Monday, June 02, 2008

Corruption In Eureka?

Well, I won't go that far with it, but I've become convinced there's more than meets the eye to these mandatory garbage service proposals for Arcata and Eureka. While the Times- Standard is saying that it looks like it's a done deal for Eureka now, I've been feeling all along it would be. Seemed like the mandatory garbage idea came first with the reasons justifying it later.

I've mentioned here before that mandatory pick- up is likely to increase the amount of trash going to landfills, not decrease it, even with mandatory recycling. I think most would agree that's likely the case yet we keep hearing the same excuse- diverting waste from landfills- as one of the primary reasons for this action.

We also keep hearing about other cities or counties that supposedly reached 90% waste diversion rates by requiring mandatory pick- up and recycling, but they don't seem interested in how Blue Lake, which doesn't require garbage pick- up, supposedly comes up with their 80% diversion rate.

I've been thinking it's simply in how they come up with their numbers. By manipulating the data they can arrive at numbers over or under the required diversion rate. I see no reason why Arcata should be getting higher diversion rates than Eureka, unless they're crunching their numbers differently.

I suspect that's why City Garbage of Eureka seems confident they can easily reach the 50% diversion rate if the get everyone in Eureka to sign on with their service: Just figure a different way of coming up with diversion rates. They probably already know how to do it.

It's also possible the Eureka City Council is looking at this as a potential income source. Perhaps once everybody is required to have garbage service, those garbage services could be an additional source to levy new fees and taxes on?

Works out great for both City Garbage and the City, doesn't it? City Garbage doubles or triples their business and Eureka can add a fifty cent or dollar tax or fee every now and then to garbage service to fund whatever they can come up with a need for, kinda like they do with utilities nowadays? Take a look at your phone or electric bill and take note of all the fees and taxes added.

Or maybe there's something going on along the line of what's happening in Sonoma County with a current garbage contractor offering the City of Santa Rosa some tens of millions of dollars if they're allowed to keep their lucrative contract with that city.

At least it looks like Santa Rosans will be getting the lowest rates possible in exchange for the contract with that garbage contractor. The $21.21 expected monthly fee the Times- Standard mentions is considerably above the $14 to $15 I pay each month now. Isn't that a 25% or more increase for me?

Anyway, no pun intended, but something really stinks about this mandatory garbage deal.

33 Comments:

At 8:49 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

Soon enough it'll just be tagged onto your water bill,so that if you opt to not pay this, you'll have your water shut off,or at least threatened.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger gb05 said...

Re "how Blue Lake, which doesn't require garbage pick- up, supposedly comes up with their 80% diversion rate." Blue Lake's diversion rate is based on the dumping amount when the mill was active. They essentially get a pass due to that loophole.

Fred, if you really want to take on the city of Eureka for questionable activity, why not publicly support Howard Rein in his efforts to get rid of the city redevelopment agancy? Howard hs written many letters to the T-S editor about it, but nobody seems to care about the city's handling of its surplus property or its distribution of city (taxpayer) money to developers. If you don't already know it, the city council IS the city redevelopment agency. This stinks a lot more than garbage, but like I said, nobody seems to care.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you are an expert in... Oh, that's right. Nothing.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Italian-American I resent your not-so-thinly veiled implication that somehow the Mafia is involved. There is no such thing as the Mafia. And if you don't stop this...just kiddin'..I agree, though, I don't like anything mandatory from any government, especially the incompetent, dangerous progressive local yokels around here..

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

So the cost of living in Eureka is going up by $20 a month or more?

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take my garbage to Eureka but my recycling goes to Humboldt Sanitation because I live in McKinleyville. Sometimes I take my recycling to the place just before Broadway. So how can Eureka be sure I am not just putting everything I could recycle in my trash and making their recycling count off? Will they simply say they won't take my garbage? I see a lot of people that deliver their own trash to Eureka as most of the time there is a wait line. I have seen people clean stuff out of trucks that looked like they may have clean up a rental and they have all kinds of stuff that I would have recycled.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Fred said...

esquan wrote, "Soon enough it'll just be tagged onto your water bill,so that if you opt to not pay this, you'll have your water shut off,or at least threatened.".

Yes, I'm sure at least some on the Eureka City Council are thinking of all the possibilities.

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger Fred said...

gb05 wrote,"why not publicly support Howard Rein in his efforts to get rid of the city redevelopment agancy?".

I'm well aware of Howard's beef with city redevelopment. I understand his point but am somewhat ambivalent on the issue myself. I think city government may well have a role to play in redevelopment. I'm just not sure to what extent they should be involved.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Fred said...

12:09 wrote, "Sometimes I take my recycling to the place just before Broadway.".

I wonder if they even take into consideration recycling efforts done outside of City Garbage.

I'm even skeptical they have an accurate count with City Garbage dumping and recycling.

Earlier this year, when I'd posted on the same subject, I made a point to ask the guy at the City Garbage scales how they knew where the garbage was coming from. He told me the only ask for the dumper's point of origin on "survey weeks" and they only do that every now and then.

I remember some years ago I was asked a couple times where I was coming from, but I don't remember if they asked what city I came from , or if they asked if I was from Eureka or outlying areas.

If it was Eureka or "county", that would be ok, but I'd still wonder how many people would say they were from Eureka if they lived just outside the city limits?

I'm not sure I've ever been asked where I was from at their recycling center. I might have been but, if I had been, it would only have been once.

So I question the accuracy of their figures and can't help but think that in cities that are meeting the state mandate, maybe they're fudging their numbers a bit. Either that, or they have a different way of tallying things up that works out better.

I've said before I'm skeptical the 50% goal can be met with standard recycling alone. By "standard" I'm referring to normal recycling: bottles, cans, paper and such.

One way to prove or disprove that, would be to just take a few random truckloads of trash being brought in to City Garbage. Dump the load on the ground, go through it and separate all the recyclables. Then weigh both the recyclable stuff and non- recyclable. It would be interesting to see how much recyclable stuff there is in such a load.

I doubt a few bottles and cans would make up for one piece of furniture, like a chair or mattress.

 
At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

City Garbage says the size of the recycle "carts" we will be required to use is 96 gallons.

That is over three times the size of a regular garbage can!

Even with wheels, a 96-gallon container is going to be hard to handle.

And just where are we supposed to store something that big? Not everybody has a yard big enough for a recycling container that big.

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

City Garbage says problems with its (huge) recycling carts can be handled on a case-by-case basis.

So if your grandmother is in danger of throwing out her hip while struggling to wheel her 96-gallon recycling cart to the curb, she may be able to get relief by talking with the good folks at City Garbage of Eureka or at City Hall.

Judging by the low number of posts here, I think the mandatory recycling/garbage pickup measure is very likely to be passed by the City Council tonight.

I don't mind that so much, or even small fee changes. But I can't bear the thought of our old folks wrestling those 96-gallon carts to the curbs all over the City of Eureka.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't think I personally know anyone in favor of the mandatory garbage pick- up. The only ones I know in favor of it are the lefty/ authoritarian types I hear from in the blogosphere.

I suspect the majority of the Joe and Jill Sixpack types in Eureka are opposed to it, although I could be wrong. If I'm right, it will be interesting to see if there's some backlash by voters over it come next election. I'll certainly be taking the issue into consideration if I vote in the next city council election.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think the mandatory garbage and recycling are bad, just wait for the mandatory healthcare like they have in Massachusets.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080603/massachusetts_health_care.html

You don't see where this is going? Government needs money to pay all those retirements & inflated government wages. You WILL pay.

Mandatory infill (you must live in a city) mandatory sevices, mandatory fees.

-JMan

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

City Garbage says the size of the recycle "carts" we will be required to use is 96 gallons.

OK, somebody is fucking really high if they think that a 96 gallon recycle cart is a good idea. Fill that full of water and you get almost 700 pounds.

I have a good amount of recycle that goes elsewhere. But if someone wants to fill one of these things with 96 gallons of steel scrap just to watch them break their backs, I'm all for it.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I'll have to admit, I'm somewhat skeptical that these containers will hold 90 some gallons. I'll try and confirm that.

Remember that this recycling bs is supposed to happen at least once a week. There would be no reason to have a container that large for that sort of thing. Right now, with the current system, those that pay for curbside recycling just use a bunch of milk carton type things.

This might be a hoax.

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had planned to watch the meeting on TV tonight and rush down to City Hall only if my incredible wisdom was required. BUT the TV stations are DOWN, as in snow-city, static-town, man! I am so bummed! I hate to go down there in person, see, because I'm trying to hold down the demand on gasoline so we can send a downward pressure on world-wide prices. But I may have no choice.

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so you know, Fred, This statement I posted about the recycle carts being 96 gallons, I got that figure from a fellow named Mike who works for City Garbage. Sorry, I can't remember his last name. If you find out he and I had some kind of miscommunication and the size of the "carts" is a more reasonable size, I will be very happy to hear it. But let me assure you, that 96 gallon figure is not a hoax. I asked him several times and repeated "96 gallons" and he confirmed that is the size. (However, a smaller container may be made available on a case-by-case basis later, as he told me.)

 
At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TV service (Suddenlink) came back on line around 6:50pm, so the City Council Meeting IS NOW being broadcast. Whew!

 
At 6:59 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"I got that figure from a fellow named Mike who works for City Garbage."

Fair enough. We'll see what happens.

6:54 wrote, "V service (Suddenlink) came back on line around 6:50pm...".

Thanks for the heads up. We had a major power outage that originated just half a block from my house. Power's on, but couldn't get TV. I'll try it again.

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Nope. I get no TV at all, except for the static.

 
At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the City Council just voted to pass the ordinance. Now we get to see what happens as the ordinance is implemented.

I sure hope my ears betrayed me on the matter of the 96 gallon recycle carts. But I've have my hearing checked and my ears are very good.

Fred, it kills me to report that only ONE citizen spoke about the issue of mandatory garbage pickup and recycling, etc. She supported it. And she's a friend of mine, so I guess I ought to give everybody involved in this issue as the benefit of the doubt.

But let me know what you find out about the size of those recycling "carts!"

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I'll try and remember to ask about the carts next time I go to City Garbage.

Got the TV up and running thanks to Joy Finley's suggestion. Unplugged the TV and plugged it back in and everything worked fine. Funny, wouldn't the power going out be the same as unplugging the TV?

Watched the rest of the Eureka City Council meeting. Nothing good going on there. Probably most interesting part was at the end where they discussed the Fire Department's push- poll mailing that failed.

Seems like the council is mostly unhappy that the push- poll wasn't effective, more than anything else, the responses from the being mostly negative. Looks like they'll be trying more of the same, from what I was hearing.

 
At 6:32 AM, Blogger Fred said...

That's supposed to read; "the responses from the public being mostly negative.".

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger gb05 said...

At several city council meetings, the new garbage can was described as having 2 sections, one for garbage & one for recyclables. If anyone wanted a greenwaste can, it would be a different can & would be at additioanl cost. Apparently nobody on this blog watches council meetings.

 
At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"lefty/ authoritarian..."????

Where DO you people get this stuff?


We are, according to the 'righties' Ive seen here:

'Hypocrites' (My personal favorite)
'Facists' (Does anyone use a dictionary anymore?)

and yes, here in Humboldt, we have even been called;
"pinko-commies"

Yet when I look at what the 'conservative-right' has accomplished in the last 7 years,
well,...the irony is almost painful.....

Sorry to drift from the subject Fred, but Holy Cow!
This Us vs Them crap is getting old!

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Fred said...

3:17 wrote, ""lefty/ Authoritarian..."????
Where DO you people get this stuff?".

Well, I never meant to suggest that there aren't people on the Right that lean, or are, Authoritarians. I was referring to a few local issues I see as defining Authoritarian leaning folks, at least in regards local issues.

I'm using three issues as criteria for definition:

Mandatory trash pick- up subscription, meaning everyone has to subscribe to City Garbage's trash pick- up service, regardless of personal choice.

Mandatory water fluoridation, meaning government fluoridates our drinking water, regardless of personal choice.

And Government provided wireless internet, as proposed by some that think government should be the one to build and regulate wireless internet as they do the roads and highways.

I haven't thought this through all the way yet, but I think these are three local issues that make it pretty clear where people stand in regard government's role in society and personal liberty.

The only two people I've heard from, that I'm familiar with, that support all three: fluoride, government provided wireless and mandatory garbage pick- up, are local lefties.

There's certainly been a few anons agreeing with all the above proposals, but the only ones that come to mind that I know of, that support all three, are self identified lefties:

Our very own Eric Kirk and Andrew Bird.

I'm not trying to make that into any sort of insult, I'm just saying that the only people I know that feel this way on these issues are strong left- leaners, if not hard- core lefties.

Are you saying my observation is wrong, or that the right wingers are just more Authoritarian by nature?

From the local examples I'm using, I'd say you might be proven wrong. And that's not that I'm saying there aren't a lot of right leaning Authoritarians.

 
At 1:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the judgmental writer who stated: "Apparently nobody on this blog watches council meetings."

Apparently, you don't take the trouble to call the City Garbage Company of Eureka and speak with the party who is in charge of the proposed program, as I did.

The two-part container is NOT for half garbage and half recyclables.

The two-part container is for two different types of recyclable material. It is a two-part container that will be used along with the garbage container the customer already uses.

The two-part container is the one that Mike at City Garbage told me (unless my ears deceived me about three separate times during our phone conversation) will be 96 gallons big. Which as I said, is three times larger than most people's existing garbage can.

Is the unit too big to handle? Will it be hard to handle, especially for old or disabled people? Will there be room for it in people's yards? Will people have to leave it on the street or sidewalk by their home, where homeless people will dig through them for aluminum cans and things like that, possibly leaving a mess behind them? We don't know because these questions have not been addressed by the City of Eureka or the City Garbage Company of Eureka, at least as far as I know.

If anyone does have the answers, I'd love to hear them.

And Yes, I know I have nobody to blame but myself for not going to the City Council Meeting on Tuesday night to ask these questions myself. Mea culpa, as they say.

 
At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response Fred-
I certainly understand where people get ideas about left-leaners and right-leaners- and you do an admirable job of trying to balance.

Im just sooo tired at this point of everyone buying into the whole left vs right thing, when the people trying to screw ALL of us are really neither;
they are 'neo-cons' if we must label- and just like always, they are playing us all against each other- while they make $$$.

One gets frustrated that so many Americans buy into it.

Someone said no one has divided this country (like Bush has) since the civil war- I tend to agree.

I AM pretty Liberatarian in my views, but its been 40 years since we have had candidate as sensible as Obama.

Hes getting my vote.

 
At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama talks a good game. But we've been gamed before. I want to see what he has done. Done. Not said. Then maybe I'll vote for him.

He sounds really good. But speeches are made of words. And words, after all, are just words.

 
At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon-
Just look up his record on the internet then! Rather impressive.

The right and Fox is grasping at ANYthing they can find at this point to discredit him- but they cant.

Its funny really, and pathetic.

For the record: He is NOT Muslim.
He does NOT hate this country.
He is NOT a child-molester.

He MAY have picked his nose once in 2nd grade, but Im sure Fox 'News' has a team looking into it.........

 
At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was a U.S. Senator and a state legislator before that. So tell me, what legislation did he pass? If Obama has actually accomplished something besides nodding off in church and giving rousing speeches, I'm sure all Americans would like to know about it.

 
At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hours pass and no one posts a reply.

Days pass. One wonders why no Obama supporter has yet rushed to offer us some word of Obama's "accomplishments."

Funny how often they walk away when asked to name something he has actually done, as opposed to something he has said.

He says a lot and he says it eloquently, but what has he done? Anything good? Anything?

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Good point. I don't believe I've heard much, if anything, about Obama's voting record in either the Illinois state legislature or U.S. Senate.

It will be interesting to see the score sheets when the various political action groups rate the two candidates based on their legislative records.

 

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