from anywhere in Concord for $48 including labor, vehicles, equipment, fuel, transportation, disposal/recycling fees, taxes, licensing, and insurance. Using a contractor in these instances is very cost effective, according to the City of Concord.

Also, the City of Concord has received grant funds from the State of California for this purpose pursuant to the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act of 1986. This contract will be entirely paid
from the grant funds.

In 2013, 182 cases of illegal dumping were handled by the current contractor in Concord. In total, the contractor picked up and properly disposed of 993 cubic yards of trash that had been illegally discarded on public property.

photo: Illegally dumped trash on Shary Circle in Concord. Photo taken on March 27th. Thanks to Tim for the picture.

Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 8:17 AM

I guess it would be too cost effective to have the street maintenance crew pick up the trash and take it to the corporation yard where it could be dropped in a dumpster.
Gotta keep feeding the economy, right and at taxpayer expense.

94519 March 24, 2014 at 8:21 AM

This is the kind of stuff that these cheap clean
up and un-licensed “handy man” crews dump.
At least there’s a solution, but we have to stop
using these fly by night repair and construction

Armydadca March 24, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Doesn’t the city already have a contract with a trash company? Why are we paying more for what should be covered under an existing contract?

Wait, I think I answered my own question. The existing contract is covered with Union workers. And if the trash is not in a can (with the lid completely closed) that can be picked up by a mechanical arm, they won’t touch it. Trash on the street would mean that they would actually have to work for a living.

94519 March 24, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I cannot for the life of me, comprehend the
fact that posters here,or any where, don’t understand
that we ( taxpayers and consumers) pay for
everything. Do you think Toyota will absorb
the one point two billion dollar fine?
Hell no. It may take awhile but they will get it
back. P.G.E. will get back the money lost
over the San Bruno disaster. And one way or
the other taxes will pay for government expenditures.
The only thing we can do as citizens and
consumers is to make them give us our monies

Old Timer March 24, 2014 at 9:19 AM

It would take time from the coffee breaks, also from 3 or 4 people doing one small jobs that 1 or 2 people could do for street maintenance crew pick up the trash and take it to the corporation yard where it could be dropped in a dumpster.

anonanonagain March 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Too bad there isn’t a way to “hunt” these illegal dumpers down and make THEM pay for this service. I agree with 94519 @2, that people shouldn’t hire these cheap, illegal and unethical dumping services or cheap laborers who haul away the debris only to dump it on the side of the road.

All About Money March 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Isn’t it too bad those spring cleanup days were too expensive for garbage companies, they “convinced” cities to make them on demand. Other problem are OUTRAGEOUSLY high fees charged at transfer stations if you want to drop off garbage. How many relatives of so called “public servants” work for garbage companies?

who dat March 24, 2014 at 9:38 AM

for as much time as the city workers spend wasting time at BoatWright Fields they could be picking up that trash!

Costs2Much2Dump March 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM

The whole reason people illegally dump in the first place is not laziness. It the ridiculous prices that the landfills/dumps charge the average person for the privilege of dumping. The city and county needs to exam the insanity that is the pricing structure at these places and do something about that instead. I’m originally from Montana and most landfills/dumps are city owned/operated and any resident can dump almost whatever they want for free. It’s included in the taxes you pay as is residential garbage collection. When I first moved here I couldn’t believe how much per month garbage collection service was.

BagsFlyFree March 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Now can we double the fines so we don’t need to use these guys as much? Perhaps some stings on Willow Pass, Pine St. and near the 242 onramp off Olivera?

Marianne March 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The economy is hitting everyone, why can’t people just take their own garbage to the dump. Now the taxpayers will have to cover the cost.

The Mamba March 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Wow, I’m surprised a company would take that gig for $15K a year, I wonder how they make the economics of sending someone out and dumping it work? Maybe they wait until a certain number of calls aggregate?

Will Police be monitoring March 24, 2014 at 10:09 AM

in an effort to identify illegal dumpers……

Hey, cool! Time to take out my trash then... March 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Don't tax me bro March 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM

No mention of the legal ramifications of illegal dumping? This article almost makes it sound ok to dump. No worries, we’ll pay someone else to clean up your mess? How often is someone caught and prosecuted? What’s the penalty?

confused March 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Why wouldn’t they contract a local hauling business instead? Well a well-know legit business I’m sure there is one or two that would be worth the investment

sam March 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM

@ #6… very appropriately stated; if any civic minded citizen sees someone illegally dumping refuse… they are going to be invariably using a vehicle in the commission of this offense… get the license plate number.. accurate description of the vehicl and the perpetrator(s)… call it in to the police… i am most certain this is not a 911 offense… but most assuradly, you can still call the police “non emergency” phone number to report the incident.

sam March 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM

being civic minded, “eyes on the street”, as the police can’t be everywhere. @#6… thank you for your post.

ConcordMike March 24, 2014 at 10:59 AM

It’s great that we are supporting local economy by hiring local…
oh wait. Oakland based trash hauling?

And $15,000 a year, or do they get paid by the month?
Please don’t give them $15,000 up front in advance and then have to bring a costly lawsuit after they decide it’s not worth it.

Profits March 24, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Maybe it’s time for Grand Jury to look into garbage, how cities arrive at contracts and is public really being served.

Yellow Neon Unitard March 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM

This sounds like a job for ” CAPTAIN CAN “.

Marianne March 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM

#14 That was funny, :-)–but seriously, there’s always a cost somewhere, even if it’s not apparent. Just sayin….

Anon March 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I agree with #9. Not saying it’s OK to dump stuff on the side of the road but the dump fees are insane. I just spent $75 to unload a little over two yards in Martinez…just sayin.

Dorothy March 24, 2014 at 11:20 AM

It might (maybe) more cost effective if the various local trash companies reinstated the semi-annual pickups.

Someone near my area moved recently and their old couch is still sitting on the sidewalk in front of the house. Maybe they are hoping someone will want it?

A friend in SF says people leave all kinds of furniture out on the street and it is usually “rescued” before the day is out. That just doesn’t happen out this way.

@Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM

The street maintenance crews don’t drive garbage trucks. What are they supposed to do with the garbage they pick up? Throw it on top of their tools and materials? Should they be expected to carry a nasty old couch with them until they return to the Corp yard?

I think what they’re doing makes the most sense, and the cost seems pretty reasonable to me.

Concord = Trash March 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM

The local police need to really start monitoring the “scum” who do engage in these types of activities. I see the “scum” of concord all the time walking around with their trash bags and then dumping it on some corner like the one shown above. These trolls just leave it lying around and then just take off. Time for the police to step up and arrest these fools with a complementary free trip to the prison cell. You see some “scum” walking down the street with heavy trash bags in their carts, start monitoring them closely, mr. policeman.

No wonder concord smells so bad.

anonanonagain March 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM

@ Costs2Much2Dump # 9. I agree it is appalling how much it costs for garbage disposal, but comparing Montana’s system to California’s is not a fair comparison.
Montana has a population of approx. 1.01 million. California has a population of about 38 million. That means that we generate a lot more garbage than the state of Montana does. Land is expensive here. As we run out of usable landfill sites, the cost of disposing of our garbage has risen. We can only ship so much crap off to China.
I think if more people visited a landfill, perhaps people would stop buying the inane amount of disposable crap and think more of repurposing or recycling junk. People see th garbage being taken and never think of where it goes. We live in a very disposable world and the junk is mounting ever higher…….

Apparently those complaining of the high cost of dumps March 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

have all forgotten The Sopranos. Garbage hauling is a very profitable business, and, in the Concord area, the Garaventa family owns our politicians, who give them long term contracts. Garaventa=Concord Disposal, for those who may be new here.

Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM

@ 25 –
Yep, just toss in the back of one of those pick-ups that the taxpayers bought and take it to the corp yard.
Your vision must be better than mine because I didn’t notice the nasty old couch in the pic.
Do you even you know the difference between garbage and trash.

@Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM

My reading comprehension is also better than yours because the article said that typical items include beds, couches, and major appliances.

You did read the article, didn’t you?

People complain about high garbage rates March 24, 2014 at 1:06 PM

and the high cost of taking stuff to the loaded dumps, yet they are the same ones who complain when plastic bags are to be eliminated at stores, and will complain when styrofoam containers are banned at their favorite fast food joints. Get rid of the garbage at the origin, folks, then you’ll not have to complain about high dump charges.

Anon March 24, 2014 at 1:12 PM

$15,000 is a great deal but with current dump fees it won’t last. A company can’t make a profit with the amount of trash we are talking about cleaning up.

Diablo March 24, 2014 at 1:56 PM

That will cost less than putting a few dumpsters out……….not!

Deduct garbage fees..... March 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

from Welfare and Unemployment payments.

Responsible dumper March 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I wonder if I can call this contractor to come to my house and pick up my garbage at the same rate they charge the city (I would pay for it, of course). It seems like a way more affordable option than some of the legitimate hauling companies.

Silva March 24, 2014 at 2:53 PM

You know what happens in Oakland if you don’t pay your garbage bill? They collect the trash anyway, and add the bill plus a fee to your property taxes. It’s been that way forever.

You know what happens in Concord if you don’t pay your garbage bill? They don’t collect your trash. I’ve got a sneaky feeling that this isn’t all being done by unlicensed hauling companies.

Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 3:41 PM

@ #30 –
Hey it’s fine with me if you want to pay twice for a service (actually more than twice) that the maintenance crew can and should do. You must have an abundance of cash to throw around. Got loads myself but still hate to get screwed.

BagsFlyFree March 24, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Commercial trash rates are obscene in Concord. Small condo associations around town have been billed $26,000+ annually for three to four bins picked up weekly. How can such a wacko pricing structure be approved by the city council unopposed?

We need competition for cable, trash, energy… You can see what monopolies do when left to their own devices.

BFF Out!

While I could disagree with the March 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM

City Council in this, I can see where they have few choices.

If people would report dumping like this with vehicle license numbers, the code enforcement people could take steps to tack these people down and charge them for dumping and the cost of taking the refuse to the dump.

But some people want things fixed and don’t want to get involved. So we end up with a band aid rather than a fix.

No one to blame but yourselves if you let this happen in your neighborhood.

@Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Please quit while you’re behind.

It has nothing to do with whether I want to pay twice for the same service. Streets Maintenance is no more responsible for picking up illegally dumped trash than the Fire Department, the Water District, or the Asian lady who does your nails.

Maybe you should call the Police to come over and mow your lawn. No reason to pay twice, right?

Pegasus March 24, 2014 at 5:18 PM

@ #40 –
Well my friend, I just checked with a cousin who happens to work for another town in a different county and they do this stuff all the time. Maybe Concord is special. You sure seem like you’re “special”.

haha! March 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I’m enjoying the humor Pegasus and @Pegasus.. and am wondering who’s going to get the last word.. Carry on. 🙂

Diablo March 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

The real joke is to keep doing the same things expecting different results.

frenchdawg March 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I need a scrap metal hauler , I see there trucks loaded to the gills on the freeway all the time . They have a sign spray painted on side saying ‘free hauling’ . I’ve got an old weber gas grill needs to be gone anyone know one?

Larr!! March 24, 2014 at 7:59 PM

This must be the cheapest way to get things done for services we are already getting taxed to death over.

@frenchdawg March 24, 2014 at 8:53 PM

Put an ad on craigslist and offer it for free. I’ve given away (literally) tons of scrap metal that way.

Michelle March 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Just leave it on the sidewalk-someone will get it; it is summer.

TiooBadAboutthePigs March 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM

It’s too bad that people have no pride and dump things illegally. I don’t know what is going on out there, but there are fewer and fewer honest people. It’s all just a shame.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: