Las Vegas Sun

September 17, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Questions that got tossed in the trash

Another view?

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In response to the letter “Stop the whining; start recycling,” please note that the Clark County residents who are “whining” about Republic Services recycling plan are not concerned about recycling, they are “whining” about several major questions and answers that are missing in this debacle.

One: Republic Services is asking for a major change in its long-term contract. Why hasn’t the Clark County Commission put this contract out for bid since it is a new program that Republic is requesting?

The “whining” relates to customers who don’t care what trash pickup rates are in Phoenix, as one commissioner stated as an example. That’s like comparing the prices of houses in New York City with the price of houses in Las Vegas. Competition breeds better service and a better price. Why not bid the job out?

Two: The “whiners” would like to see the numbers, obtained from an auditor, on how much money Republic will save on the elimination of 50-plus pickups a year. In addition, and most importantly, how much money does Republic earn from the sale of the recyclables in the marketplace?

Three: The “whiners” can’t believe that the litmus test for the change is, as one commissioner suggested, that it’s no big deal. What a reason for making a change. How about asking how much money the company will be making with the change and bidding the job out to see what kind of prices other competitors would charge for the same service?

I suddenly forgot, Republic makes big donations to the commissioners’ campaigns. I think that’s the litmus test.

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  1. Good response, and good questions!

    I still prefer the new program based on our experience.

  2. It's a dirty job and somebody has to do it...for a profit. Thank you Republic Services. You do a yeoman's job.

    CarmineD

  3. Given Nevada's long, historical association with the mafia/mob, I state the following with some reservations:
    All the "Whiner" questions, are valid questions and should be addressed. This arguement is not about quality of service by those who faithfully show up and do their jobs to keep our neighborhoods and lives maintained by their service, rather it is about being FAIR in the bidding process (for some reason, Nevada, especially Clark County, has a real problem with public utilities monopolies and the PUC simply going along with it all).

    There is a pattern here, maybe the old school mafia is alive and well existing through our public utility systems(and perhaps has some sway with PUC members or their families) here in Clark County! Not unlike what is going on in Italy....just think about it.

    The public is grateful for having reliable services, there is no doubt about that. But also keep in mind that small businesses are being by-passed and driven out of the competition by the way the current system handles the open market, bidding system. THAT, I think, is where we all have a problem with!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  4. Did the commission do any real research or was it a forgone conclusion that the easy way was the best way, at least for Republic? Why should those who have little trash pay the same as those who have a lot? It isn't because there isn't a way to do this.Thousands of communities across the country are using PAYT to manage trash in a way that is fair, economically sound, and environmentally sustainable. In communities with pay-as-you-throw programs (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing), residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste--ordinary household trash--based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste. Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much--or how little--trash they generate. Pay-As-You-throw (PAYT) breaks with tradition by treating trash services just like electricity, gas, and other utilities. Households pay a variable rate depending on the amount of service they use. Most communities with PAYT charge residents a fee for each bag or can of waste they generate. In a small number of communities, residents are billed based on the weight of their trash. Either way, these programs are simple and fair. The less individuals throw away, the less they pay. EPA supports this new approach to solid waste management because it encompasses three interrelated components that are key to successful programs:
    1.Environmental Sustainability - Communities with programs in place have reported significant increases in recycling and reductions in waste, due primarily to the waste reduction incentive created by PAYT. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources need to be extracted. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, use, and subsequent disposal of products are reduced. PAYT helps slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere.
    2.Economic Sustainability - PAYT is an effective tool for communities struggling to cope with soaring municipal solid waste management expenses. Well-designed programs generate the revenues communities need to cover their solid waste costs, including the costs of such complementary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too, because they have the opportunity to take control of their trash bills.
    3.Equity - One of the most important advantages of a variable-rate program may be its inherent fairness. When the cost of managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under PAYT, residents pay only for what they throw away. This Web site http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/too... was developed as part of EPA's ongoing efforts to provide information and tools to local officials, residents, and others interested in PAYT.

  5. More Republic handy work in Carson City AB44 excerpt as proposed. Garbage container storage -- the answer to "once per week smelly garbage pickup." You can voice your opinion at the legislative website.
    http://leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/...
    1 Section 1. Chapter 116 of NRS is hereby amended by adding
    2 thereto a new section to read as follows:
    3 1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, an association
    4 of a planned community may not regulate or restrict the manner
    5 in which containers for the collection of solid waste or recyclable
    6 materials are stored on the premises of a residential unit with
    7 curbside service.
    8 2. An association of a planned community may adopt rules
    9 that reasonably restrict the manner in which containers for the
    10 collection of solid waste or recyclable materials are stored on the
    11 premises of a residential unit with curbside service during the time
    12 the containers are not within the collection area. The rules
    13 adopted by the association must allow the unit's owner, or a tenant
    14 of the unit's owner, to store containers for the collection of solid
    15 waste or recyclable materials outside any building or garage on
    16 the premises of the unit during the time the containers are not
    17 within the collection area. The rules may provide that the
    18 containers must be stored in such a manner that the containers
    19 are screened from view from the street or sidewalk. The
    20 Commission shall adopt regulations prescribing the specifications
    21 of any device, structure or item used by a unit's owner or tenant to
    22 screen containers for the collection of solid waste or recyclable
    23 materials, including, without limitation, the size, location, color,
    24 material and maximum cost of the device, structure or item and
    25 the manner of attachment of the device, structure or item to any
    26 other structure on the premises of the unit. A device, structure or
    27 item used by a unit's owner or tenant to screen containers for the
    28 collection of solid waste or recyclable materials must comply with
    29 all applicable codes and regulations.
    30 3. An association of a planned community may adopt rules
    31 that reasonably restrict the conditions under which containers for
    32 the collection of solid waste or recyclable materials are placed in
    33 the collection area, including, without limitation:
    34 (a) The boundaries of the collection area;
    35 (b) The time at which the containers may be placed in the
    36 collection area; and 1 (c) The length of time for which the containers may be kept in
    2 the collection area.

  6. It is unfortunate that so few people here read the newspapers. I totally agree with this letter to the editor in today's Sun. Republic Services offer to reduce my services for the sake of receiving a free 96 gallon trash can is pure rubbish! If it's not about the money then it's about the money. I recycle and I'm all for using the new 96 gallon recycling containers but not on Republic's unreasonable terms and conditions. Republic Services is gearing up for major, not good for us, long-term contract changes. Their lobbyists were very busy in 2011 making changes here in Clark County and our state legislature so we can ultimately pay more for Republic to recycle valuable materials while they further reduce our services.
    Why all of a sudden is there a dustup about 96 gallon single-stream recycling? This isn't new; Republic has allowed this for years using their existing multiple bin containers. All Republic needs to do is give us that one single bin container for free and keep the existing contract in place through 2035. Not long ago they touted an increase in recycling from 3% (across the entire county) to 30 percent within the confines of their volunteer test area. Now given a single container, 30 out of 100 (Republic's recent data) will suddenly recycle! I guess Republic didn't understand this concept when they started issuing multiple recycling bins. Increasing recycling isn't as much as about the container as it is about education.
    With a 30% recycling rate, Republic would make a very significant profit just from all the recycled metals they collect. Now look at their cost saving when they reduce their number of truck trips from 5 to 4 every two weeks. With the new "single stream" containers they can cut recycling pickup labor cost by half, from two people per recycling truck to one by using better automation. With all trash pickups cut from five to four every two weeks they will further reduce their truck maintenance, manpower and operating expenses by another 20 percent. They may even reduce the number of garbage truck trips to the dump. And we thought all of the "gold mining" was taking place in rural Nevada! Wrong, there is far more "gold" available to Republic by recycling our long term contract via the legislature and local government. Under their new plan, Republic benefits nine ways from Sunday while the consumer only gets short changed on their existing contract. Republic's customers will pick up the entire tab while making a greater profit year-after-year. There is no need to greatly modify the existing contract with Republic. If we are going to consider a radical change to a great long term contract that today clearly benefits us then why not bid it out? I'm sure that Waste Management, the number one trash hauler and recycler in America, has a few ideas about what to do and how to do it at a reasonable price.

  7. Recipients of contributions from "Republic" part 1 of 2.
    Aaron Darnell Ford 250
    Aaron Darnell Ford 500
    Allison Copening 2500
    Andy Eisen 100
    Andy Eisen 250
    Anthony Ruggiero 1500
    April Mastroluca 500
    April Mastroluca 1000
    April Mastroluca 1000
    April Mastroluca 1500
    Assembly Dem Caucus 2500
    Assembly Repub Caucus 250
    Assembly Repub Caucus 2500
    ATKINSON-HORNE PAC 500
    Barbara Cegavske 1000
    Benjamin Yerushalmi 500
    BIZPAC 2000
    BIZPAC 2000
    BIZPAC 5000
    BIZPAC 5000
    BIZPAC 8000
    Bob R Coffin 2500
    Bob R Coffin 2500
    Bob R Coffin 2500
    Bob T Beers 1500
    Cedric Crear 100
    Christine a Garvey 100
    Clayton Kelly Hurst 100
    Cresent L. Hardy 500
    Cresent L. Hardy 500
    David Bobzien 2000
    David R Parks 1000
    Dawn M Dudas 500
    Debbie Smith 500
    Debbie Smith 500
    Deborah Kim Wallin 500
    Dina Neal 500
    Dina Neal 1000
    Don Gustavson 500
    Don Gustavson 1000
    Donna Toussaint 500
    Elizabeth Nicole Halseth 1000
    Ellen Barre Spiegel 500
    Elliot Anderson 500
    Elliot Anderson 500
    Elliot Anderson 1000
    Gerri Schroder 1000
    Greg Brower 500
    Greg Brower 1000
    Harvey J Munford 1000
    Harvey J Munford 1000
    Heidi Swank 250
    Ira D Hansen 500
    Ira D Hansen 500
    Irene Bustamante Adams 1000
    James Arnold Settelmeyer 1000
    James Arnold Settelmeyer 1000
    James Ohrenschall 500
    James Ohrenschall 500
    James Ohrenschall 1500
    James William Healey 250
    Jason Frierson 500
    Jason Frierson 1000
    Jim Wheeler 250
    Jodi Stephens 500
    John C Hambrick 250
    John C Hambrick 500
    John C Hambrick 500
    John C Hambrick 1000
    John C Hambrick 1000
    John C Hambrick 1000
    John Ellison 500
    John Lee 1000
    John Lee 1000
    Joseph M Hogan 500
    Joyce L Woodhouse 500
    Joyce L Woodhouse 500
    Joyce L Woodhouse 1000
    Justin Jones 250
    Justin Jones 500
    Kelli Ross 500
    Kelli Ross 1000
    Kelvin Dale Atkinson 1500
    Kelvin Dale Atkinson 1500
    Kelvin Dale Atkinson 1500
    Kenneth Charles Evans 250
    L. Van Fossen Murray 4000
    Lawrence L Brown 5000
    Lawrence L Brown 5000
    Lawrence Weekly 5000
    Lawrence Weekly 5000
    Lawrence Weekly 5000
    Lawrence Weekly 5000
    Louis De Salvio 100
    Lucy Flores 500
    Lucy Flores 1000
    Lucy Flores 1000
    Lynn Donald Stewart 1000
    Lynn Donald Stewart 1000
    Maggie Carlton 1000
    Marcus Conklin 5000
    Mari Nakashima St. Martin 250
    Marilyn Dondero Loop 500
    Marilyn Dondero Loop 1000
    Marilyn K Kirkpatrick 1000
    Marilyn K Kirkpatrick 1000
    Marilyn K Kirkpatrick 1500
    Marilyn K Kirkpatrick 2000
    Mark A. Hutchison 500
    Mark Sherwood 500
    Melissa Lynn Woodbury 1000
    Michael Roberson 1000
    Michael Roberson 1000
    Michele Fiore 250
    Mike Sprinkle 250
    Mike Sprinkle 500
    Moises Denis 1000

  8. Contriblutions by "Republic" part 2 of 2 for a grand total of $279,000.
    Nevada Conserv League 5000
    Nevada Senate Dems 2500
    NLV Matters PAC 1000
    Olivia Diaz 500
    Pat Hickey 1000
    Patricia Spearman 500
    Paul Aizley 500
    Paul Aizley 500
    Peggy Pierce 250
    Peggy Pierce 250
    Peggy Pierce 500
    Peggy Pierce 500
    Pete Goicoechea 1000
    Peter Louis Livermore 500
    Randall J Kirner 500
    Randall J Kirner 500
    Ric Truesdell 1500
    Richard "Tick" Segerblom 1000
    Richard Andrew Carrillo 500
    Richard Daly 250
    Richard Daly 250
    Richard Daly 500
    Robert L. Beers 1000
    Ruben Kihuen 250
    Sandoval Inaug Com PAC 5000
    Scott Hammond 500
    Scott Hammond 500
    Scott Hammond 500
    Senate Repub Lead Conf 2500
    Shari Buck 2500
    Shari Buck 2500
    Shari Buck 5000
    Shari Buck 5000
    Sheila Leslie 500
    Steve Kirk 250
    Steve Kirk 500
    Steve Ross 5000
    Steve Ross 5000
    Steve Sisolak 5000
    Steve Sisolak 5000
    Steve Sisolak 5000
    Steve Sisolak 5000
    Steve Sisolak 10000
    Steven Brooks 500
    Steven Brooks 1000
    Steven Brooks 1000
    Sunrise Leadership Fund 1000
    T. F. Benitez-Thompson 500
    Tom Collins 5000
    Tom Collins 5000
    Tom Collins 5000
    Tom Grady 500
    Valerie Wiener 1000
    Wade Wagner 5000
    Wade Wagner 5000
    Wagner Legal Defense 5000
    Wagner Legal Defense 5000
    Wesley Karl Duncan 500
    William D Jansen 100
    William Horne 1000
    William Horne 1000
    William Horne 1500

  9. I give Republic services a couple hundred bucks a year and they remove thousands of pounds of trash. As far as I'm concerned it's one of the best deals going. Yard waste, old refrigerators, you name it they never say no. They have never refused to pick up anything that I've put out at the curb in nine years.

    If you want something to whine about medical expenses should hit $20,000 per family this year. That is something worth whining about.

  10. I beleive what most people are trying to say here is with Republic Service cutting their collection service time by 50 percent with fewer pickups per month.Along with more people who are now willing to recycle materials for them. Which also creates more revenue for Republic Services.Basically what's not being said here,but is a thought held in the back of consumers minds. Is don't think about raising our collection rates,now with the cuts made by Republic services which increases their bottom line.