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Oct 17, 2010

Expect more garbage around RBS

All the local Bet Shemesh newspapers (the ones I read at least) reported on the latest attempts of the Irya to save money on the backs of the residents.

The city is trying to save money on garbage pickup. They decided to cut the pickup in RBS from 4 times a week to 3 times a week. As well, other neighborhoods will be cut as well, some from 4 to 3 and some from 3 times weekly to 2 times weekly.

These cuts will bring big savings to city pockets. Especially because in some neighborhoods, like RBS, garbage removal is contracted out to an external company that is paid per pickup. Cutting the frequency of their pickup will directly affect the cost of garbage removal in the city.

Reuven Cohen, the councilman in charge of health services, is trying to fight it. Obviously having less frequent garbage removal will have an effect on health in the city. More garbage sitting around raises the potential for health problems. Cohen says that when the city held the meeting debating whether they should make these cuts, not a single representative of RBS, including any of the councilmen who live in RBS, was invited to participate in the meeting and share his opinion as a resident of the affected neighborhood.

It is not like the city is perfectly clean and city services are working so efficiently, that this is a necessary cut that can be handled because of the great efficiency in all other areas. the city streets are already fairly dirty. Walk through the parks and you will see garbage strewn and blowing around. There are not enough street cleaners or park cleaners, let alone all the other issues the city has to deal with. Cutting garbage pickup will be a disaster.

In addition, RBS and other newer neighborhoods already pay higher arnona rates than old Bet Shemesh. It is debatable whether we are getting our money's worth, as city services are not being provided to the same level as in other neighborhoods. Now to cut garbage removal is taking away the one city service that works right in RBS.

Because of Cohen, the city has agreed to delay implementation and instead will be conducting a 30 day test period to see how such a cut will affect the service provided and the effect on the neighborhood's cleanliness.

I don't know what can be done, but if you can contact a city councilman or the mayor and express your dissatisfaction, that might be helpful.


  1. (not G)
    What to do? Maybe throw garbage around during the 30 day trial in order to make it fail...

  2. Worried ResidentOctober 17, 2010 2:24 PM

    Suggest we all bring our garbage to the bins by the Mayor's office...

  3. Worried - wont help. they arent cutting old BS pickup because there it is not an external contract but city employees. they save nothing by cutting it in old BS.

  4. In my parents ritzy CT suburb, they pick up once a week. In Teaneck, you have to pay privately for garbage pickup, despite massive property taxes. I think 3 times a week will be ok. We have that here in Modiin, no cholera outbreaks yet as far as I know.

  5. I grew up with garbage collection twice a week, then later on once. Now in Toronto there are tight limits on how much garbage you can throw out "freely" The truth is, 3-4 times a weeks has always been a lot in my mind for garbage pick up (not that I am complaining, but surely once every 3 days would be doable for most people.

    The truth is, also in the news this weeks was the suggestion that arnona would not be being raised. Obviously we will see if this turns out to be truth- but if it does I would prefer to have service cut than to have another regular expense go up and be *backdated* to the start of last year! If this saves the iriya enough to do that, I am all for it.

    The other thing is, if they were adding new services (like that stupid median on Refaim!) than I can complain about the lack of street cleaning and other things that should be dealt with first. Complaining that other things are no good while they are cutting services to save money seems like twi seperate arguments to me.

  6. wait, it is only RBS? Now that I did not realize. That does change factors somewhat. I still stand by what I said, but think it should be a one for all and all for one sort of thing!

  7. the articles said a few neighborhoods, but only pointed out RBS specifically.
    3 might be enough (we'll find out during the month long test I guess), but what about those that are going to go down to 2?

    in other places they might do fine with once or twice a week, but do they have as high a congestion of kids per block? families here are pretty large on average - 4 to 5 kids per family is very common, and some have more.

  8. forget the pickups, that won't make a difference - we need to educate the people better that the streets aren't garbage cans - they do it in Beitar (i.e., you're fined if you throw your artik wrapper on the ground, etc.), so why can't they do it here???

  9. Rafi- where I lived in toronto 7-9 was the average.

  10. 1. I made up my number, lowballing what I see as being average. I dont really know what the local average family size is, though I suspect it will be in the range of about 5 kids per family.

    2. 7-9 sounds pretty high for a city mixed with non-Jews. Are you sure you are not just thinking of the local frum Jewish families, not taking into account the 1-2 kids per non-Jewish (and not-frum-Jewish) family?

  11. I was talking about our area, where the pickup services were fine even though it was so much higher than the rest of the city at large.

  12. I fail to see the connection between park cleanup and garbage collection. Even if garbage is collected twice a day, the parks wouldn't be any cleaner, since the garbagemen don't clean the parks.

    Perhaps they will be able to afford park cleanup with the money they save on garbage collection.

  13. If they are worried about the cost of garbage pickup by us. Why don't they cut the times per week around all of BS, then have the city employees pick up by us as well. It will lessen the # times per week, but get rid of an entire city contractor.

  14. yoni - it is just an example of where you can see the city not being clean enough with the city not devoting the necessary resources to deal with the situation properly.

    And yes, I am in favor (and think I have written about in the past) of doing something here like Betar, where people are fined for littering, and getting people to stop littering. but that does not absolve the irya from their responsibility to clean up the city.

  15. You are dealing with apartment buildings full of large families, and a hotter climate. Once a week won't cut it.

  16. thinking about this some more... I dont know how they got to 4 times a week in RBS. I know that with the 4 cans allocated for the 2 buildings by me - my building and the building next door, if 2 days go by with no garbage pickup, the garbage is all over the ground. 1 day in between pickups is fine, but 2 days it gets very messy.

    If they test and see that the contractors upped it to 4 days on their own, just to squeeze more money out of the city government, unjustifiably, so cut it. No need to waste resources just so the contractors can make money.. I am assuming that it was upped along the way as they saw that 2 was no longer enough, and then 3 was no longer enough.

    As I said, I know that if 2 days goes by with the garbage not being picked up from the buildings here it gets pretty messy

  17. Eliezer - you really dont want that to happen. when city employees go on strike (doesnt happen often, but it does happen), we still get our garbage picked up because they use contractiors.

  18. no building has garbage pickup 4x weekly. maybe the public trash cans do (that would be worthwhile). our building has the bucket-in-the-ground kind and the service comes twice each week, just in time before it overflows.

    if they cut general pickup rounds, that would mean some buildings will get fewer pickups. so the city might need to buy them more dumpsters to tide them over.

  19. Anon 5:45 -
    Do you live on Snir or Zavitan? As that is the only place I've seen those types of bins, and those are private ones, it has nothing to do with the Irya.

  20. there are more - but mostly in projects that were built in the past 2 years. what do you mean private? maybe a different contractor, but we aren't paying any special collection fee (unlike some projects that pay a special electricity fee for "internal" lighting)

  21. i'm greatly amused by the assumption that the only possible consequence of decreased garbage pickup is a bigger mess.

  22. We get masses of flies a week or two after every garbage strike.

  23. MII:

    what about:

    1) get more, bigger or better garbage bins
    2) decrease garbage output
    3) drive your own garbage to the dump

    i guess no. 1 is up to the iriyah or the vaad habayit.
    nos. 2-3 involve personal responsibility.

    i've been to israel during a santitation strike and i know it's not pretty. there may not be much you can do (easily) when there is no pick up for 2 weeks. but cutting back one day a week seems manageble to me.

    i'm sorry to indulge in a stereotype, but many parts of israel are simply dirty and it is obvious that residents don't give a hoot. less garbage pick up may make it even worse, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse for it.

  24. Garbage bins are incredibly expensive; very few vaadei bayit have money. Yes, we could produce less garbage, but, of course, the next move would be to cut further.

    I'll be happy to take my garbage to the dump in my polluting car... which, of course, I don't actually own, since we don't have money to blow on luxuries. I wonder if Egged will let me shlep garbage...

  25. Litter in the streets or parks has nothing to do with frequency of garbage collection, it has to do with people littering. And it's not just children and it's not just Israelis! I'm all for fines. (I'm also in favour of fines for people parking in bus stops, but I digress...)

    Garbage can be greatly reduced if there were more people recycling Paper has become a lot easier, but still not as convenient as throwing away. Aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass - well let's say it's better than nothing, but it's far from convenient. Boxes are a huge filler of space. I'm not sure why we can't recycle boxes anywhere, but at the very least, I wish people would collapse them before throwing them into the bin. It would take a fraction of the space.

  26. Abba, there is talk about separating garbage in the near future. Everything comes here eventually. Bigger or larger bins require space, which not all buildings have.
    In a compact neighborhood, I'm not sure it is that much more efficient to collect less frequently.

  27. Rafi,

    In San Francisico they started charging residents based on the quantity of garbage they throw away. Waste is now down to 1980 levels. Source: SciAmer. Sept 2010

  28. Well,

    Our city spokesman said that within a year Bet Shemesh would be the biggest Charedi city in Israel.

    Messy,overspilling garbage is a great start to compete with some of the other biggies (with the exception of Beitar which is clean).

    we should fit right in.

  29. Great. Bring more non-arnona paying Chareidim to ramat beit shemesh.

    Soon garbage pickup will be limited to Erev Pesach.


  30. Hey Rafi, what happened to all the representation RBS was supposed to have with voting in Abutbol?

  31. My Arnona keeps going up and my city services keep falling by the waist side (maybe "waste" side.) I think we've been fooled. Why didn't I vote for Lerner? Or maybe I am imagining things. What do you say Rafi, is there anyone on the city council who represents RBS?

  32. it seems like all our representation was to help a nation-wide crisis get solved (housig) rather than for improving quality of life for current residents.

  33. "In San Francisico they started charging residents based on the quantity of garbage they throw away. Waste is now down to 1980 levels. Source: SciAmer. Sept 2010"

    Then you'll find that people start dumping their excess garbage in outlying fields or wasteground - which is unsightly and dangerous. The Iriyah has to clean it up anyway.

  34. "In San Francisico they started charging residents based on the quantity of garbage they throw away. Waste is now down to 1980 levels. Source: SciAmer. Sept 2010"

    If they start that here the same people who make most of the garbage (and care little about the mess it makes) will demand huge discounts for that charge too!

  35. I actually like the idea of charging for waste, effecting people to waste less. I sometimes look at how much waste we generate and feel bad about it. Not bad enough to become a tree hugger, mind you, but I still think we waste way too much.

  36. Not only that, you'll have people dumping it all over the country. One of our neighbors was accused of that, because of a paper with his name on it. Apparently the private garbage company had dumped his garbage illegally in some other city.


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