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Downtown neighbors seek quiet, protest loud trucks

Several residents in the Alkali Flat and Mansion Flats neighborhoods downtown are tired of being awakened at odd hours.

They’re asking a local solid waste agency to tighten the rules for the operating hours of private garbage trucks.

About 20 people in the neighborhood want private trash haulers to start work later in the morning. The Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority, which oversees private waste haulers in both the city and county, allows trucks to travel through neighborhoods starting at 6 a.m.

Alkali Flat and Mansion Flats residents want to change the rules so that private waste trucks would not operate until “full daylight hours” or 7:30 a.m.

"[Noise from the trucks] wakes us up and also shakes our homes," said Jennifer Caldwell, who lives in the neighborhood.

Caldwell and her neighbors have written a letter to Sacramento County’s Department of Waste Management and Recycling. “The 6 a.m. language is insufficient as the trucks are running when it is dark out (currently 6 a.m. and prior),” the letter states. “The objective is to make it clear that no trucks are to be in residential areas at night. Routes should not begin until after dawn.”

The neighbors contend that private waste trucks are operating earlier than city waste vehicles. “City waste collection crews do not begin until 7:30 or so in our area,” according to the letter.

The neighborhood is also concerned about early-morning noise from leaf blowers. The city’s noise ordinance bans leaf blowers before 9 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and prior to 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Sacramento Code Enforcement Operations Manager Ron O’Connor said enforcement staffers will respond to complaints about leaf blower use “if there’s a pattern” of noise ordinance violations.

The city’s 311 service handles all of the complaints that are sent to the Code Enforcement Department, O’Connor said.

To complain about leaf blowers and private garbage trucks operating before their scheduled times, call 311 by phone. Residents can also e-mail 311 at 311@cityofsacramento.org

Photo by David Watts Barton

Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

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