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