Trash Talk You Almost Didn't Hear About: Community Forum on Solid-Waste Disposal Details New RECOLOGY Service for Pacifica
BY LIONEL EMDE, RIPTIDE CORRESPONDENT
On November 30 the City of Pacifica held "a community forum on solid waste disposal services, including recycling." About 50 people attended. Click Comments below to report on the meeting and to see what others say about it, particularly the detailed comment by Chris Porter.
Garbage collection was the main topic, but also that the notice fulfilling the legal requirement appeared on page 17A of the Pacifica Tribune (November 25). Why page 17A with no news story attached? Well, Tribune publisher/editor Elaine Larsen told me that the notice was received just before the newspaper's publication deadline, and there wasn't time to do a story, much less give it more prominent placement. If it weren't for Elaine, I never would have known the notice was there. I went right over it.
Now why would such an important, once-in-a-lifetime event such as changing trash collection firms be so under-noticed? Maybe because it's becoming evident that the City of Pacifica wants to shove the problem/contract at Recology and not do a request for proposal process (RFP). An RFP might (horrors!) protect the ratepayers, who have been paying the highest rates for garbage collection in San Mateo County, courtesy of the gougemasters at Coastside Scavenger.
And, of course, the city mustn't be let off the hook for its complete lack of oversight between 1995 and 2006. An RFP would encourage a competitive bidding process—you know, that thing you've heard of and never seen here in Pacifica. The city manager characterized this process as "contentious," and he's right—it's really a bitch when all of us unwashed citizens come out and speak our minds.
But it's important that we do so, and ask that an RFP be instituted for this contract, and tell them what we'd like to see in recycling services—something other than being told by Coastside Scavenger that containers bearing recycling numbers 1, 6, and 7 be "thrown away."