INC NEWS - 2 wrongs don't make a right
randy at 27beverly.com
Tue Sep 30 16:33:01 EDT 2008
Maybe you've heard about the new "bulky item" pick-up service Solid Waste
is rolling out in October. It was in the newspaper this week as well as
mentioned at recent PAC and other meetings. But my issue is, why are we
adding this new service when clearly there is no need for it?
This all started more than three years ago when a number of citizens and
City staff met for more than a year looking to roll out a yard waste plan
across the whole City. Council wanted a plan, and at the time, the yard
waste program was paying for itself (breaking even). This looked like a
good opportunity to expand service to whole City.
So we (the group) worked towards making that a reality. Council approved
the truck budget, they were specced and ordered (typically an 18 month
process in order to have them built and delivered). Well, when it came
time to fund the program (last budget cycle), the Comprehensive Yard Waste
Plan was abandoned. What did that leave the citizens? 9 trucks on order (5
new yard waste trucks and four knuckle boom trucks with trailers) that now
had no purpose. You can't just decide you don't want these ordered trucks
and cancel your order, so we (the City) ended up purchasing these 9 trucks
with no real reason to do so (to the tune of $2M).
Or so you would think. The new yard waste trucks are being retrofitted
with an automated arm (additional expense) and will enter the fleet now as
dual purpose trucks (green can or brown can compatible). They will replace
some existing trucks that were cheaper to get, but costlier to maintain.
Which I guess is good. It's earlier they would have been replaced, but
that's never=the-less a good reason. And those extra knuckle boom trucks
with trailers, well they found a home as well; the new bulky item pick-up
service starting next week. (Have you started to smell the dead fish yet?)
We didn't need a new bulky item program. The current program of calling
OneCall for pick up has NO backlog of pick-ups waiting to happen. This
current system has worked just fine. There was clearly no need for a new
program related to it, new trucks for it, or anything. And the new bulky
item pick-up program really has nothing to do with bulky brush pick-up;
that service is still for Yard Waste customers. It's just for appliances
and furniture it seems. Appliances are already free to dispose of at the
transfer station, so it boils down to this is a used furniture pickup
service... (as best as I can figure...). This whole idea seems like such a
waste of our taxpayer dollars. Solid Waste said they'd try it for a few
months and see if it works, but is this really any reason to adopt a new
and unnecessary program? Just because you have some trucks? The trucks
alone (all 9) cost taxpayers nearly $2 million dollars! And we paid for
The finger pointing here can be directly at Council for not funding a
Comprehensive Yard Waste Program that they at one time supported; it hung
the tax payers out for a $2 million dollar bill (so far, you add in the
future costs of fuel, maintenance, manpower and the costs just get
higher). Solid Waste is just scrambling to find some tequila for the
lemons it has been tossed by adding this unnecessary bulky item program.
But like the old adage says, two wrongs don't make a right...
If we sold the trucks and took a loss, we could still come out ahead in
the long run. Someone... can you save us from this new waste of our
tax-payed dollars? It's all your money...
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