Less for more

This came in from an alert reader:

I am forwarding this article I read in the El Paso, Inc.  I note that when the recycling was cut to every two weeks, Director Smyth said it would save the city $2 million.  But, if we are paying $600,000 to $700,000 how is it saving the city $2 million?  She said it was because the drivers and trucks would not be used as much.  Mrs. Smyth said that each truck the city buys costs $300,000 but, she did not list what the drivers pay was.  Looking at the trucks that pick up my trash, I seriously doubt that the city is buying trucks every year.
Ms. Smyth evidently said that the city would save $2 million, not the customers 😦
We deserve better

One Response to Less for more

  1. Ticked off taxpayer says:

    What was really interesting was a few weeks ago when City Council was having their first meeting to discuss expense cutting one of the Council members suggested they discuss cutting the recycling program entirely since it was likely to be shut down in a few months anyway. That discussion got shut down fast. We’ve got several issues here. First, the program depends on sale of recyclables to China and China keeps changing what they are interested in buying. That impacts what the recycling company the City uses will take and they charge the city when the wrong stuff is picked up. With the drop in China production due to the COVID crisis (yes they are up and running but the rest of the world has cut orders because folks aren’t shopping), I can’t imagine that China isn’t further narrowing what it buys and dropping what it pays. Second, (and all you tree huggers pay attention), we are shipping boatloads of trash to one of the worst polluters in the world. How is that environmentally a good thing? We burn fossil fuel to get it there and mysteriously the oceans are filling with masses of plastic. Is this because poor folks are throwing plastic water bottles in the ocean? No, it is likely because ships carrying recyclables to China dump anything the companies in China refuse to take so they can take on cargo for the return trip. Remember, that list changes frequently based on what they need for industry, so it is likely ships show up with stuff that is no longer needed. Or, recycling companies in China may be dumping what they don’t have buyers for. Finally, that 20 second exchange in City Council suggests the program is already considered a failure but no one wants to admit it because they shoved recycling down our throats as something that was going to pay for itself. I’ve already turned in my blue bin because I’m not storing garbage for two weeks. I suspect others are gray binning recyclables on weeks they don’t get blue bin pickup. My guess is that the City is waiting for either the current recycling contract to end or for that company to go out of business due to further drops in recycling purchase prices so they won’t have to pay a kill fee to end the relationship. What we’ve got isn’t sustainable.


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