Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Too Much Junk? You're Not Alone.

By Kara Platoni
Tue, May 8, 2007 at 4:55 PM

The City of Oakland, which adopted a Zero Waste plan to cut the city's annual garbage output from 400,000 tons to 40,000 tons by the year 2020, has recently done a survey to find out what its residents are currently doing with their bulky trash and recyclables. Bulky trash is an important component of the city's plan to reduce waste: large items like mattresses, computers, appliances, and tires are all recycled. To reduce illegal dumping and trash-stash pilfering, a few years ago the city switched over to appointment-based bulky trash pickups. So are people taking advantage of it? Well, says the survey, although one in five residents say they would like to declutter, only one in four actually does it. The full results after the jump:

Commissioned by the City's Recycling Program, the survey shows that in an era of "green awareness" residents have good intentions, but most have not acted on them yet. 69 percent want to dispose of unwanted bulky items that clutter the house but either haven't gotten around to it, feel it's too complicated, are physically unable to do it, or "plan to in the next year."

60 percent of the respondents have lived in their residences for ten or more years, so have had plenty of time to accumulate clutter.

While the popularity of sites like Craigslist and others continue to grow, only 17 percent have used the Internet to get rid of unwanted household items.

While 28 percent have paid for a private hauler to have bulky items removed, a full 93 percent know that they can get service at no extra charge simply by calling for an appointment with the city's Bulky Pickup and Recycling Program.

Pickups can be scheduled by calling Waste Management of Alameda County at 510-613-8710.

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