Right Size Your Can

Environmental Services (ES) is pleased to present volume-based trash collection that will allow you to select the right size container for your needs.  Here is what you need to know:

What is “Right Size Your Can”?
Our Right Size Your Can program is a volume-based service plan for residential refuse collection. With volume-based service, the less trash you make, the less you pay. It’s new to Tucson, but is being used successfully in many other cities across the U.S.

Beginning July 1, your monthly Environmental Services charges will depend on what size trash container you have.

Small – 48 gallon - $15.00/month
Medium – 65 gallon - $16.00/month
Large – 95 gallon - $16.75/month

Currently customers pay $14.50 per month for weekly pickup of their existing 95-gallon container or the shared alley container.

The blue recycling containers and collections are not affected by this program.
Also included in this fee are twice-a-year brush and bulky collections and the Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Who does the “Right Size Your Can” Program affect?
The new pricing structure affects the approximately 99,000 household customers who have curb service with the 95-gallon containers. It does not affect customers who have shared neighborhood containers in the alley. They will retain that service at the proposed new rate of $16.00 per month.
Why is the new volume-based service program being implemented? Isn’t this a rate increase?
It is no secret that costs associated with trash collection have risen dramatically over the past few years. The ES rate is among the lowest in the state, and the department has only implemented one small rate increase during the past five years. The Tucson Environmental Services Department is completely self-sustaining. We receive no tax dollars nor do we collect from the City’s General Fund.

But, in order to continue offering our current level of service, we had to make some hard choices and increase our current rates. We chose the Right Size Your Can program to give our customers options to meet their budgets and to encourage more conservation and recycling.

When will the volume-based service program start?
Effective immediately, you can contact customer service at 520-791-3171 and place your Right Size order. The new rates will take effect July 1, 2010. Container delivery is expected to start shortly after July 1, 2010, as delivery schedules are pending.
What do I need to do?
If you want to keep your current 95-gallon container at the rate of $16.75 a month you don’t have to do a thing. If you would like a smaller trash container, call our customer service representatives at (520) 791-3171 during normal business hours and place your Right Size order. You can also process your request online here: Right Size Your Can.
How will I know which container size to choose?
The size you need depends on the size of your household and how much you recycle. Many single persons or couples that recycle just need the small 48-gallon container. A family of four or more probably needs the large 95-gallon container.

A great way to tell is to check your current trash can when you take it to the street. If it’s usually only half or three-quarters full, you’ll know a smaller can is right for you. If it’s always full to the brim, you should probably keep the larger 95-gallon can.

In general, the 95-gallon easily holds five 13-gallon tall kitchen bags; 65-gallon, four bags; and the 48-gallon, three bags.

What if you don’t have the size container that I want in stock? Will you charge me the lower fee anyway?
Yes, we will adjust your charge to the lower fee on the next bill, even if we have not yet supplied you with the smaller container. ES will follow up with you to coordinate delivery of your new container when it is available.
If I get a smaller can and it’s not big enough can I change to a larger container?
Certainly. Just call our customer service number at (520) 791-3171.
Can I change the size of my recycle container?
No. The recycle container is not affected by this program. However, if you have much more recycling, you can have a 2nd recycling container at no charge.
How does the smaller container encourage recycling?
Many people don’t realize just how much can be recycled. Tons of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum end up filling the landfill. With smaller trash receptacles, people will remember to use the blue barrel more. For a complete listing of everything you can put in your blue barrel go to DoMoreBlue.com.
How often can I exchange my container?
Residents will be able to change to a different sized container once at no charge. Any other changes will include a delivery charge.
Won’t this plan encourage illegal dumping and overloaded containers? What will ES do about illegal dumping due to people not having enough trash service?
Residents should thoughtfully consider their waste needs and choose the right size. Overloaded cans and illegal dumping are violations of the Tucson City Code and ES will refer these issues to the City’s Code Inspectors for follow-up.
I share a container in the alley and my neighbors always overfill the container or use more than their share of space. Why can’t I switch to the new plan?
Environmental Services maintains alley service to about 21% of its customers because it is a more efficient method of collection. Additionally, many residents prefer alley collection to maintain their neighborhood’s appearance. ES understands that sometimes neighbors use more than their allotted space, but the 300-gallon containers allow more capacity for each resident. Residents with alley service can always call Environmental Services customer service if they have overload issues that they would like us to address. Staff will be happy to follow up to ensure all residents have enough capacity for their waste.