Friday, February 29, 2008

Mandatory Garbage: I'm Livid!

I'm watching the February 19 meeting of the Eureka City Council on TV. Apparently, with the exception of Mike Jones, the Council seems to be set on mandatory garbage service for Eureka.

Chris Kerrigan, Virginia Bass, and I suspect Larry Glass, seem determined to institute mandatory garbage pickup. They even have a guy from the Humboldt Waste Management Authority that told the Council how great mandatory pick- up is.

This is disgusting. I'm pissed, and think we need to clean the City Council out.

More on this later.
Ok, now that I've calmed down a bit, let's take another look at this:

I'm not sure just how Mike Jones stood on the issue. He was talking when I first started watching the meeting and I didn't really pay much attention to what he was saying until I realized what was being discussed.

Chris Kerrigan and Virginia Bass seemed strongly in favor of mandatory garbage pick up, if not downright enthusiastic, in Virginia Bass' case. I would of expected such of Kerrigan, although not Bass. I suspect if mandatory pick- up hadn't been already the issue, Chris Kerrigan would have made it one.

Didn't hear from Polly Endert, at least while I was watching, nor Larry Glass, although he was speaking when I first started this post, I couldn't make out what he was saying. I really need to watch that meeting again in case I was seeing or hearing things out of context.

For those of you outside Eureka who don't want to be forced to pay for garbage pick- up, beware: Some rumblings I heard suggest some might try to take this mandatory thing to other cities and even to the county level.

During one back and forth between Virginia Bass and a representative of the Humboldt Waste Management Authority, I believe it was Bass who said something along the line of, to paraphrase: "This won't really be effective unless it's done countywide...". To which the HWMA representative agreed. I suspect we'll be seeing HWMA lobbying other cities and the Board of Supervisors soon if they aren't already.

All in all, what little I saw seems to confirm concerns I mentioned here earlier on. This mandatory garbage pick- up thing has taken on a life of its own. The $10,000 a day fines that could be imposed on Eureka, for non- compliance is an excuse, not a reason, for mandatory pick- up.

I say that because people bring up the litter problem in Eureka and the rest of the county more often than they do the waste diversion rate. Mandatory garbage pick up will almost certainly bring more trash into the transfer station, not less.

The recycling were talking about here isn't single stream recycling (is that the right term?) like Arcata has. They're suggesting more people will recycle on their own if they're forced to pay for garbage service, and recycling.

I don't know that that will work. First, as I've said before, I don't believe you can achieve a 50% reduction in waste by simply recycling. I suspect the things that make up the bulk of our landfills are likely furniture, appliances and such that can't easily be recycled.

But, assuming recycling will bring us to 50% reduction, I'm skeptical it could be accomplished by voluntary cooperation of us trash makers. It's already fairly easy to recycle the simple things yet I still see dumpsters at apartments and other places with tin cans and newspapers that are simply thrown away.

The garbage would have to be screened at the transfer station for recyclables. I don't know that I've heard that seriously considered here. They can screen the refuse stream at the transfer station with or without mandatory pick- up. Recycling is just an excuse.
As an aside, they mentioned Blue Lake's supposed over 80% waste diversion rate during the council meeting with no mention or questions of how or why Blue Lake accomplishes that 80% diversion. Strangely, the next thing I recall hearing was Bass suggesting mandatory pick- up should be done county wide. Hmmm??? I fail to see the connection.
Keep an eye out for Sunday's Times- Standard. I just noticed a small announcement on the upper left of page A2 of today's Times- Standard. It reads: Mandatory Recycle- Coming Sunday: Other cities are looking to see how Eureka fares before moving forward with their own plans.

One has to wonder just what other cities are looking? Is Blue Lake?


At 7:09 PM, Anonymous dog running at large said...

C'mon Fred

You are a fan of personal responsibility....and if people were responsible about their trash, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I am a true believer that there is too much government in all of our lives. But here's the rub.....

If the City, meaning the people in the City don't take 50% of the reusable stuff out of the waste stream, the City, meaning the General Fund, gets to pony up $10K per day to the state for non-compliance.

You like that idea? That's a big piece of change that can be used for something more locally beneficial than a hold-your-nose penalty to the state.

I think you will agree that most of the onerous laws are enacted because of a handful of people who can't get their act together....and we all get to pay the price.

This is one of those.

So elect a new council if you want and you will find that they will be confronted with the same set of facts and will make the same decision.

I recycle 85% of our household leftovers. I can't blame the council for having to compensate for a bunch of slugs who are blissful in that out-of-sight-out-of-mind comfort that exists when the previously overstuffed can stands empty on the curb.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you even remotely aware of how much garbage (Some toxic) is dumped on the side of the road around this town? Or do you have your head in the sand like with so many other issues?

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Come to the dark side Fred!

HWMA is gonna be all over this like Tom cats on a Queen in heat, fat government contract like that!

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Beachcomber said...

Doesn't it strike them as being a bit unethical to require us to do business with a private company? I wrote letters to the council and Mayor Bass. I even suggested they provide, free of charge, recycling bins to EVERYONE even those who don't have collection. That would encourage more people to recycle. Unless they have paid scavengers to go through the trash trucks, nothing will change.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think that's bad, wait until Barack Hussein Obama gets elected. Then we'll see what a curse liberal government oppression is.

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you get just as worked up over the deadbeats and scumbuckets who dump their garbage all over this once-beautiful land to save a few dollars, Fred?

How about the ones who buy a trash trailer, park in on the street in front of their house, and leave rotten, stinking refuse in it month after month? Can you spare some righteous anger for them, too?

At 10:56 PM, Blogger The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

Fred...rebel. Refuse to pay your garbage bill. Run your trash to the transfer station. Force them to hear you.


At 6:56 AM, Blogger Pogo said...

Ever wonder why Enron and Ken Lay were so anxious to have the Kyoto disaster implemented? It's called Rent-Seeking and HWMA is all over it like white on rice.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Fred said...

7:09 wrote, "f the City, meaning the people in the City don't take 50% of the reusable stuff out of the waste stream, the City, meaning the General Fund, gets to pony up $10K per day to the state for non-compliance.".

I certainly don't agree that the state should be holding cities and counties feet to the fire with $10,000 fines, but that's probably something we should hold Wes Chesbro to blame for. As it is, we do have to deal with it.

As I mention above, I think it highly unlikely that simply recycling more will bring about a 50% diversion rate. Even if we could get to 50% by recycling enough stuff, the only real way you could do that is by screening the trash at the transfer station which, as I've already said, could be done without mandatory pick- up.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Fred said...

9:47 asks, "Do you get just as worked up over the deadbeats and scumbuckets who dump their garbage all over this once-beautiful land to save a few dollars, Fred?

Yes, I do.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Boy suggested, "Refuse to pay your garbage bill. Run your trash to the transfer station. Force them to hear you.".

That wouldn't make much sense now, would it, Boy? I already voluntarily get trash pick- up service. As I've said before, I think it's a bargain. I hardly think they'd notice if I started hauling my own trash again. Besides, that would be a pain the ass.

What they're talking about here, though, in case you missed it, it people being required to pay for trash pick- up service. I don't know if City Garbage would still accept self dumpers. I would think they would have to since they accept garbage from the whole county, but you'll have to pay for pick up service whether you use it or not.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, I don't live in Eureka, but if I did I'd support it. Eureka has to move into the 20th century sometime. Maybe it'll join the 21st century with citywide free wifi.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I figured you would, Eric. You want government to both give you everything and take it away, no pun intended.

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous theo therme said...

i think that people are mixing apples and oranges here........litter and manditory trash pick-up are two different issues. manditory trash pick up will do nothing to address dumping of couches, appliances, ect....those items will still be dumped along the road....

manditory trash pick-up accomplishes only ONE thing. it increases the revenue of the trash company...

like fred wisely said, manditory trash pick-up will INCREASE the load on the dump, not lessen it....

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"manditory trash pick up will do nothing to address dumping of couches, appliances, ect....those items will still be dumped along the road....".

Except there's some talk of having some kind of "free" bulky item pick up once or twice a year where people could put couches and stuff out to be picked up by the garbage company.

Even with that, though, I can't help but think the people that are dumping stuff like that now will change their ways. Maybe a few, but not all.

That assumes they end up having the bulk pick up days.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

Well I was under the impression that one could opt out if they so chose under some circumstances,and that there were rate reductions for senior citizens,low income,and in certain cases non-regular users.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Fred said...

We'll have to see what they say in the Times- Standard on Sunday, if they mention anything along that line.

My impression was that some accommodation would be made for people who already recycle, but that impression was it only had to do with the recycling part of this, not garbage pick up. I could be wrong on that, though.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, I don't live in Eureka, but if I did I'd support it. Eureka has to move into the 20th century sometime. Maybe it'll join the 21st century with citywide free wifi.

So you support the widening of the Grove to allow STAA truck traffic then! Good for you Eric, your support has been noted!

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous dog running at large said...'re missing a big part of the point.

The proposed ordinance provides for 'large item' pickup I think twice per year. the point is that if the dirtbags are paying for pickup, they won't have to dump their s**t in alleys and backroads. Sure, it won't cure littering.

I am no fan of mandatory government anything...but to put the arm on those who never think to recycle anything and those other who dump their crap all over the city, this will work.

Again's lack of personal responsibility that brings this nonsense to all of our doors.

So if you still want to be outraged, be beautifully outraged. The one thing government can never do is legislate fairness or responsibility. that's why we have so many of these oppressive, otherwise, unnecessary laws.

Get yourself elected. You'll see what I mean.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"The proposed ordinance provides for 'large item' pickup I think twice per year. the point is that if the dirtbags are paying for pickup, they won't have to dump their s**t in alleys and backroads.".

Ok, dog. I guess that means you agree that this mandatory pick- up has nothing to do with diverting more waste to avoid the $10,000 a day fine?

It's all just an attempt to cut down on litter, if that?

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Fred, some people just see reduced litter as a secondary benefit of mandatory pickup.

They hope the benefit might make mandatory pickup more palatable to the ostriches like you who refuse to recognize the great harm done to everyone by those who aren't responsively recycling.

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous dog running at large said...

Fred Fred Fred...

You should have been a surgeon. Did you read the whole thing or just the parts you disagree with?

Let me put it plainly. I don't support any mandatory fee. Because I am responsible about my recyclables. Others are not, that's why this silly ordinance makes sense. It has everything to do with diverting waste to do the right thing avoid our tax dollars going away from local benefits. Our children will have a different attitude when it comes to managing their waste instead of getting it out of sight.

Yep...some of us already do the right thing. Not enough though. Not nearly enough. You want less government in our lives? That notion presumes that people will be responsible for their s**t, in a variety of ways. That's the fundamental flaw in the libertarian theory. Some people must be governed, because they can't govern themselves.

You're starting to sound like Heraldo and his/her/their inability to consider any idea that flees from their beliefs.

Well hell's just a lot of garbage in the end. Or is it?

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"Did you read the whole thing or just the parts you disagree with?".

Yes I did. You didn't.

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous theo therme said...

why would i PAY money to separate my recyclables when i get PAID to do it now?

if mandatory pick-up happens, my recycling days will most likely come to an end....

im an eco-groovy guy too, i just dont have time to make OTHER people money.....this is the scam of the century.

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Me too, although I realize the limits of recycling. That's not so much the issue here, though.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous theo therme said...

recycling seems to be the issue. the city is thinking thata significant portion of the waste can be reduced by increasing recycling. my hunch is that people will recycle LESS when they dont get paid to do it.

i can only speak for myself...i take my own garbage to the dump. i recycle all my paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metal, egg cartons, milk cartons, and so on....

if i have to pay for a truck to pick up a can a week, i will just throw all of my trash in one can and put it up on the recycling days will be over.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

The vanity of brainwashed greenies never ceases to amaze. Recycling is a net loss except for aluminum cans, otherwise we would not be forced to donate our labor in separating garbage and then be forced to pay for having it collected. Take a few minutes to unbrainwash yourself and watch this video

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I've been told that some things are a net loss, but I think it's economical to recycle more than just aluminum cans. I look at General Recycling in Eureka to get an idea of what's really worthwhile to recycle.

I haven't been there in a while, but they used to only accept cardboard, CRV aluminum, CRV glass (they might have accepted non- CRV glass. I don't recall) and those little pouches that some drinks come in, I don't recall ever seeing anyone bring any of those pouches in.

Other things probably cost more to recycle than to simply throw away. Still, it's getting more expensive just to transport trash to the landfill so recycling might end up breaking even more often as time goes on.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Carson Park Ranger said...

This is good news. It's about time.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I think you deserve a spankin', CPR.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

Alright Fred, I am lost in your crusade. You volunteer to pay for garbage pick-up, but oppose mandatory pick-up.

You are upset because the city government is TELLING you what to do.

I get it now.


At 7:02 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

More like a swift kick to the head.

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Andrew Bird said...

I'm with CPR. Long overdue.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Boy wrote, "You are upset because the city government is TELLING you what to do.".

Yes, but I'm probably more troubled by the attitudes that we see here. Too many people don't seem to care one bit about forcing something on others, whether it be garbage service or fluoride. Personal choice seems to matter not at all to them.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heres what I know. The roadsides, public areas and beaches in Oregon
are incredibly clean compared to what one sees as soon as you hit California, especially Humboldt. Do we not give a damn, and Oregonians do? Or is there some other reason? I see alot of locals in Brookings and places picking up any garbage. Almost like they RESPECT where they live!

Oh, there IS one other thing I know for sure, ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ is a classic 'hater'. Kind of a jerk, ya know?
But hey, IM just another 'Greenie'!

Ooh! Thanks ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ! A new label you can cleverly use to put down those who dont share your brilliant values!

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe in forcing my neighbors to stop dumping wet, stinky garbage into a utility trailer in front of their house. It attracts rats. It is wrong to act that way.

I believe in forcing neighbors to remove the rusty cans of paint they dumped into the headwaters of our local gulch because they were too cheap or lazy to dispose of them the right way.

I believe in forcing criminals to obey the law, whether they want to do it or not.

I believe in forcing the strong and the ruthless to respect the rights of everybody else by using "state power" to achieve justice for all.

That is why I can never be a Libertarian, Fred.

No hard feelings, just "telling it like it is."

At 1:41 PM, Blogger The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

I am sorry Fred, but PROBABLY?

Look, I think personal choice is well and alive here. What you need to understand is that City Garbage is the only game in town, and you have already stated that you have curb side service. It would be nice if people had more than one waste disposal company to choose from. But welcome to Humboldt, where for many years, we had ONE telecommunications company, ONE cable services provider, and ONE electric and Gas supplier.

Things are a changing Fred, and we have more choice. I guess rival trash barons have yet to arrive and give City Garbage a run for their money.

I told you to rebel, and make a stand, but you retorted that is would do you no good. (or something like that)

Please quit complaining if the other people won't fight the battle you won't fight in either.


At 6:57 PM, Anonymous theo therme said...

we now have the choice to take our trash to the dump ourselves.....i pay $10 a week and collect the trash from 5 residences. when manditory trash pick up is needed at all 5 properties, my bill will most likely double if not triple. plus, im sure that i will still have to run some trash down to the dump occasionally. one or two cans never seems to be enough.....

about oregon, they pay double the property taxes that we pay and are able to fund better park and road maintenence...i would bet that most towns in oregon dont have manditory trash pick-up. again, manditory trash pick-up is not a solution to litter...

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous dog running at large said...


You put it better than I ever could.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Carson Park Ranger said...

"I believe in forcing my neighbors to stop dumping...garbage into a utility trailer..."

We had a neighbor like that. They'll be forced to behave like human beings now, and if that makes the libertarians sad, well, that's just the price we'll have to pay.

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recycling is a plot by the ruling class to keep the rest of us busy washing what used to be considered garbage. Washing it, sorting it, storing it, carting it. And wasting our precious time all the while. Time we could and should be using to figure out how to restore the power of the American working class, the American industrial base, and honest American elections.

Recycling is un-American.
You heard it here first.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Fred said...

11:16 wrote, "I believe in forcing my neighbors to stop dumping wet, stinky garbage into a utility trailer in front of their house. It attracts rats. It is wrong to act that way.".

I love it when people try to frame discussions that way: Since you oppose mandatory garbage service, you support littering.

Two slightly different subjects, but it is nice to see, once again, a mandatory pick- up proponent suggest this has nothing to do about reducing the amount of waste going to landfills.

It's also pertinent to point out that having a trailer full of garbage out if front of one's house can be dealt with by using already present nuisance abatement laws. One of my neighbors was telling me he reported the druggie house next door for just laws and forced them to clean up their mess.

While certainly some littering will be alleviated if people were required to have trash cans, not all of it will. Hey, I have garbage pick- up service. Take a look at my house, especially my garage. What a mess!

As an aside, speaking of trailers full of trash: Any of you in the Eureka area notice the trailer in the Henderson Center Rite Aid parking lot full of trash? It was over on the Fresh Freeze side. Looked mostly like green type waste removed from someone's yard.

It sat there for days, maybe even a week or more. I forgot to ask if Rite Aid had it removed.

It was one of those trailers made from the bed of a pick up truck. Looked like somebody just pulled it into a parking space and left it there. How rude!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

anon said "I believe in forcing neighbors to remove the rusty cans of paint they dumped into the headwaters of our local gulch because they were too cheap or lazy to dispose of them the right way."

Well this ordinance will only increase that problem,and tenfold actually.It's just another strain on the low incomers who will have another mandatory bill to further drain their wallets.You can expect to see a lot more illegal dumping when this passes.Probably another tax and law set in motion to deal with that already.
This reminds me of the whole ridiculous mandatory spay/neuter debacle that was before us not long ago.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When rat habitat like that is reported to County Environmental Health at 445-6215 they take action to solve the garbage and rat problem. I've seen it work time after time. That's one of the reasons I like government.

And guess what? You can make your phone call anonymously, so there is no chance that the lunatic litterbugs will know it was you who turned them in. Is that beautiful, or what?

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, your sense of humor is developing very nicely. I enjoy reading most of your posts these days.

Remember, not every barb that anonymous posters like me write is aimed at you personally. Some barbs, perhaps, but certainly not all of them!

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous theo therme said...

mandatory trash pick-up will not address the "trash in the trailer" many weeks of trash pick-up would it take to empty the trailer? at two cans a week, it would take months. that is assuming that no new trash is being generated at the household. what if the household is generating three cans of trash a week? one can worth will still be put in the trailer. i think that calling the local government officials and reporting bad trash problems is a better way to deal with the issue than implementing mandatory trash pickup.

the "trash in the trailer" story is a strawman, easily torn down......

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Beachcomber said...

I still think it’s odd that few are concerned about this plan forcing us to do business with a private company. We may only have one telephone company and one cable company available to us but we still aren’t forced to do business with them; there are other options. What if we were forced to have cable? Wouldn’t that piss you off even a little?
I can concede that mandatory collection MAY eliminate some of the illegal dumping that goes on if for no other reason, people will be paying for the service so they might as well use it. The exception is the big ticket and e-waste item that generally cost extra. We’re told that big items will be collected annually so … okay as long as we’re willing to wait for the “clean up day” otherwise those will likely still end up in my alley along side the other washing machines and futons.
What I don’t understand is how mandatory trash pickup will boost our diversion rate which is the alleged point. We, who haul our own trash, sort out recyclables simply because it saves us the expense of paying to dump it. Anything we miss is caught by the guys who patrol the pit at the transfer station. What ISN’T checked (or at least I don’t see WHERE they would do it) and sorted through are the garbage trucks that collect trash from residential and commercial cans and hauls it to the landfill. If they start sorting through THAT trash, wouldn’t that catch ALL the recyclables?

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TheoTherme, The trash in the trailer isn't a story. It's something that really happens here in the real world. It can really smell bad. It really is rat habitat.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous theo therme said...

if that is true, it should be posted on a thread about alleviating trash in our neighborhoods........this thread is about mandatory trash pickup, which will not address any trailers with trash....

everyone focus like a laser beam: this is about trash reduction and diversion. it has NOTHING to do with litter or trash in people's yards....

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Hail, Master Theo Therme, to whom all mere mortals bow and pledge fealty!

The issue is whatever thou sayest it is.

Forgive us our manifest deficiencies, O mighty One, that we might not be cursed and bring woe into our coming generations!

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous theo therme said...

actually, the city of eureka has framed the issue not hoping that the mandatory pick-up does NOT occur.

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Bill said...

I was at the city council three weeks ago when this was presented, and I took my three minutes to speak against it.

It's a scam.

1. Everyone from the council to the city employees to the trash company -EVERYONE - admitted that this mandatory program would most likely NOT REACH THE 50% DIVERSION GOAL.

2. Although the scare tactic of higher prices in the future if we don't sign now was used by the proponents, it was also revealed that the contract with City Garbage would be cost plus with escalators. So no hurry there, we won't really save any money by signing now. There IS NO HURRY to sign this agreement.

Have a peaceful day,


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