Measure T proposes mandatory yard waste containers | News
SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento residents will vote on how they should get rid of yard waste on Election Day - Measure U could possibly eliminate the need for "the claw."
In the 1970s, residents passed Measure A, a law that prevented the city from forcing residents to use a container for yard waste. Because of Measure A, residents created leaf piles that would be picked up by the city's leaf picking truck, a.k.a. the claw.
On Tuesday, a "Yes" vote on Measure T would essentially repeal Measure A, and require Sacramento homeowners to use containers to for their yard waste.
"The key purpose of that measure was to prevent 100 percent containerization where the Claw became extinct, and that's what we fear again today," Measure T opponent Dennis Neufeld said.
"The Claw," the machine that scoops up yard waste left in piles in front of people's homes has become a Sacramento icon, and Neufeld credits freedom from containers for paving the way for the machine.
However, proponents of Measure T said the new law is no threat to the beloved Claw.
"What might not be fully understood is that Measure T is actually our best bet at saving the Claw and preserving that service for the city when we need it most during the leaf season," Measure T supporter Phil Pluckebaum said.
Pluckebaum insists that passage of Measure T will only scale back use of the Claw, saving the city money to offer homeowners additional programs.
"You'll have the Claw during the leaf season three months of the year, scheduled as needed by the city," Pluckebaum said. "You'll have the scheduled one time a year neighborhood cleanup program, and then you'll have a voucher once a year for a run to the dump."
But, Neufeld points out those incentives are not on the ballot, and he urges voters to think twice before giving the city the right to make container use mandatory.
"Unless these promises for weekly pickups in the leaf season and so on are imbedded into the ordinance, you have a risk of the city down the trail of canceling out their promises and changing the promises, and that's what we fear most," Neufeld said.
Proponents of Measure T said those concerns are misguided and the passage of the ordinance will eliminate the eyesore of piles of waste cluttering the streets.
"It's a strange thing that we get to throw our trash in the street. That's like old town, Wild West stuff," Pluckebaum said.
Others fear if Measure T passes, it could discourage people from growing trees and threaten the very look and feel of the city.
"A lot of the overall vegetation of the city that makes it the Paris of the west coast will be discouraged, and in the long run we will have less of an urban forest than we have now," Neufeld said.