District Garbage Hauling

Here is a policy that I think would be common sense. We could protect our roads, reduce pollution, and save millions of dollars every year. But will we do it?

For the Mayor, Council,

As with any change I am certain that this will face some opposition from established special interests.

I am disappointed that I keep needing to repeat this fact, but once again, “THE COUNTY CAN NOT LEAD THIS ACTIVITY…”

Pros:
Significantly less garbage related wear and tear on our local roadways.
Significantly less wasted energy and pollution from diesel engines.
Significant financial savings for the people of Rochester.
As Terry’s memo pointed out we are entitled to this option.

Cons:
Potential opposition from current haulers.
Potential loss of individual choice in selecting garbage hauler.

Based on the examples of other communities the potential savings are incredible. If we make a conservative assumption that the average household in Rochester will save $9 per month we save our citizens more money (post tax) than it would cost to fund all 50 requested positions in 2016 (pre tax).

The second reason this needs to be done is that our public infrastructure faces an enormous unfunded unquantified liability in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. Garbage trucks, particularly in the Spring and Fall, beat up our roads thereby increasing mainenance needs.

More than a year ago the council met on this topic and asked staff to put together materials on district hauling. Because this was never done, I gathered a number of materials that you have already received.

I would recommend that we ask the Energy Commission (with Public Works staff assistance) to hold some public meetings to generate a recommendation for the city.

Questions that should be explored:

  • How can the city get the best price for garbage hauling?
  • How can the city minimize the wear and tear on our roads?
  • What is the best model of hauling to use in Rochester?
  • Should the city work with 1 hauler or multiple haulers?
  • How should billing be handled?
  • How should people that do not use garbage services be handled?
  • How should businesses be handled?
  • Should multiple collection sizes be offered to promote reduced waste?

Stakeholders that need to be engaged:

  • Haulers
  • OC Public Health
  • OC Environmental Services
  • Public Works
  • Planning
  • Citizens

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