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More Than 1,100 SLP Residents Sign Up for Organics Recycling

The city's new organics and single-sort recycling programs are popular among residents, staff say.

About 10 percent of St. Louis Park residents have signed up for the city's new organics recycling program since it debuted in October, on par with city staff's goal for the programs.

Paying $40 per year, about 1,150 St. Louis Park residents have signed up for organics recycling, receiving a cart and a supply of compostable bags.

St. Louis Park also debuted a new single-sort recycling program, giving residents a 90-gallon bin designed to hold two weeks worth of magazines, toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil, metal flatware, plastic buckets and other recyclables.

Scott Merkley, St. Louis Park's services manager, told the Star Tribune he's hopeful that 15 to 20 percent of the city's residents will sign up for the organics program by the end of its first year.

“After just two months, we’re right on track and happy with the numbers,” he said. “We’re certainly going to be working to promote the program.”

St. Louis Park is also adding an organics option to its waste stations in city facilities.

“Residents want to do the right thing, but sometimes they do what’s easiest,” Merkley said. “These have a lot of pictures. We’re trying to give the proper education.”

Emily B January 03, 2014 at 08:39 AM
Hi Daniel, I am wondering if you can explain your comment a little more. Do you mean the trash service is more for a smaller bin? I have the 30 gallon cart and it is the cheapest (I have not looked into the new 20 gal insert). Municipalities by law must provide volume based service and cannot charge more for smaller bins for trash.
Paul Udstrand January 03, 2014 at 10:20 AM
I'm proud to be one the Thousand. Between the organic and the recycle bin we've cut our garbage by 3/4. This let us downsize to a smaller garbage bin and get a credit. No one is being charged higher rates for smaller garbage bins. We have our own compost but we don't use it much in the winter and it would quickly overflow. There are a lot of thing that go in the organic bin that we don't want to put in our own compost like paper towels, fast food packaging, and used vacuum cleaner bags. As for jobs, city workers in SLP haven't handled our garbage for decades, and the jobs being created are private sector contractors. Anyone complaining about the public sector cost doesn't understand the economics of these programs. Sure you send more stuff to landfills but landfills aren't free; the "land" is getting harder to find and more and more expensive. We're killing several birds with one inexpensive stone here. You may have noticed that the bins are made in the USA out of recycled plastic?
Emily B January 03, 2014 at 02:23 PM
Thanks for your comments Paul! I am also happy to be one of the households. I love all the stuff I can put in my bin (that popcorn bucket from the movie theatre, paper butter wrappers, paper wrappers from meat, tissue paper from gifts, paper cupcake and muffin cups, so much more!) In regard to landfills, a lot of the trash in Hennepin County, including all of that from SLP, actually goes to the Henn Co Recovery Center (aka HERC) where it is burned. I'm not an advocate of either landfill or burning, but feel it is important people understand this. Back to Daniels comment, I did some math and in terms of cost, it is true that you get a lower cost "per gallon" with larger bins, but the smaller the bin, the lower the total rate. That said, in the new quarterly rates for 2014, the largest increase was on the 90 gal carts (20%), whereas the 60 gallon and 30 gallon only saw 8% and 6% increase respectively. Obviously the 20 gal cart is new, so no comparison, but the per gallon cost is slightly lower than the 30 gallon cart, and if you add the organics recycling (only $10/qtr for 30, 60 or 90 gal), it is actually still cheaper than the 30 gallon! That means that all year, I divert our food and other previously mentioned items to organics and in the fall I can put most of our leaves in there (thus no cost for paper Kraft or compostable plastic bags). I am certain I'm getting the better end of the deal here. Also for cost, the solid waste tax in MN is not charged on recycling (which includes organics), but is charged on anything you put in your trash. So, actually, if you want to talk about money to the city/state, you give them more the bigger your trash bin...
Daniel January 03, 2014 at 09:40 PM
Good for you Paul to feel happy about paying more. Just please stop spending my money. The per gallon rate for trash is higher for the smaller cans with the 20 gallon can having the most expensive per gallon rate. If people using a 90-gallon can for trash paid the same rate at the new 20-gallon can ($1.68/gallon), their quarterly trash collection would be $151.20 instead of $91.80 ($1.02/gallon) which is the current charge for 2014. Again, those who use the least or none at all are forced to pay for those who use the most.The only thing that this organic waste recycling accomplished was raising the rates on everyone in the city.
Emily B January 04, 2014 at 12:08 AM
The 30 gallon can is actually the highest per gallon at $1.75 (with tax), the 20 gallon is the second highest. I'm not sure I follow you on how the new organics program has anything to do with rates being raised (per gallon the smallest trash carts were the highest before the organics program, and we pay a separate charge for organics service). Utility rates go up, just like Center Point or Xcel...that's life. Not to mention, as previously stated, the rates went up at a much higher percentage this year for the large carts (more than double the increase on the 60 gal and more than triple the increase on the 30 gal), so the city is making efforts to encourage waste diversion and disincentivize trash.
Paul Udstrand January 04, 2014 at 10:58 AM
Thanks for the clarification Emily and the run down on the costs of the different capacity bins, it helps to have accurate information. I realize that our trash goes to the burner, but like landfills, that's not "free" either. The less we send to the burner the better for a variety of reasons as well. Daniel, I'm not spending "your" money to have my stuff hauled away, and I'm paying more for my organic bin. At any rate we all pay for our own service, those costs are reduced because so many of us are paying. If anything we're all reducing each others costs simply by living here. This is how civilization works, your utilities, streets, snow removal, and police and fire protection are affordable because 50,000 people are helping you pay the bill. You're welcome.
Daniel January 04, 2014 at 01:13 PM
The organic bins are just a feel good thing being pushed by the Left. Yes, we all are paying for those bins because they are being averaged into the costs. If the City of Saint Louis Park truly wanted to encourage people to make less trash, the smallest cans would be no more per gallon or less than the largest cans. We have no choice for trash collection in Saint Louis Park. It is a government run monopoly that keeps raising taxes and fees. Nit-wit Sue Sanger can't seem to raise taxes high enough but sure wanted her raise for sitting on the city council Yes, I do pay a very disproportionate amount of taxes and people like you keep voting to raise them. If anyone should be saying "You're Welcome" it should be the people that are forced to subsidize your feel good, costly, inefficient programs like organic waste recycling.
DobermanLady January 05, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Thank you, Emily and Paul, for standing up to Daniel. I've experienced his bullying tactics myself -- all bitching and complaining but no facts. And, Daniel, if you don't like it, you have the option of moving to a place where you can just live off the land. Maybe you should try Sarah Palin's Alaska.
Daniel January 05, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Let's see. I produced the facts that the 20-gallon is charged at a significantly higher rate than the 90-gallon. Yes, the 30-gallon is also charged at an even higher rate than the 20-gallon. $10/quarter does not cover the cost that it takes to administer and collect "organic waste." I believe that is collected every other week. The trash truck can not possibly recuperate the cost of collecting this waste at $1.54/can (bi-weekly). in the $1.54 there are administrative costs, wages for drivers, truck attendants, recycle facility employees, the cost of the truck and fuel, etc. What is being collected has no value. If people are that concerned, they should just put a compost bin in their backyard. If it were that cheap, our trash prices would be much lower. There is no competition allowed in Saint Louis Park. If the city were truly interested in reducing trash, the lowest costs would be awarded to the people who waste dispose of the least. Instead, the lowest costs are awarded to the people who dispose of the most E.G. 90-gallon cans which are the most costly for WM to collect. I always love the Liberal response of "If you don't like it, MOVE!" What open-minded and accepting people they are.
Emily B January 05, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Daniel, it is clear we disagree on this issue and that is ok. I don't think you should move, however, if you prefer "open hauling" there are many cities in the metro area that have open hauling available where you are free to select your hauler. That said, while many people believe open hauling and "freedom of choice" in garbage collection saves money, its been statistically proven false (overall, obviously there are always exceptions, like everything). Haulers that can get route density, like in St. Louis Park, are able to offer much more competitive pricing because as a community we're buying in bulk. And if a hauler wants to keep a contract with the city, they must remain competitive in the bidding process, so its not like a monopoly where there is no incentive to be competitive. In terms of specific SLP pricing, I think the part that is important to remember is, if you select the 20 gallon bin ($33.64) and add the 90 Gallon organics bin ($10), your total capacity is 110 gallons and you still pay less than the 30 ($52.42), 60 ($68.05) or 90 ($91.82) gallon trash by themselves. If you can't quite go down to the 20 gallon (if you have some bigger items sometimes), it is still cheaper with the 30 gallon and organics than the 2 larger trash bins. So if you're willing to essentially sort what used to be all trash, it works out pretty well.
Emily B January 05, 2014 at 02:31 PM
As for putting organics in your backyard bin, I absolutely agree that we should put as much as we can in our own backyard bins, both from economic and environmental standpoints. However, many of the things we can put in the curbside collection cannot go in backyard for a variety of reasons. From the simple fact that they won't break down or take much too long to break down (like compostable plastics or a lot of nonrecyclable paper) or that they are nuisance items (meat, dairy, etc) that attract pests (raccoons), cause odor or are not safe to be dealt with in your backyard bin because it will never get hot enough to kill certain pathogens of concern like eColi. I would like to try and understand why you believe organics (at least commerical collection) have no value. I am obviously an advocate because there are many values that I see, but I'd like to hear what makes you believe there is no value.
Daniel January 05, 2014 at 02:33 PM
Emily. Everyone is missing the point. The small cans should pay no more than the large cans on a per gallon cost. No one is going to throw away 90 gallons of organic waste bi-weekly. The cost of collecting this organic waste is being distributed over the entire population for this feel good program. As I have stated in the past, I produce next to no trash. I couldn't fill a 30 gallon can every 6 weeks if I tried. The recycle program is a money loser and only being done to satisfy the liberal cities. The city has a monopoly on hauling trash. You have zero choice of hauler and no right to refuse service. It does not matter whether they have to "bid" for the contract. The city chooses the hauler. In the rural suburbs people have much greater choice. I know of people that produce very little trash in some of these areas that are able to split a can with neighbors to reduce their costs. Not on option in Saint Louis Park. In the rural areas, you can cancel your service if you are going to be out of town for months and not get charged. Then resume the service with the same or a different trash hauler upon return. Not an option in Saint Louis Park. In SLP, you can suspend service for I think a minimum of 6 weeks for which you get a pittance of a reduction E.G. a couple of dollars. You can not completely decline the service. The city needs the money too much. Again, this program is just to feel good and does nothing to actually incentivize people to produce less trash. It is costing the taxpayers more money which the City Council is deceptively financing through the increased rates and higher rates on smaller cans. The larger cans cost more for WM to pick up but Saint Louis Park city council has decided to redistribute that burden to the people who use the smallest portion of the service. If any of you people are truly concerned about the environment and trash reduction, you would be angry that you pay more for "doing more good." Instead, all the backlash is against people like myself who believe in true reward not just expensive feel good programs.
Daniel January 05, 2014 at 02:53 PM
Emily. per you second post. The cost of recycling organic waste in this way far exceeds any "good" that it does. The $10/quarter that people are paying does not even cover the cost of what it is taking to collect this waste. Do you think that the collection service is operating this at a loss? Absolutely not, this is being subsidized through the regular trash service. A few years ago, I worked a software contract for Waste Management in Houston. The project dealt with the landfills and how the trucks are charged when they empty. Minnesota was one of the highest taxed states in the nation for trash and had the most taxes applied to trash. these are things the public does not see but are charged back to the collection companies when dumping. Minnesota even taxed many of the taxes. Every greedy entity had the dirty little hands in the pie all claiming it was for the greater good. Recycling was considered a joke by WM. It was only being done because WM could sell this snake oil to liberal city councils like SLP. The materials that were collected for recycling had no real value. Their value as a raw material was more expensive than virgin material. It was just done so some people could feel good. If you (speaking of anyone) wants to overpay to feel good about yourself, that is fine with me. Just pay for it yourself and leave people who do not want that service out of it. Then you will see the true cost and not be so eager to waste your hard earned wages on program with no benefit. There is no shortage of landfill space. By the way, WM essentially controls the price of trash not only because the are the largest trash hauler in the USA but because they also own the majority of the landfills in the country.
Emily B January 05, 2014 at 03:00 PM
I don't disagree that there needs to be more price adjustments for smaller bins to be the same price or cheaper per gallon than the big ones (we have better price differentials based on size here than many other cities). I am curious where the info that the larger bins cost more for WM to pick up comes from. I can understand if you mean that the more trash there is, the more frequently they empty trucks and pay the tip fee, but it doesn't seem like it would incur higher cost in the actual pick up. If this is an issue you want to fight about, that's fine, but I'm interested in having dialogue where we can all be heard respectfully, as its something I care a lot about, without any name calling or slams along partisan/stereotyping lines or judgement about who actually cares about what.
Emily B January 05, 2014 at 03:12 PM
Daniel, thank you for your input on the WM side of things. It is interesting to consider the two facts side by side: 1) that WM thinks/thought recycling is "snake oil" and 2) that they own most of the landfills... meaning, they make a TON of money by trashing stuff. As for the price of raw vs recycled materials, like all commodity markets, this varies over time. Aluminum, for example, is absolutely less costly to use recycled vs raw. If you want to talk about costs that the public never sees, we need to talk about the externalities of mining bauxite and shipping it around the world several times vs processing recycled it in local markets. People do see the tax on their utility bill, which is only paid on trash, not recycling.
Daniel January 05, 2014 at 04:11 PM
Emily. Aluminum is the cream. What else from your recycle bin can you take to a any number of business and have them pay you for it? Nothing that would even cover your fuel costs to transport it there if you can find someone to take it. The small amount of aluminum collected does little to offset the overall cost. If it were profitable, there would be thousands of private businesses fighting to take your organic waste for free and/or paying you for it. As far as the 90-gallon cans costing more, you are correct that the truck will be able to service fewer homes before returning to the land fill to empty. This means more wages, more fuel costs and maintenance on the trucks, etc. The trucks are not charged by the gallon when they empty. It is done by weight. All garbage is equal in the truck whether it cam from a 20-gallon can, 90-gallon can, or dumpster. It is simple math. Where will they make the highest profit when your customers that pay the least can add up to 4.5 times the operating costs? The answer is simple. WM doesn't care because SLP has played the shell game and moved the costs from one group to another.
Paul Udstrand January 06, 2014 at 10:06 AM
Danial, YOURE missing the point. Our garbage, recycling, and organics are NOT hauled by a government monopoly. All this crap about no one making money or there would be competition completely ignores the fact THAT THERE ARE DOZENS OF TRASH REMOVAL COMPANIES COMPETING FOR CITY CONTRACTS. Our trash and recycling are hauled by a private contractor that IS making a profit. . That contractor makes money because of the sheer volume, i.e. the number of bins they empty in St. Louis Park. They are NOT operating at a loss. Unless you dump your garbage in a hole in your back yard you're not going to get it hauled away for nothing, so yeah, you have to pay for this. Furthermore you don't get the fact that the cost at the curb isn't the only issue. There are other costs associated with burning or dumping EVERYTHING. This isn't simply about finding the cheapest way to haul garbage from the curb, although recycling does reduce costs at the curb. You're 20 gallon bin costs $33.65 per quarter in St. Louis Park. In Maplewood, where they have no recycling or organic program, that same 20 gallon bin costs $113 per quarter. You can't even get a 20 gallon bin in MPLS. All these pseudo calculations of yours are a waste of time because you don't understand the economy scale. Even if you reduce the cost at the curb, you create greater costs downstream if you don't handle waste correctly. The problem isn't whether or not the 20 gallon bin is the cheapest, the problem is removing trash from thousands of homes in the most economical way. Eliminating the recycling or organic collecting would NOT reduce our cost at the curb, and having those programs DOES reduce our costs down steam.
Daniel January 06, 2014 at 04:09 PM
Paul. First, why is it that no one in this state can spell my name correctly. Funny how it the same misspelling as an older poster. Next, it is a monopoly. You have no choice. The City government chooses for you. You really need to go back and take an economics and some mathematics courses. You have no idea how to calculate costs. It is pointless to argue with a person like you since you obviously benefit from the redistribution of the costs to your neighbors. You just won't admit that you want others to pay; so, you can feel good about yourself.
Paul Udstrand January 07, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Daniel, I apologize for botching your name. I'm not trying to insult you but you're analysis is a junk analysis, you're comparing bin and pound rates within a system as-if that will tell us something about the over-all economics of the plan. It may be "math", but the result is junk. That analysis CAN'T actually tell us anything. If you want to know why the bin costs are different call the city, I'm sure they'll explain it to you. My guess is that it has something to with the cost of the bins themselves because unlike some other cities that cost is rolled into the service fee rather than charged separately. The cost of actually hauling a pound of garbage is NOT determined by the size of the bin, it doesn't matter if a pound of garbage comes out of a 20 or a 200 gallon bin. Yes, the city contracts with a single hauler, however that is not a "monopoly" strictly speaking because it's a contract that can be cancelled, and SLP has changed contractors several times. Yes, we have one private contractor that we all pay for, you seem to think this is Communism, it's not. The concept of high volume cost reduction is a basic element of capitalist economics; you get bulk discounts for everything from photos to candy. I've already explained this once. The fact is that you simply have not presented any viable argument to support you claims. Math and facts do make an argument. The alternative collection service you describe is not a "theory", it exists. All we have to do is compare SLP system to one that runs the way you advocate. I've already pointed out that Maplewood charges three times the amount for individually contracted haulers. In Edina, the quarterly rate for a privately contracted hauler like Aspen costs twice what it costs in SLP, and that doesn't include recycling or organics. Aspen charges $65.22 for a 35 gallon bin compared to SLP's rate of $33.65. Aspen doesn't even offer a 20 bin or even an insert. If Aspen got a citywide contract from Edina they could charge less, again that's not Communism, it's basic economics. Another advantage to having a citywide contract is that here in SLP you can just go the website and look at your costs. In cities with individual contracts like the one you advocate you have call several haulers individually and compare prices, which will all be more expensive than if you had one contractor. Another problem with multiple individual contracts is that instead of having one set of trucks on your city streets once a week, you have multiple trucks from multiple haulers on your street all week long. In cities like St. Paul this is causing millions of dollars in additional damage to the streets every year. Again, any economic analysis has to look downstream past the mere curbside cost of the bins. In addition to paying more to have their garbage hauled away, cities that run the way advocate are also paying much higher costs for infrastructure maintenance.
Paul Udstrand January 07, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Finally Daniel, I don't deny that I benefit from the distributed costs of our waste collection, in fact, I'm the one that pointed that out. The thing is you don't seem to realize that YOU'RE receiving the same benefit, it's costing YOU less to have your trash hauled away in SLP than it would in Edina hiring your own hauler. Again... your welcome.
Daniel January 07, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Paul. there is no way to have a discussion with a person like you. As you said, you "benefit." Trash hauling in Saint Louis park is a monopoly. I don't know why you can not see that. If it is not, you will be able to answer this question. Who else can you call today to have your trash collected and stop paying the City of Saint Louis Park? No one. Can you call the City of Saint Louis Park and decline trash collection? No. Can you solicit residents of Saint Louis Park today with Paul's Trash hauling and charge a rate lower than the city? No. Other than trash, water, and sewage(all City of Saint Louis Park) what utility (gas, electric, phone, cable) forbids you from a choice. I am sure you enjoy the benefit of other people's money to lower your bills. Even water and sewage is bracketed to charge higher rates for higher consumption. I am of the belief that all residents need to be treated equally and charged based upon their consumption not a redistribution. Under Udstrand economics, buffets would charge thin people a higher charge for the buffet since they eat less than fat people. Under the Udstrand plan, a person that runs at 100% efficiency and produces no trash would be charged a penalty even higher than the 20 & 30 gallon rates. I make next to no trash. The root word of the word Conservative is Conserve. I guess we just have to agree that you are jealous that I am a better steward of the environment and like most Liberals think that people like me need to be penalized for it by paying for your wasteful, inefficient ways. It is obvious that you LOVE to spend other people's money to support your lifestyle choices.
Emily B January 07, 2014 at 11:59 AM
There is irony in you bringing up gas and electric because if we want to talk about TRUE monopolies for which I will never have another choice (and the gov't is not involved), those would be the two I'd name first. At least SLP can give our trash/recycling/yw/organics haulers the boot if we don't like them. CenterPoint and Xcel, yeah right! (Unless you've got a solar array on your house or your own generator of some kind.) As for phone, I haven't ever had a landline here, so I have no idea (do people actually still pay for that?). Cable, well, technically Comcrap has a monopoly on cable. They don't have a monopoly on internet and TV service, but specifically on cable, I think they do. If you call CenturyLink or whatever other companies are out there "choice" its comedy because they are all basically the same price for basically the same crappy and unreliable services, delivered just slightly differently.
Emily B January 07, 2014 at 12:03 PM
So, my basic understanding of your economic policy Daniel is that if the government appears to limit the choice, that is a monopoly, but if the private sector has gobbled up all its competition to the point of no choice, that's just market economics. Right?
Paul Udstrand January 07, 2014 at 12:58 PM
Daniel writes: " I am of the belief that all residents need to be treated equally and charged based upon their consumption not a redistribution." Dude, THAT'S the system you have right now. You produce however much trash you produce and select an appropriate size bin, and you pay accordingly. By the way, this has nothing to with "pounds" of garbage since no one knows how much your garbage weighs, we only know what size bin you have. That bin can have anywhere from a pound to 150 pounds of trash inside, you pay the same. The bins are about volume, not weight and they can be practically empty, or full to the brim. Now if you (Daniel) think that garbage haulers should weigh each households garbage every week and charge accordingly, then you are way off the reservation as far as having your own personal theory of economics. The administrative costs alone of keeping track of hundreds of thousands of individual weight records every week and charging accordingly would be prohibitive, and ripe for overcharging, unless we're all gonna weigh our own garbage every week and compare that to the haulers measurement. Talk about inefficient. NO ONE anywhere in the world does household waste removal that way for a lot of good reasons.
Daniel January 07, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Emily, I am not even mentioning the private market. I am speaking of government control and mandated .Why do people always think that a conservative would be in support of less competition? We love competition. The Left HATES competition. I do think it is lousy the WM controls so many of the landfills but that goes back to the governments who issue permits to build landfills and restricts them profusely. There are very few industries where there is no choice. I believe in as much choice as possible. Saint Louis Park offers NO Choice in trash removal. Paul, Once again you have shown your absolute ignorance of economics. You are right that no one knows how much 1 gallon of trash weighs. That is averaged out. However, the household trash from house to house should be fairly close in weight on a pounds per gallon ratio. I do like how you dodged all my questions since you know that I am correct. No other utility has zero competition. This service is mandated by the City of Saint Louis Park. The funny thing about this is the City Council claims to be doing this to get residents to reduce waste yet the less you waste the more you pay. I have no idea how to explain this to you since you seem to be set on getting others to pay for your extreme waste. Everything is a fixed cost EXCEPT the weight of the garbage truck when it goes to the landfill. The landfill does not say. "Oh, you brought us 10 tons of trash today. We are going to reduce the price from your other truck that can only carry 3 tons." A pound is a pound is a pound.
Daniel January 07, 2014 at 04:11 PM
Emily. I forgot to comment on your comment about gas, electric, cable, and phone. First, are you mandated to use these services? No. Next, you do have a choice to not have gas appliances or furnace. You can use solar, LP, wood burning stoves, corn pellets, or electricity. You are not required to buy electric from Excel. You can use solar, set up your own little wind mill, run a natural gas or LP generator. Phone? Well there are too many choices there between land, cell, and voip. Cable again you can use an antenna, Dish or Direct TV, streaming via internet connection which can be land based or cellular. Or like I said you can refuse/decline these services and pay $0. Centerpoint, Comcast, and Excel may or may not be the cheapest choice but they are just that - a choice. Not the case with trash collection in Saint Louis Park.
Emily B January 07, 2014 at 05:56 PM
While it is true that those are theoretical choices, for the majority of folks, they're a false choice, especially on the gas and electric. And if you live in an apt, which is a large part of our population, there is zero choice on those things (I was forced to use Comcast at my last place because you could not get service another way, and I certainly was not going to be building a solar array). False choice is not actual choice. Kind of like all the "different" brands of food in the store... what a load of junk. Its all owned by a few huge companies but the pretty colors make us think its different and that we have "choice."
Emily B January 07, 2014 at 06:02 PM
Anyway folks, I've realized that the route this conversation is going is no longer productive for me to be involved in. We've all stated our points and perspectives, which aren't likely to align or change much more via this forum and we're all beginning to sound redundant. Also I find myself tempted to make "troll like" comments, but I'm not that person and won't get sucked into it. The reality is, SLP has organized collection for our waste services, that is not likely to change. So, short of moving elsewhere to a municipality that is "open haul" the choice is to either throw tomatoes or to work together to make the system equitable for all. Talk to folks at City Hall, they're humans just like the rest of us, and a little respect goes a long way in effective dialogue. Cheers.
Paul Udstrand January 08, 2014 at 09:31 AM
I have to agree with Emily. I would like to summarize the bin problem very quickly. It's true that there different per-gallon prices for the different bin sizes but that actually makes sense. You wouldn't necessarily want to calculate a per-gallon price and apply the same price to every bin because the bins represent potential capacity, not necessarily actual capacity. We used to have a 90 gallon bin, some weeks we could barely get the lid down, others it was half empty. Someone with a 20 bin may not experience the same variability, they may be at capacity more frequently. I'm guessing that the cost of the bins, and variability of capacity and actual volume was part of the citie's calculation when they negotiated the contract with the hauler. It wouldn't be fair to customers to charge everyone a maximum rate, and it wouldn't be fair to the hauler to charge everyone a minimum rate. One fare for all would probably less fair than the different rates we're getting. Some kind of across the board per-gallon rate would probably effect some household disproportionately.
Daniel January 09, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Paul. Emily is correct that we will not agree but again you are trying to make the problem fit your criteria. People with 20-gallon containers like myself are many times senior citizens 9I am not) that make very little trash. The reason we have that small container is the fact that we produce such a small amount of waste. I still think it is amusing that you refused to answer any of my questions about other utilities. I know it is because you can not justify your cause by adding the facts. The City of Saint Louis Park is only concerned with feel good programs and the redistribution of money. I am the type of person that believes in autonomy and self-determination. You need the government to make choices for you and more importantly to make choices for others.

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