Garbage Rabble

Posted by MJ

During my break the city held a garbage system demonstration at City Hall to try to ease the crippling fears attributed to wheeled totes and a possible variance of $20 in the final garbage fee. The Buffalo News and LUSJ reported.

Interviews with a sampling of the 450 or so people who showed up at City Hall throughout the day, to learn more about the new Modern way of refuse and recycling, turned up a sense of relief by residents. What they’ve been reading about, or hearing by word of mouth, isn’t as complicated as they’d feared, some said...
The key word there is "word of mouth". Most of which could most likely be attributed to misinformation spread for political reasons.
Concerning the user fee that will be charged for Modern collection, the city has published these low-high ranges for residential properties:

• $112 to $135 per year for a 35-gallon refuse cart, which will hold three filled kitchen trash bags.

• $140 to $162 per year for a 64-gallon refuse cart, which will hold four to six filled kitchen bags

• $170 to $195 per year for a 96-gallon refuse cart, which holds five to seven filled kitchen bags
 Is the unknown of $1.20/month really a reason to be all up in arms? From my own professional experience, it is much better to just give the high estimate and justify it. If you can come in lower it will only be a bonus to those judging you. I understand the desire to be detailed, etc but as we can see it some how causes confusion and ends up a no win. My guess though is it would of been a no win regardless since someone would of spoke up that the city was either not accounting for the percentage of each tote chosen or was just going to over charge us.
Using the recycling cart means still more trips, and that’s not a pleasant thought, especially during the winter. Maybe she’ll just chuck her recyclables in the garbage, she said, or put the recycling cart out only when it’s full and not snowy outside.

“It’s not that I’m against recycling, I just don’t want to have to go out and get these things when the weather’s bad, I just don’t,” Helen said.

Then, with a cheerful wink, she suggested, “This all sounds worse than it really is. Older people are just set in their ways. We don’t like change.”
An understandable concern for the elderly and some reasonable solutions. Seeing that we are all supposed to clear our sidewalks or snow anyways, the carts should have a path.
A two-thirds filled, 64-gallon recycling cart was wheeled around the parking lot and people were encouraged to poke through the contents and see what all can go into it. Cardboard — even pizza boxes, ice cream boxes, egg crates, coffee cups — was in there, mixed with newsprint and ditto paper, plastic berry boxes, yogurt containers, milk jugs, cans and bottles, metal lids and caps, all in a jumble because no sorting by material type is needed. About the only material that Modern won’t take for recycling is styrofoam, according to company representative Joe Hickman
The amount and variety that can be recycled is surprising. If most choose to recycle a good portion of their trash they will be surprised how little true "garbage" they generate.

The LUSJ followed up with this piece: Refuse unknowns annoy 'users'. They summed it up nicely here:
Critics of the Modern plan, mostly candidates for city offices and their supporters, pecked away at it Wednesday night during the Council meeting. Pasceri, who bears the brunt as the Council’s member of the refuse/recycling advisory committee, met the complaints head-on from the dais.
Anyone challenging Tucker would be better off offering paths to progress than rabble rousing over $20 estimate ranges in garbage fees etc. My guess is we'll stick to the usual mob mentality of rousing the uninformed who like to do it for the sake of doing it. Let the status quo of politics continue...

Response to Anything: "Rabble Rabble Rabble"

UPDATE 8/29/11

Ease your fears. The Buffalo News reported that the city will allow a change to smaller totes once the system is up and running for a while:
The city will allow owners of three-family dwellings to switch to smaller garbage cans after the new privatized garbage system has been in operation for a while, Mayor Michael W. Tucker promised this week. The city has almost 200 three-unit homes, and the new garbage ordinance requires them to take a 96-gallon garbage tote, the largest and most expensive available, for each apartment. Owners of one-and two-family homes were allowed to choose among three sizes.

The program, which is to begin in late September or early October, will be rolled out with the 96-gallon rule for each unit of a triple.
“One of the things we’ve heard is, ‘I’ve only got one person in there; why do I need a 96-gallon [tote]?’ ”Tucker said. “After a couple of months, if it’s not working, we’ll make a change.


Patti said...

Heh, heh, heh...
VERY good!

Anonymous said...

Anyone heard how much of a kickback ticket got. Don't kid yourself if u think differently

Mrs. Lee your English teacher in 5th. Grade said...

I'm sorry that's an incomplete sentence and completely void of logic-sentence-structure.

Anonymous said...

I definitely don't want any of the 4 candidates running, I don't feel any of them are smart enough for this important job.

Saying that though I do think people can criticize this administration over the garbage mess, but not for what they did but how they did it. This does show how this city needs a manager who knows how to manage and deal with people (and that to me really excludes Tucker, Smith and green - I don't know Pilot enough)
- They should have set a price and went with it, if they weren't exactly right they could return the money next year. They left themselves open to criticizem when they didn't have to.
- They are being way to stubborn on container sizes. Why not let anybody have whatever sizes they want as long as they pay for them? What difference does it make? They made a mountain out of a molehill.
- This deal doesn't save money due to the 10 employees who are just being transferred to jobs which currently don't exist and aren't needed in these critical financial times. A smart administrator would have forced both the union and the winning contractor to agree to a plan to hire these employees and take them off the city roles. Thats how almost every business that outsources work does it, especially since this 'work' will still have to be done here locally.

We really needed a businessman/manager to run for mayor!

Anonymous said...

The most qualified people stay away for political office.

Not enough Money
To much Petty nonsenses
Too much nastiness

The most qualified are too smart to run.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:15- It's funny that you object to the new refuse plan for the same reasons as Smith, but exclude him as a viable candidate. Also, I think you may have missed the part where the city lost over 20 employees when they offered early retirement incentives. The garbage guys will fill the holes that were left. The problem is that no one listened to Smith when he told the other council members to leave garbage in the budget until 2012, to make sure they knew all the cost and a good plan was in place. Drive around the city and ask yourself why the parks and streets are in especially poor shape this year, it's because the garbage is still being picked up by 10 guys who were supposed to help fill gaps in the streets and parks depts. and because the wrong guy is in charge of those departments.

MJ said...

cleaned up off topic.

I'll say again...estimates varied by $20/yr or $1.66/mo. Not a big deal.

MJ said...

2011 was set up as a transition year with the option to keep city collection long term if the final costs of privatization came in too high, which it did not. Letting it go to 2012 would most likely have let it keep sliding another year. It's been long enough.

cece said...

So if you are a renter and your landlord lives above you, are you responsible to pay for these cans or is your landlord?

MJ said...

Property owner is responsible always.

Anonymous said...

the owner could pass the cost on to his tenant. It's up to the owner.

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