City code updated to fit new trash contract

Starting Monday, refuse company CR&R; will begin the process of picking up trash for Newport Beach residents who have had city service.

The transition, estimated to take about 16 weeks, will phase in select areas week by week like patchwork, starting with the end of the Balboa Peninsula.

Council members unanimously voted to update the city's municipal code Tuesday night to fit the city's new contract with CR&R;, striking proposed language that would have allowed for the company's soon-to-be-distributed bins to be placed in alleyways.

Residents had expressed concern that even the smallest bin might not fit in side yards or garages. However, the council felt that allowing the the bins to be kept in alleyways might lead to abuses.

When the change gets underway, residents will receive postcards notifying them that their new carts are coming. The new bins will be delivered by CR&R; the following week, at a rate of roughly 300 homes a day, and CR&R; will begin to empty them the next week, work previously done by city employees.

A map of the planned transition is available online, and the city hopes to have a searchable database running by Friday.

Nearly 17,000 cart orders had been received by residents so far and selections for desired sizes and types can still be made. Otherwise a default package will be provided, city spokesperson Tara Finnigan explained during an update on the issue at Tuesday's council meeting.

Old carts can be picked up the week following, if desired and labeled as trash.

As the hodgepodge of resident-purchased trash cans disappears to make way for the company's streamlined gray ones, much will otherwise remain the same. Collection days will go unchanged. Carts will still have to be placed curbside or in an alley. For those less inclined to use a can, a bag of trash or cardboard box can still be left out instead.

Still, the carts were anticipated to cause some headaches for residents in tightly packed areas like Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula, where close quarters may provide a challenge for cart storage, especially if water meters or hose hook-ups get in the way, City Manager Dave Kiff noted.

While the current municipal code requires residents to store containers "in a side area no further beyond the corner of a building," as summarized by a staff report, Council members declined Tuesday to include language that would permit residents to place trash bins in alleyways, as staff suggested.

Councilman Mike Henn noted that such an addition could compound problems like kids and wind knocking over the bins or trash pickers digging through them.

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