Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We need a pandering bylaw for Council

Well, what an interesting Council we have. There appears to be such a zest for a recycling program that it doesn't matter what kind of program we have, just as long as we can say we have one.

First up, Pat Lorje. "This is not how you run popcorn stand, let alone a city." News flash for Pat. Popcorn stands are better run. Before vendors go out to solicit prices on product they generally determine the quality of the product they seek. They test the market to ascertain the price threshold that the consumer will bear. She further states: 'We have to get back to basics." Define basics. A $50 million swimming pool? A $84 million art gallery?

Next up, Glen Penner. "We need to go with a RFP and we need to go with it now." Simply put, what can any contractor do for us for $4.24 a month. Anything will do just as long as it an be done for $4.24 monthly. Send Glen a subscription to Solid Waste & Management (a Canadian magazine that deals with collection, hauling, processing, disposal and recycling.)

Mayor Atch says "I can't believe we'd want to turn our backs on Cosmo after 30 years." Believe it. No contractor wants a contract that doesn't give it all the paper. Paper is were the money is. Single stream will reduce the quality of the paper, and shut down more that Cosmo. But who cares, we have a recycling program,. Aren't we cosmopolitan?

Too bad, so sad for the younguns who started Saskatoon Recycling a couple of years back. You're out of business, but thanks for pioneering the program. Lorje's argument of inconsistency in containers as a reasoning for rejecting zones in the city is bogus. The city could demand a type of container that all contractors must use. What she really means is that certain areas of the city will not fully participate and thus no contractor will bid on them.

My heart goes out to Cosmo. It is an organization that provides a dignity to people with intellectual disabilities, a place for them to socialize and participate in the Saskatoon community. When no one else cared or wanted our used papers, Cosmo took them and used the proceeds to support itself. They have just been given seven years notice to wind down. Clark's motion to create a task force to look for other opportunities for the Cosmo folks is a carrot to pacify Cosmo and its supporters.

As an aside, after we pay a contractor to collect our paper, will the city then buy back that paper for Cosmo's use and will the money spent on this buy-back be part of the $4.24 charge? Will Cosmo get the good quality paper, or the contaminated paper?

If we are going to put in mandatory recycling, couldn't we just do it right from the get-go?


  1. Thank you Mistress for saying what I've been trying to say for months. City Council is so hellbent on getting a recycling program that they've lost sight of the goal.

    The way council is debating this now is a sad indication that they are all tired of the issue and just want to get something done. We are now going to end up with an overpriced and inefficient system, that hardly benefits the environment at all. Do they even have a clause in the RFP that says collected materials are unable to be brought to the landfill?

    Believe it or not, companies trying to make the most bang for their buck will do anything to save money. Including taking cheaper alternatives to what is environmentally beneficial (that or just dump our unrecyclable material in 3rd world toxic dumps, but hey it's out of sight out of mind).

    It is so frustrating to see a Council so clueless about to make such large mistakes.

  2. What I don't really get is the people out there who claim the majority of citizens want curbside recycling.

    Ummm.... Hello, there is a company offering curbside service. I would love to see their subscription numbers, because I highly doubt this silent majority who is demanding curbside have actually put their money where their mouth is. If you don't subscribe to mandatory curbside service now, then you have no right to claim that you want to see the city implement the system.

    A bunch of dogooder hypocrites.

  3. Civic Mistress. Facilitating backwards thinking through inflammatory rhetoric since 2009.

  4. Anon 9:32

    Offering insults and no insight. Why come to insult, at least have the decency to offer a different perspective.

  5. So now stats the campaign to provide a free for service pick-up of all paper products. If the city can indicate that no glass is included in the pick-up why couldn't our socially minded individuals earmark all their paper to cosmos. I for one would gladly haul a truck load to them every week.

    The city may be able to charge us for the program but they can't make us partake.

    A revolt is the only way this council will get it. Lets get people to put their paper where their mouth is and commit to supplying cosmos with all their paper products and none for the mega contractor that gets the contract.

  6. I can guarantee you Anon 10:31 that I will not place a single piece of paper in the new recycling program without Cosmo being a part of it. I would rather save it and throw it in my truck and recycle it in another city on one of my business trips.

    Once again, Council is out of touch with the average citizen.

  7. Can anyone say BOYCOTT!!!!! Lets do it.

  8. good luck with that...

  9. Thanks for the confidence Anon 11:32 Can I sign you up?? But then again maybe your one of those that will be getting a kickback from the city just to participate. Hell if they are in need of paper they will need to be buying it from someone.

  10. A whole out boycott is not necessary for the message to be sent. Why not have the citizens who care for Cosmo industries band together and ensure their paper is delivered to Cosmo rather than to whoever wins the curbside program.

    The big $$ maker appears to be paper, I can ensure you that if the company that wins the bid isn't getting all the valuable materials and only the pain i the ass ones they will make enough noise to disrupt things.

    Also, how much in the $4.24 price is the City anticipating receiving revenues on cans/bottles for?

  11. Anon 12:06, that is a great question. If the city thinks I am going to pay a deposit to purchase a bottle then pay a fee to have someone take it away they are insane.

    If they shut down my ability to receive my deposit back (via closing depots), then they better ensure stores stop charging me a deposit on drinks. That or refund me my deposits on each weekly pick up (imagine the cost of counting each houses bottles and subtracting that from their bill).

  12. Didn't anyone pay attention. NO GLASS!!!! nada nothing zilch will be allowed. They aren't going to be picking up your bottles. Now cans that is another story.

  13. wow, how about all those flapping around like chicken's with their heads cut off take a few minutes, goto the city website, download the 4 recycling reports, read them, take a few deep breathes, and realize that the sky is not falling.

  14. Next they're gonna take our guns away!!! I'm-a gonna need'em to scare off those commie recycler trucks.

  15. Ahhh right, here come the mocking tones of the dogooder recycling crowd. The same progressives that like the shout down anyone who holds a different opinion than they do.

    The original point of this proposal is that Council has no idea what they are doing still.

    They're basically asking companies what the city needs and how much they should pay. Why can't they figure out what we need first then put out a tender to see who can provide the best rate?

    Probably because every pie in the sky greenie is too busy shouting down at everyone who disagrees than to do the actual research themselves.

    Anon I hope you didn't have to pause the Michael Moore documentary too long to come up with your post.

  16. The reason you don't put limitations on the RFP going to private business is that when you start dictating terms you either a) drive up the costs and/or b) scare off private business.

    Doubtless that the same people complaining about "no plan" being in place would be the same people squawking over a higher cost system.

    Why do you want Council to meddle with how the private sector does business? If it is that important, why are you not advocating that the City build and run their own system entirely? That way they could dictate terms?

    In three years it will cost $90 per tonne of garbage entering the landfill, recycling can be done on the order of $50-$70 per tonne depending on the system (these are both processing numbers, not including collection). However, to get that price it has to be the complete package of recyclables going to a company - paper, plastic, etc...

  17. Anon 2:45,

    Your points is flawed. An RFP by definition includes limitations and standards which are required to be met. For example, the City can specify weekly pick up as a term if it so choose. Similarly, they can choose to include a clause for Cosmo to receive work.

    Yes this will drive up costs. But hasn't the point been made that the community supports Cosmo? Just like the community stepped up with Station 20, it was something important.

    Again, people for the system do nothing but insult those who question it. I want a recycling system in Saskatoon. I just want an honest discussion on what it will cost, what it will include and how it will run.

    How are even going to evaluate the proposals that come back when there is no agreement on what we want to spend (and it will be more than $4.24) and what type of service we want implemented.

    There is no vision on this idea, as stated many times we are getting a recycling system for sake of saying we have one, regardless of whether it is good for us or the environment. Just as long as we can say we have one.

  18. Amazing how so many naysayers emerge as sudden experts on recycling, yet their posts evidence that they haven't even read the city's four reports on recycling.

    All these posters sound more like Councillor Heidt, posing as an "anon" and asking the same idiotic questions that evidenced he hadn't even read the report.

  19. I read the reports and I don't trust the numbers they generate. They all use the "triple-bottom-line" accounting method, which are so in vogue among social engineering types, to justify the program. This scoring system incorporates not only economic factors but also "environmental" and "social" factors in their summation, which give far more weight to those unmeasurable and thus unaccountable parameters.

    Basically, this is a preferred method of accounting when the economics of a project or program don't make sense.

    Hence, the laughable $4.24/month recycling rate.

  20. So lets see, I now have a garbage truck a composting truck and a recycling truck all coming up my what use to be quiet front street. Do I now for an additional $4.24 get my road repaired any more often?? We just moved to front street pick up and it looks like the garbage dump has moved to my block. Every day it seems I have to pick up crap that was left by these units. Enough of a rant.

    Cosmos is a great program it will be sad to see it go. I like the boycott idea I think I will use that method to make my point to council.

  21. I wasn't at council however what I saw on the news didn't make me encouraged that this council knows anything about the affect their decision has on our city. There definitely is a disconnect between council and the mentally handicapped. There is no way this decision would have happened on Cliff Wright's watch. He was a major supporter of Cosmo and I know the Mayor is only one vote however he also swings a big stick when it comes to how decisions are made. I worry that if Ach was truly a strong supporter like he wants us to believe he would have made sure the administration kept Cosmo in the loop and not just keep the status quot for the next 7yrs and then get the boot as there is no guarantee any of the bidders will keep any commitment to servicing Cosmo if they can sell the product to another bidder. And talk about setting someone up to obtain a monopoly. Wow just what I wanted no competition and what is the city going to do if they increase the price after 6 yrs $20. NOTHING!!! as it isn't coming out of their pocket.

    This Green at all cost is getting scarier than Obamacare.

  22. "Basically, this is a preferred method of accounting when the economics of a project or program don't make sense."

    So the economics of consume 'til you drop and fill up the landfill as fast as possible make perfect sense.

    Hello myopia.

  23. "This Green at all cost is getting scarier than Obamacare."

    Yes. Providing citizens with access to basic health needs scary. It's downright treasonous.

    What an idiotic comparison. It goes to prove the selfish, single-minded mentality of Saskatoon's "birthers"... or should we call you "trashers"

  24. Anon 9:23

    I'm very curious how you made the jump from someone questioning the accounting system used to project economic cost of a program to asserting the person questioning the system just wants to pollute at all cost.

    I think the point raise originally is a very valid one. The factoring in of 'environmental' and 'social' factors are very much subjective. How much value one person attributes to those could vary widely from person to person.

    Once again instead of answering the question you choose to smear anyone who dares question the program. That is why so many of us 'uneducated' (I include myself in that category) are so turned off by people of your ilk. I've tried to learn as best I can, but anytime I ask a question on something that doesn't make a lot of sense I'm talked down to because how dare I question the environment. I have several questions that I can't get answered, anytime I ask one a supporter accuses me of being anti-recycling and trying to kill the program. Is the pro-recycling crowd wanting an ignorant population that doesn't want to be educated?

    Again, thanks for confirming what I've seen from the pro-recycling crowd this entire debate.

    Anon 9:25, I agree completely. The comparison is absurd.

  25. Cosmo needs to get a good lawyer and sue the city of Saskatoon! How can one side of a contract just go and decide on their own what actions they can take to get out of the contract?

    No one else would stand for this. Any contract can be broken. It's how much it's going to cost you to break the contract that matters. Think of the city of saskatoon proposals as their first low ball offer.

    If I'm advising Cosmo, I'm telling them to get a lawyer with custom suits designed for the fin on his/her back.

  26. No contract is being broken with Cosmo- I heard Don Atchison himself say that Cosmo will continue to get their allotted pounds of paper over the remaining years of the contract. What will change is that this amount will not be increased as it has been in the past.
    I am not against Cosmo but the Cosmo campaign has actually left a bad taste in my mouth. If you are for curb side recycling you are now automatically against disabled people - I hope everyone knows that this simply is not the case.
    I believe that we need curbside recycling to get people who are currently not recycling to recycle. Those of you who wish to drop off cans and bottles at Sarcan may continue to do so so that you can collect your deposits back.

    I have my own method of recycling because I don't really need to get deposits back- I leave them in the back alley for the collectors to pick up. They need it more than I do.I also subscribe to curbside because of the convenience for everything else. I am lucky - I can afford it. I'm sure many of you on this forum can too.

    One last word on Cosmo - does the program have to stay the same or can it be allowed to evolve in some way? Is there any reason why this can't happen except for "that's the way it has always been so we have to keep doing it that way"

  27. The contract between Cosmo and the city does not specify any set amounts. Though it is also interesting that in ten years the city has never made it's costs back from delivering paper to Cosmo , let alone seen any profit sharing.

  28. Is there any city with a mandatory program which has made its collection costs back? I've lived in a number of Cities and that isn't even a consideration. No one ever talks about making the collection costs back. It can't be done.

    Contract law is much more complicated than just seeing what's in the contract and what's out. Labatt's just successfully sued the NHL and Molson Coors over the NHL signing a contract with Molson's. The NHL didn't even have a signed contract with Labatt's but the judge ruled that the NHL deal with Molson's infringed on Labatt's rights although the Labatt contract hadn't been signed yet.

    Tort law is about making the injured party 'whole.' By setting aside an amount determined by administration, the city lawyers are hoping that a judge would see that amount as reasonable. However if tonage figures have been increasing like Cosmo says, it's reasonable to postulate that a judge may see the need for an escalator clause based on the rate of increase over the past number of years as a method of making Cosmo 'whole.'

    That clause was first suggested by administration but removed later by insistance of Councilors. Just the fact that the clause was in there in the first place may indicate that city lawyers were aware of an argument that Cosmo may make about being made whole.

    'Discovery' is an illuminating process. If this ever gets to a lawsuit, paper tonage would go up like crazy as the starphoenix would play every revelation up in giant letters on the front page.


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