Garbage deal stalled, city will give no details

11 Jul

City Mangler Mark Orme told us at the Local Government Committee meeting a couple of months ago that he would have a franchise deal with one or both garbage haulers “rolled out” by July. I expected the worst – a notice that I would be required to use Waste Management. My experience with Waste Management, both as a customer and a neighbor of customers, has SUCKED.

When the county rolled their deal out in the unincorporated areas, they got two weeks of phone calls, “off the hook”, according to CAO Paul Hahn – complaints about Waste Management, their lousy service, and their excessive new rates. Hahn was clear – the rates were for the county dump, which is starving for lack of business. But he had tried to get better service, and expressed frustration about trying to deal with WM corporate headquarters, located in New Mexico. He said they had no local office – oh, did he just find that out?  They were as rude to him as they were to the customers who were ringing phones “off the hook.” 

After this warning from Hahn, I’m assuming Orme has taken a new, more cautious approach in the city’s franchise talks, because I just got three-month bills on all my garbage accounts from Recology. When I e-mailed the city to ask about it, Linda Herman said, “As far as I know the consultant is still in negotiations with the haulers.  Once that is over, the decision to franchise will still have to go to the City Council and even if it is approved, the haulers would probably need several months to order containers, notify customers etc.  So there is no way that this will happen before September.”

Well, good. It better be an improvement over the county mess, or Orme will have some explaining to do. I’ll try to keep you posted. It’s frustrating to me how they expect to keep us in the dark until they decide to stick it to us. They didn’t learn that lesson from the county. 

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2 Responses to “Garbage deal stalled, city will give no details”

  1. bob July 12, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Any chance this doesn’t go through?

    I am going to call this what it is: a tax increase. This “franchise” scheme is more money these companies will have to pay the local mafia…er…sorry….local government. So naturally they will charge us more. In the end it is a tax increase.

    • Juanita Sumner July 13, 2015 at 4:22 am #

      I think it’s a done deal, they just haven’t worked out the legal kinks yet. For one thing, if they require service, they have to subsidize it for low-income customers, like PG&E offers CARE and Cal Water offers LIRA.

      And thanks for reminding me – yes, it is a ‘garbage tax’ – that’s what Mark Sorensen admitted at one meeting, and I guess that’s what we need to start calling it.

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