Berkeley uses free dumpsters to boost disaster prep zeal

To increase community participation in disaster planning and public safety, neighborhoods that regularly collaborate in established city programs are eligible to reserve a dumpster like this with no fee. Photo: City of Berkeley
To increase community participation in disaster planning and public safety, neighborhoods that regularly collaborate in established city programs are eligible to reserve a dumpster like this with no fee. Photo: City of Berkeley

The city of Berkeley has brought back its popular “free dumpster” program to turn a neighborhood desire for free garbage hauling into a passion for disaster preparedness activities.

To increase community participation in disaster planning and public safety, neighborhoods that regularly collaborate with the city’s emergency planning programs will be eligible to reserve a 16-cubic-yard dumpster without a fee.

The program is sponsored by the city’s Office of Emergency Services.

Groups of Berkeley residents can participate if they work together to plan for disasters, and have fulfilled the requirements listed in the application — including two neighborhood meetings that fit a certain criteria, or the completion by five group members of specified CERT training. Each group must also reside within a close geographic proximity to qualify.


Qualifying groups are eligible to receive a dumpster once every 12 months. The number of free dumpsters is limited by funding availability, and dumpsters will be allocated in the order applications are received.

If the city can’t meet the demand for dumpsters before the program ends, groups that do not get one this time around will be prioritized next time, according to the city website.

The city recommends that community groups submit completed applications for dumpsters at least six weeks prior to the requested delivery date.

The one required element necessary for program qualification is a presentation by the Berkeley Fire Department of “Five Critical Steps.” Call 510-981-5605 or email OES@cityofberkeley.info to sign up.

For the second meeting, residents can either schedule a Neighborhood Watch meeting with Jane Ortega, or schedule a presentation by Berkeley Public Health in hypertension and childhood lead poisoning prevention (call 510-981-5289), or tobacco prevention (call 510-981-5337).


Further ideas about steps in preparedness can be found on the city website.

Those interested in disaster preparedness may also wish to mark their calendars for April 26, for the city’s free “Getting Ready Together” prep fair. Learn more here.

Additional questions about the dumpster program can be directed by email to OES@CityofBerkeley.info. See the dumpster program brochure here. Download an application here.

Related:
Berkeley CERT volunteer academy takes off this weekend (08.02.13)
Berkeley unites for earthquake safety (04.29.13)
Join the Berkeley-wide emergency drill April 27 (04.10.13)
Berkeley targets underserved for disaster preparedness (10.04.12)
Gear up for the Big One with help from friends (06.17.10)

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