December Minutes

Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council

Membership Meeting

December 3, 2018

New location: Open Hand United Methodist Church, 6226 Arlington Blvd.


Executive Committee Members Present:

President: Seren Pendleton-Knoll

Vice-President: Jim Hanson

Secretary: Nina Smith

Treasurer: Rock Brown



– Police Report (not available)

– Welcome & Introductions

– Reagan Chung, Recycling Coordinator, Republic Services

– Ariel Mercado, Principal Government & Community Relations Representative, BART


Contact information of presenters:

  1. Ariel Mercado, Principal Government and Community Relations Representative, BART, 510-287-4949; fax: 510-464-6136; cell: 510-913-0585; email:
  2. Regan Chung, Recycling Coordinator, Republic Services, 3260 Blume Dr., Ste 115, Richmond CA 94806, (510)262-7518; fax: 510-262-7187; cell: 415-740-7194;
  3. Terry Singleton, Republic Services, Recycling Coordinator, same address., 510-262-7142; fax: 510-262-7185; cell: 510-367-5592.

Welcome & Introductions

  1. Regan Chung, Republic Services, Recycling Coordinator

He went over written materials explaining in detail what goes in the blue and green carts and what needs to go into the trash (brown cart).

General rule for all the carts: make sure the lids are closed. If the contents are sticking out, you may get levied overage charges.

Recycling: the blue cart:

The blue cart is for recycling only, brown cart for trash, and the green is for green organic material and food scraps.

The recycling list was expanded several years ago. They’re now taking hard plastic containers like yogurt cups. It no longer matters what number it is as long as it is hard plastic. They don’t take Styrofoam. It goes in the trash. Glass is okay if clean. Recycled materials must be empty. Rinse out containers. They also take scrap metal: pots & pans, small pieces of scrap metal. To recycle plastic bags in the blue cart: combine clean plastic bags and similar things like bubble wrap into a single package in a clear plastic bag and tie it up put it in the blue recycling cart. Don’t use plastic bags that look like trash bags for this purpose because the drivers will assume it’s trash and you may get penalized for putting trash into the recycling. Don’t put single plastic bags in the blue; they need to be packed up in bulk. Milk and juice cartons are acceptable. The plastic tab is okay but put them in the recycling, not the green.

Reagan explained that in the past the majority of our recycling went to China for processing. Recently China has refused to take anything that is not really clean so it’s critical to clean anything you put in the recycling.

Organic Waste Recycling: the green cart

The green cart is for yard waste, clippings, etc. but has expanded to include food organics – expired food, even rotten meat and bones. Food waste must be removed from its container. Food soiled paper is okay. Paper cups and plates are okay in the green but no plastic utensils. No bathroom stuff or pet waste. No plastic, no metal, no glass. Bones and seafood shells are okay. Pet waste goes into the trash.

Make sure branches are cut up and not sticking out of the cart or you’ll be liable for overage charges.

Reagan suggested doing home composting by wrapping everything in newspapers and then placing it in the green container.

Not accepted for recycling: no styrofoam, no appliances, no computers, no diapers, no paint cans, lightbulbs, batteries or small plastics.

Richmond residents get 3 bulky items picked up once a year at no additional charge. It’s calculated by calendar year. Call Republic Services at 510-262-7100 and make an appointment. Large furniture, large appliances. You can substitute 5 e-waste items for 1 large item.

Question as to whether they’re associated to the El Cerrito recycling center: Republic Services helps run the HHW (household hazardous waste) facilities there.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW): Paint, cooking oil, batteries, fat, oils, grease, pesticide, old thermometers, and electronic waste. Those kinds of items often have toxic materials in them and can be disposed of several ways. It can be dropped off at the West Contra Costa HHW Collection facility at 101 Pittsburg Ave., Richmond which is off the Richmond Parkway (hours: W – Sat, 9-4). Seniors, 60 years and older, or disabled persons of any age living in a single-family home can schedule a pick-up for household hazardous waste 2 times a year by calling 888-412-9277 for an appointment.

To find out if paper is lined with plastic, try to tear and if it stretches it has plastic lining and goes into the trash.

Has to be compostable, has to say compostable, not bio-degradable. There are different brands. If not explicitly labeled compostable put it in the trash.

They have food scrap pails free at the office. Show them your id to prove you are a resident.

If in doubt, take a picture of an item and email it to Reagan and he’ll let you know where it goes.

Republic Services have recycling police, looking in residents’ bins to see if we’ve got the right items in the right carts. The drivers are trained to identify contamination in the carts. They will take enforcement action.

They compost the greens to make soil which is donated to schools, and other facilities like the Richmond Rescue Mission.

The food recycling program applies to food businesses as well as single family home.

The City is still doing dumpster days which Republic Services helps out with. Contact the City with questions about that.

All this information is on the website:

510-262-7100, customer service.


  1. BART: Ariel Mercado

Bart is rebuilding. Measure RR provided a 3 ½ billion $ bond to repair BART. He presented a video of repair work being done to repair the infrastructure. East of the West Oakland station they are rebuilding a key interlock over weekends. They are replacing 90 miles of track. Repairing and rebuilding. The system is 40 years old. The technology is old. BART has committed to fix the current system before expanding into new areas. Much of the work is on elements not necessarily visible such as new electrical subsystems, expanding maintenance facilities, train control systems. By the terms of Measure RR the money has to go into capital projects, not operations.

They are reconfiguring track by the curve in El Cerrito/Richmond to reduce noise.

Some of this work is being done over weekends during which parts of the BART system are closing. By doing this they can get projects completed more promptly than if they only can work 4 hours per night during the time BART is not in operation.

Measure RR also requires an independent oversight committee which reviews all their books to be sure that the money is sent properly and in a timely manner.

New trains: They expect to have 260 new cars delivered by end of 2019. BART has a unique gage, i.e. an unusual width for the track (due to earthquake safety considerations) so new cars have to be tested within our system and the testing took longer. Now that it is almost complete the new cars can be ordered in bulk.

The BART to Antioch extension, opened May 2018, and is set up differently than the rest of the system. The track is a standard width and so different cars are needed for this portion of the system. Passengers transfer at the Pittsburg/Baypoint station. It is a seamless transfer. The standard gage allows for future connections with other train systems such as Amtrak. The BART Board is deciding this weekend whether to approve expansion of the Antioch parking facilities.

The trains after Warm Spring belong to VTA (Valley Transit Authority). BART is the operator but VTA owns it.

Walnut Creek Transit Village: building a parking garage similar to Richmond and Del Norte. The 3 surface lots will have private development with residences above and commercial and retail below and private parking.

El Cerrito Del Norte station: moving elevators into the paid space, making it more comfortable and improving the bus area.

Richmond Station: developing retail and co-working and business incubator space partnering with developers.

Hercules Transit Center: putting in solar panels and bus station improvements.

Cleaner stations: 15 new cleaners and doing deep cleaning nightly. Starting in San Francisco.

New Focus on fare evasion: higher fences around fare gates, encouraging people to use Clipper rather than paper cards which jam up the system. It is very expensive to replace the fare gates.

Safety/security: Currently BART is 94 officers short. There is a 5-year plan in place to hire more. There is fierce competition for police officers. They are also hiring service people to go through trains requesting proof of payment from riders. BART is working with County and other programs to facilitate referral of homeless people on the system to services. They are coordinating with other police departments, e.g. the cities, the Counties, other transit agencies.

There are no clipper card vending machines in every station. Clipper is a separate entity from BART. Clipper gives discounts when riders transfer to another system; a sizable (62%) senior discount for people age 65 and older. There are new youth fares. BART raised it from 12 to 18, 50% discount. Discounts are also available for field trips – contact Ariel to make arrangements.

Clipper is thinking of going mobile so can riders can use your phone as a ticket instead of the plastic card.

Ariel invites us to contact him to communicate concerns and questions.



  • Why are bathrooms still locked in SF: SF is a high profile area in terms of terrorism targets and transit agencies are vulnerable targets. They are planning to move bathrooms into the paid area, which will allow them to open bathrooms.
  • 10 cars is maximum length for a train because of the size of the platforms;
  • New trains will have 3 doors on each side to allow passengers to enter and exit more quickly and provide more standing room;
  • New control system will allow trains to run more closely together;
  • Another Transbay connection is being contemplated: may not be another tunnel, might be something else. Studies are being undertaken. They realize they need redundancy in the system and also allow increased volume.

Ariel wants to maintain an ongoing dialogue. Wants to hear from the Neighborhood Council as well as from individuals.

BART Watch App is available which allows riders to text BART police dispatch immediately.

  1. Community Announcements

Santa Fe Neighborhood Council invites us to their annual Hug-a-Bear Holiday Dinner $ 40.00 per person, Thursday, December 6th at the Galileo Club, 371 south 23rd Street. Registration was due December 1 but interested parties can Contact Linda Whitmore, 510-236-8386 email: Attendees are asked to bring a stuffed bear to donate to the Fire and Police Departments to comfort children caught up in traumatic events. Dinner selections: prime rib, roast chicken, eggplant parmesan. No host bar 6:00-7:00; dinner 7:00 -9:00; mixer, music & dance 9:00-10:00. A portion of the proceeds goes to support special programs at the Nystrom School.

Possible speakers for future meetings:

Nicholas Traylor, Executive Director or Rent Control Program.

Cesar Zepeda talk re Contra Costa College Foundation Board.

Jim Hanson updated us on Point Molate: development is being rushed through. The developer is going to be reviewed by City Council next Tuesday night, 12/11. The Council has added community plans to the consultants’ plan. The Council added a requirement that City not have to pay for infrastructure (estimated to be as much as $150 million) but that may be changed by the new Council. Jim asked us to write the new councilmembers and give our input.

The West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee asking for feedback on potential expansion bus service from Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond and unincorporated County to Berkeley, Oakland, and SF. See their website to give input:

The RNCC (Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council) has its traditional Christmas dinner at the senior center. Guests are asked to bring a toy which will be given to needy children. The RNCC is reaching out to all the neighbors with this invitation and wants their event to be open to everyone. It is also an opportunity to meet the new city manager. The dinner will take place Monday, 12/10, from 6 – 8 pm at the Richmond Senior Center.

Open Door Church:

This Saturday, 12/11, they have a holiday event, where folks get together to make tamales for Christmas dinner.

The church office is open Tues-Friday, 9:30 – 2:30.

Church is looking for 3 licensed and insured electricians.