Tuesday, November 29, 2011

. . .For they know not what they do

I wish the recycling debate would come to conclusion. It seemed that Council was in step to introduce mandatory recycling at $4.24 monthly, under a utility. Now a few Councillors are lukewarm on the idea as it may hurt the people who can least afford to pay - recycling being the first phase of the waste management plan.

The Mayor says the whole thing is predicated on a company being able to come in at $4.24 or below and if it is higher Council can still go back to the drawing board. Glass was not to be included, but now it will be.

Companies are getting ready to bid on collection and processing for a February due date before administration chooses a winning company (I thought that was Council's job) and enters negotiations. What's to negotiate? We could have recycling charges by June or as late as December. I'm betting on December (after the civic election.)

I would like one Councillor to stand up and ask for Environmental Services Manager Brenda Wallace's undated, signed letter of resignation if she can't bring the recycling project in at the costs stated in the reports that led Council to its vote.


  1. Council and Administration have indicated on several occassions that $4.24 is a fishing expedition to see exactly what private providers would charge the city.

  2. This whole process has been frustrating to watch. The current Admin/council has proven they have ZERO idea what they want in a recycling system. All we have seen is advocates do everything in their power to convince enough members on Council that we need a system, any system, doesn't matter what the system looks like, as long as we have a system so we can say we have one.

    Council can't even agree on:

    -How it should be delivered- mixed or separate boxes (although sounds like mixed now)
    -How system should run- be it one company does collection and processing, or splitting it up
    -What materials should be collected
    -How much it should cost
    -How it should be billed
    -What will happen with the recycled product (there is nothing in there about that, one of the issues of recycling in today's day and age involves shipping useless materials to toxic dumps in poor parts of world. Nothing in there on that, as long as it is cheap for Saskatoon who actually cares about the environment)

    The whole thing is a joke and those pushing it have been good at the talking points, basically keep people focused on just wanting any program and don't ask questions about the program going in.

    Well Saskatoon, this incompetent bunch that can't even inspect a bridge properly, spends money on useless frills (lights), has underfunded our road system by 100 million is now in charge of designing a recycling system that no one Councillor has shown the ability to properly grasp to date.

    Think about that, for the last 2 years this has been thrown about and not a single Councillor has stepped to the forefront on this issue and taken charge. Nobody knows what the city wants or how they want it delivered.

    Worse yet is that we are now seeing a direction by civic services whereby those at the top of the property tax scale no long pick up a higher proportion of the charges. I hope everyone who supports the off loading of this service to the utility bill also supports the off loading of other services as well. May as well further burden the poor by making them pay the same rate as the rich.

    This whole thing stinks. I want a curbside recycling system, I just want one that is actually good for the environment and isn't designed and implemented by the group of baboons currently on Council who have shown ZERO ability to manage any system properly (snow removal, street maintenance, transit, etc..). But hey, when you are 0-for-40 you may be due to get something right.

    Now let's all enjoy a laugh how the suckered the public in at $4.24 only to come back in February and tell us the real charge, because it is virtually impossible to collect/process at those numbers (and if it is possible,then fire the manager of our inefficient waste collection system who's rate to collect alone exceeds that amount).

  3. Sean S,

    I noticed that you posted a link today to an article re: Ford and his ridiculous budget that is fraught with misconceptions.

    How come you haven't been as vocal about the current Saskatoon council on the issue of the $4.24?

    You are one of the leading supporters of the mandatory curbside program, and have posted several relevant information on it over the last few months, but I have yet to see you take issue with the $4.24 other than mentioning it is 'fishing'.

    Are you simply content on paying whatever price we need to so long as we get the program? Why is no one willing to hold Council accountable for this point. They've purposely misled the public into supporting a program at a price that is impossible to deliver on.

  4. I've posted on the cost point being unrealistic on a number of occassions.


  5. I know you've talked about it on your blog, as I am one of you readers, however, you have yet to be publicly vocal about this absurd plan of theirs.

    As someone who carries some weight on the issue in Saskatoon and has for the most part been vocal, there hasn't been a peep on the City's costing plan publicly. Why is this not a bigger issue?

    I just hope that when the true costs come in (probably at more than 50% higher than estimated costs that the general public doesn't just kill the project then.

    I just can't grasp why the need to deceive the public how much they will be paying for this program.

  6. I think Sean might be the most attacked poster on this site after the Mistress. Keep up the good work, both of you.

  7. Sean I have to disagree with your first comment. Clearly when the report was delivered to Council is was to be $4.24, raising to $5 and change over the period of the contract. This was not suggested to be a guesstimate.

    At the time of the debate on Council a Loraas spokesman said it couldn't be done for that amount, and since they already advertise recycling at $8 a monthly I would guess he knows a little of what he is talking about.

    On this blog and elsewhere it has been speculated that Council is off the mark on this project. I suggest that they threw out a low number to lull the public into buy-in and will come back with an oops! next spring.

    If Council hasd been misled by administration, then administration should be held to account for shoddy reporting.

  8. Mistress,

    I've heard in chambers both Admin and Council members state they are putting this price out there to see if it can be met by providers.

    Perhaps not in the very last meeting (all of these meetings and debates have all blended together after all these years!) but definitely back during the May/Aug debates.

  9. If the Mistress is saying this number can't be met, Sean is saying it is too low, Lorass is saying it can't be done for that price.....

    ...then why on earth is the City Admin continuing to push the number that no one with an iota of knowledge about the situation says cannot be done.

    -Either Council is once again proving their ignorance on the issue or the advocates of recycling are purposely misleading the public with a low number to sucker them in.

    This is always how it goes with these Green things, they are such a good idea and save so much money long term, then when you decide to do them they yank the rug out from under you and jack up the cost.

    The lesson is pretty clear to most people at this point it doesn't pay to go Green.

  10. Sean,

    My big problem with the $4.24 is that we pay more than that simply to collect the waste, let alone no processing.

    I know there is some ROI on the processing stage, but in terms of recycling the material they want want the new recycling provider to do collecting and processing for less than the city is able to collect for.

    Either this is a lie of a number (as City Admin is surely aware of collection costs for waste) or its an indication the current Admin is clueless.

    Either way Council is negligent, they are lying to us or they are too ignorant to even know the reality of the situation.


  11. garbage cost somewhere between $7-8 (admin numbers) and $9.60 (my calculation) to collect and process into the landfill (per month/per household).

  12. So depending on the calculation you choose, it could costs anywhere upwards of double what they want to do recycling for?

    Goodness, the 'Green Movement' have just lost another supporter. This is exactly the same thing happening with the newest Climate Gate emails. Those in the 'Green Industry' are exposing themselves as being as self-serving as Wall Street types. Do anything, say anything, lie to anyone as long as they support your agenda.

  13. Yes, but remember All-Green currently charges $8.00 for about 11,000 households (they are making a profit at that price). So it's already cheaper to recycle then to put waste into the landfill.

    So a city-wide program should (should) cost less to run than $8.00, somewhere between $5-7.00 per household (and likely less once condos/etc are included).

    Again, less than the current cost to the city (with no profit) to landfill our waste.

  14. Has the City put any specifications in the RFP outlining requirement for the collected material?

    I was doing some reading on the toxic dumps where a lot of shady companies that do recycling basically just ship it out to a remote area and dump it.

    Citizens are left with an out of sight out of mind experience and thinking they did the right thing.

    Mistress/Sean do you know if the successful bidders are required to process so much of what is collected and if there are provisions in the contract which prevent any successful bidder from simply dumping the materials.

  15. From my reading of the RFP, I don't believe there are any components that would award a higher standing to bids that actually process the material locally (I stand to be corrected). So, in theory, a large multi-national could come in at a very low price and then bail and ship materials overseas.

    I'm told there are one or two companies who have been sniffing around that do just that.

  16. "Goodness, the 'Green Movement' have just lost another supporter ... Do anything, say anything, lie to anyone"

    Claiming the RFP has just now, at 2:39 today, driven you to withdraw support also qualifies as an example of "Do anything, say anything, lie to anyone."

  17. Sorry Anon 4:11

    We will all continue to believe whatever David Suzuki and those in the Green Movement tell us regardless of facts.

    I mean if they say it is for the environment don't we have to.


  18. "I think Sean might be the most attacked poster on this site after the Mistress. Keep up the good work, both of you."

    Yes. There is no page of the StarPhoenix Elaine will leave unturned until she finds the truth.

  19. Stop it.Stop it. I don't want curbside recycling.My neighbor don't want curbside recycling.Because we get off are asses and deal with it are self.
    The road to hell is paved with good intention.
    And that's what the green movement is all about.
    We some time froget that Canada has a lots of space for a new landfil, we do not live on a island

  20. So Sean S....

    If I take your premise that the collection and processing of recyclables will be between $5-7 which is less that current collection and disposal at the landfill. Am I to assume it is because this new program will be "privately" operated? Maybe instead of putting the collection systems into a new utility (by all counts a money grab by the city) we should be looking at outsourcing all waste collection to the private sector at the lowest cost. Already private companies collect business/commercial garbage maybe the taxpayer would be better off having them do their personal garbage as well.

  21. There would certainly be some cost efficiences in having one fleet of trucks collect both garbage and recycling - recycling one week/garbage the other week.

    I believe Councillor Iwanchuk was the first to raise at Council the idea that the City do collection for recycling and garbage. An idea with merit from a cost perspective. It didn't recieve much traction and she didn't push the idea very hard.

    I have yet to hear privitization of all garbage collection be raised at Council, but even if the city isn't willing to explore that route they should be ensuring that city collection is as efficient as possible.

  22. I almost fell out of my chair when I thought I read that Iwanchuk was proposing the outsourcing of garbage collection. Then I realized she wouldn't put the good of Saskatoon ahead of her union cronies.


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