News


New trash contract to help fuel 9 percent rate hike

City plans to offer residents curbside compost pickup, set new requirements for companies

Composting services in Palo Alto would be expanded, promoted and, in many cases, required under a significant contract overhaul that the city is set to implement with its trash hauler, GreenWaste of Palo Alto.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on Monday on an amendment to its agreement with GreenWaste, the hauler that has been collecting the city's waste since 2009. The new agreement, which will stretch the contract until June 30, 2021, includes several new composting programs that will affect all residential and commercial customers, though in drastically different ways.

Somewhat fittingly for a composting program, the new contract includes a mix of carrots and sticks. While residents would receive kitchen buckets and curbside pickup, commercial customers would be subject to a fine them if they trash items that are compostable or recyclable.

The residential program would allow customers to commingle their food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings in a green cart and have it hauled off by GreenWaste. Food scraps could be placed in the green cart in a compostable bag, in a paper carton, in any other compostable container, or just loose.

The buckets would be part of the city's big outreach effort aimed at making sure all residents know what types of waste go where.

For the commercial segment, the city is taking a different approach. Under the existing contract, commercial customers already have the option of subscribing to recycling and composting services, though many have chosen not to do so. Pending the council's adoption of a new law, composting and recycling would be mandatory for commercial customers, and GreenWaste would be the hauler.

The overarching goal is to reduce the amount of local waste heading to landfills. The city has already had some success in that regard since it first signed on with GreenWaste. The existing contract introduced new commercial services for recycling and composting, as well as a recycling program for construction and demolition materials. The city's diversion of materials from landfill shot from 62 percent in 2009 to about 78 percent today. Yet the rate has stayed fairly flat since 2010 as many commercial companies have opted to throw their recyclable and compostable waste in the trash. In fact, city data shows that after peaking in 2010, the city's overall diversion rate has actually been dipping slightly. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2014, the tonnage of compostable waste recovered has dropped steadily, going from 11,932 tons to 11,487, according to Public Works.

Commercial customers are trashing more than 7,000 tons of compostable material and more than 6,500 tons of recyclable material annually, according to the city. Ron Arp, the city's solid-waste manager, told the council's Finance Committee in March that only about 30 percent of the city's commercial customers subscribe to the voluntary composting program. Furthermore, fewer than two-thirds of food establishments (62 percent) currently participate, he said.

"We think quite a bit of waste material would be divertable," Arp said. "This ordinance would mean that for these businesses, it would be mandatory that they would subscribe to composting services if they generate compostable materials."

According to the report, the contract changes are expected to "achieve the city's and GreenWaste's goals to recover more recyclable and compostable materials, reduce costs where possible, improve driver safety and enhance services, and lead to a reduction in the city's overall greenhouse-gas emissions." The residential curbside program is expected to recover about 3,000 tons of waste annually. It mirrors similar programs in San Francisco, Menlo Park, Atherton, Berkeley and Oakland, according to a March staff report.

The new services will, of course, come at a price. The new contract will raise the city's trash costs by about $1.3 million annually, which means customers can expect to see rate increases for the next few years. This increase will account for roughly a third of the rate hikes that residents will soon experience, according to Phil Bobel, assistant director of Public Works. The rest of the increases is due to the need to balance the revenues and expenses in the residential sector, Bobel said.

According to a report presented to the council's Finance Committee on March 3, residential rates will increase by 9 percent in the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, and by 8 percent in each of the following two years. The committee endorsed the proposal to extend and amend the contract with GreenWaste, though it also asked staff to consider a proposal that would spread out the cost increase over four years, thereby minimizing the jump in any given year.

Comments

60 people like this
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2015 at 12:14 pm

"According to a report presented to the council's Finance Committee on March 3, residential rates will increase by 9 percent in the next fiscal year, which begin on July 1, and by 8 percent in each of the following two years."

Unbelievable; it's time to put the contract out to bid. Given the profligate City Council, the only protection available to a private homeowner in the City is the competitive bid process. Encourage Green Waste to submit a bid; but seek out many others to bid on the contract, too.


55 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Enough. When is it ever enough?

Seriously, do we have to take the buckets and can we get a refund/credit if we don't?


40 people like this
Posted by Propman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2015 at 12:35 pm

This "green" scam has gone on for too long, I will be throwing everything in the regular trash from now on


37 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Pretty disgusted in this increase in our taxes. It is only a charge if we can choose and since we have no choice, it is a tax.

Scan the Can and give us benefits to reduce the number of times we put our cans out.


9 people like this
Posted by come post it
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm

This is another benefit of Measure E, which 2/3 of voters passed in 2011.


19 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 13, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

Nice way to treat businesses: 1: Raise rates, 2: increase costs by making "trash" labor intensive, 3: add fines. Can we make Palo Alto even less retail friendly?


25 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Yet another big government heist masquerading as an environmental initiative.

The concept of "environment" is all-encompassing. It seems to me that applying force and punitive measures ultimately hurts the environment because it limits human freedom, therefore stifling innovation. Liberty is also a very important component of a healthy environment.

But the moral preeners and environmental crusaders are so myopic and brainwashed that they seem incapable of such insight.

Let's force everyone to save the environment... and make a little money on the side! Its win-win for the bureaucrats.


17 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2015 at 6:57 pm

I cannot believe they have to nerve to do this. Shameless.


28 people like this
Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Cram as many residence as you can into a City, Raise all of the Utility rates, Rents Increase, Traffic increases with no end in sight..
We don't have the Water, we don't have the schools, the roads aren't wide enough, Keep Building, Keep raising rates.. Its what they do best..


35 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2015 at 9:51 pm

How about the whole truth PA Online? The whole truth is that it's a +27% rate hike, not +9% as headlined.

It's dishonest to slip it in in the final paragraph:

"...residential rates will increase by 9 percent in the next fiscal year, which begin [sic] on July 1, and by 8 percent in each of the following two years."

Which means the current base rate will rise by a factor of 1.09(1.08)(1.08)=1.27.


28 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

Outrageous. I remember how the city promised lower rates when they switched from pasco Sam to GW. Predictably, that was a ruse for which we the reidents now have to pay the price.

The city is so gung ho about cutting public safety costs, and yet doesn't seem to care how much we pay to get our trash picked up. I would much rather pay for excellent public safety then garbage pickup. Let's not turn PA into a San Jose scenario, because Chuck Reed has ruined SJ.

#NoSJHere


12 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:09 am

How about leaving things as they are and not hiking rates by 9 percent? Or ditch GreenWaste and go with somebody who charges less. Maybe we could then decrease rates by 9 percent? GreenWaste is certainly wasting a lot of our greenbacks.

@Slow Down wrote:

"Can we make Palo Alto even less retail friendly?"

Absolutely! We can implement a parking fee/tax via parking permit program for the residential neighborhoods. That should be coming online shortly.

Is it any wonder that retail is vanishing in downtown? The difference in the last 10 years is astonishing, and not in a good way.


19 people like this
Posted by A resident
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:33 am

I am dismayed. Wet loose garbage put into the yard waste can week after week, month after month, and left sitting in the hot sun of summer, will create an unacceptable stench and pollute the bins. How are we to clean these large bins? They are too large and will become too repugnant for the homeowner to wash. And where would we do this? In the driveway with a running hose?
And we are going to be charged way more for doing this and living with this outrageous procedure and odor and possibly mold?
Wet garbage should be contained in a tightly closed plastic bag and put into the garbage bin.


31 people like this
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:34 am

Why is it that Palo Alto does not automatically put this contract out for bid? It's just good business practice when facing such sharp increases and something that individual CC members would or should do with their own businesses.

I continue to be astonished that Palo Alto, world renown for its amazing start ups and well educated citizens, fails to follow not only good business practices, but common sense guidelines in running the City and the School District.


18 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

Remember that Palo Alto Utilities is a huge profit maker for the city. $17 million was pumped into last year's city budget.

Utilities are a basic city service, along with firefighters, police, and paved roads. We already pay for these with our property taxes.

But then again, without that $17 million slyly diverted to the city's budget using the excuse that utilities must pay for themselves, the city manager couldn't hire all those extra assistant city managers, and so on down the line, to say nothing of his very generous salary and benefit packet which we will be paying for during his entire retirement.

And previous councils could not have funded quite so many pet projects.


22 people like this
Posted by Maria
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

I don't like having to pay for what I am already doing - have been doing for over a year: saving my laundry water to water my plants and putting food scraps into the compost basket. There should be way to keep the City from creating double trouble.


14 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Honestly, under the ruse of minimizing taxes ... referring to taxes from government that have a chance of doing something to improve the lives of residents and citizens, they merely buy the government and change from taxes to private fees, and the money disappears into the coffers of private interests never to be seen again, except for perhaps more purchases of politicians and lobbying to promote more switching of money to the unanswerable private sector.

No, I am not saying the private sector is bad, but decade after decade of the bad replacing the good does have an effect that tends to push everyone to be bad simply to survive in the world the way it is.

Virtually every time we have been asked to take our city private, put things out for bid in the fantasy of the free enterprise system we do not really have - but it sounds good, none of the promises or predictions made are ever realized. But anyone who questions it is somehow unpatriotic, or against free enterprise, or unschooled in our capitalist system ...

Sounds like a perfect racket, because after all when the people finally get what is going on ... what can they do. The money and power have already been transferred and applied to buying up anything that might assist them in putting things back in working order like they used to be.


14 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Call the Zero Waste Manager Matt Krupp and tell him you don't want or need the compost pail and that you REALLY don't want to pay for one each and every month for the rest of your lives!

His number is 496-5958.

Maybe if they hear from enough of us, they'll stop -- or at least slow down -- this nonsense.


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm

At the core of these rate increases is global warming alarmism. Our local greens have politicked their way into power in Palo Alto. Their argument goes something like this: 'We must be the leaders to save the Earth from global warming...we must embrace composting as a carbon dioxide (CO2) saving paradigm. If it costs more, so what...we are saving the Earth!'

What they fail to tell you is that composting does not reduce CO2 production...it just creates a relatively brief dwell period, which quickly builds out. Think of it this way: The sun shines on the trees in the forest and, via photosynthesis, fixes carbon from CO2 in the atmosphere into woody molecules in the trees. Then the trees die, and decay back to
CO2 (via fungus enzymes); alternatively, a forest fire does it via combustion, all at once. The take home message is that all organic molecules will return to CO2 (no exceptions).

We should be demanding a convenient form of trash destruction (single can, put out once per week, thus avoiding the multiple trash collections). Then thermally degrade the organic molecules to hydrogen + carbon monoxide (syngas) and use it to run electrical generation plants. One obvious way to do this is plasma arc thermal destruction. Plasma arc allows a combination of all our wastes plus sewage sludge plus used tires...it also requires a much smaller industrial footprint, compared to various composting schemes.

[Portion removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Mr. Krupp called back.

1) You can't get a refund on the compost pail but you can stop them from delivering it.

2) You can reduce your rate if you get a smaller black can.

3) You cannot reduce your rate by getting smaller recycling and yard waste cans.

4) You still cannot get vacation stoppage and credit for a period of less than 2 weeks.

5) He'll be happy to tell you why the rates have gone up so much and to explain why it's too much of a hassle for them to charge you only for the cans you actually use.

6) The have no plans for Scan the Cans.

Keep calling him.


19 people like this
Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Please start putting dog waste etc in compost can and delivering them back to the architect of this stupid plan. How do we opt out of this?


13 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

IF ONLY.......there were a "common sense" City Council that had the guts to 'just say NO". IF ONLY the people who run Utilities LIVED IN PALO ALTO!! and had to abide by the stupid rules these non-residents make. Fellow residents - it's time to get tough. Our streets are painted yellow and green because of the incompetent former Transportation Director who loved paint cans of yellow and green and 'decorated intersections'. He suddenly and quietly quit- disappeared. WHY?? We can rejoice and be glad. Can we hope our City Manager goes the same route as well as the head of Utilities. This City Council should understand that the civic blood pressure is starting to go into the civic stratosphere.


15 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Jim, the former Transportation Director hasn't really disappeared. The city awarded him a consulting contract to oversee the synchronization of all the city traffic lights and their new surveillance cameras.

In the meantime, the neither Mr. Rodriquez nor the city has managed to synchronize the problematic traffic lights at Paly and Town & Country even though 1) School is out so no kids need to be protected and 2) The driveway into Paly is closed due to construction and 3) we've been hearing promises for years and years that the fix is coming real soon now.




1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm

"What they fail to tell you is that composting does not reduce CO2 production...it just creates a relatively brief dwell period, which quickly builds out."

Hear, hear! Composting just returns the carbon that plants sequestered from the atmosphere to the atmosphere. Same thing with "Garbage to Energy." Here's an interesting analysis of that I found online not long ago Web Link


14 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm

@Jim

The former transport director, Jaimi Rodriguez, resigned because when he was employed by Palo Alto he was also running his own two businesses on the side. One as a traffic consultant and the other a paving company. The city has a written policy stating managers cannot have outside job(s) while employed full time by the city. This policy has and continues to be enforced for other managers.

When the situation became public knowledge Mr. Rodriguez stated that he ran his businesses on his own time, weekends and evenings, and if he needed to meet with clients during the week he took vacation days. However, it was reported by some residents that he took calls related to his private businesses in front of them while on the job. I seem to remember he also stated that when he was hired he was upfront about continuing to run his own businesses on the side.

When his other jobs became public knowledge Mr. Rodriquez ended up handing in his resignation. However, he left with a parting gift from the city manager, James Keene. A $3million "consulting" contract to synchronize the T&C traffic lights and continue working his bike initiatives. As far as I know that's where this stands.


11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Jane, are you saying that we're still paying Mr. Rodriquez to continue his Palo ALto bike initiatives?? Really?

I mean it's bad enough that we're paying him to synchronize "all" of the city traffic lights when he couldn't even fix the most problematic one but to continue to push bike initiatives with 101 expecting to be a mess until 2015.


8 people like this
Posted by jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Yup. Mr. R has a contract with the city worth $3 million.


6 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Didn't answer the your question. My understanding is that part of the consulting contract is to continue with his Palo Alto bike plans for us. (Or is he charging us $3 million to fix the Town and Country traffic lights?)


13 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2015 at 7:32 pm

It's my understanding that the multi-million contract is for all the lights plus adding video surveillance capabilities since too many people "jump red lights" or more likely get caught in the middle of the intersections since traffic is too gridlocked to move!

He put the T&C light out for bids at least twice, with respondents having only 2 weeks to respond. The RFP's ran to more that 66 pages of boilerplate and contained no descriptions of the project. The most recent RFP was due just before the Christmas holidays started and someone on here said no one responded to the first RFP to which he provided links. I read both of them looking for a project description but both versions of the RFPs were just recycled boilerplate.

As I recall, the cost of changing synchronizing that one light was $85,000.

Planning for more bike paths is like insult to injury.

Every City Council member who've responded to my periodic emails about the T&C light say either, "Ooops. I thought that was fixed. Let me see what I can do," or most recently, "Yes, we're all frustrated and I'm taking it up with Mr. Keene because this has dragged on too long."


Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 15, 2015 at 7:35 pm

I'm glad he is just doing lights!


9 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 8:54 am

SteveU is a registered user.

9% for a 'feel good' program
$20,000 to remodel my tiny, 125sq kitchen to have room for something other than sorting bins (Current program: Trash, Recycle, CRV, backyard compost)

More trips by separate pollution spewing Greenwaste trucks to more distant processing stations. Thats Green?


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

Working the problems of the drought - when to water, when to not, tearing up the property to replace plants and sprinklers. and manage trash has become a job the residents have to schedule and monitor to a degree not previously seen. I got a note on my trash can today about what goes where - but there was nothing in the trash out of line. However the green bin had some egg shells, orange rinds, and coffee grounds. Not allowed until 1 July?

I had no problem with the way-back situation of going to the baylands to the recycle section where the residents did their own sorting for glass, paper, cardboard, etc. That was an outing to do walks in the baylands.
Also there was a composting section to pick up some compost from bins.
I had no problem doing those type of activities on my schedule as it translated to a cost saving activity for the city - I was doing my part and proud of it.

Now I am doing a lot of that work at the house but paying a lot of money to other people to haul this "just so" and am concerned about the upcoming requirements for a food scrap bin.

Is Tony Soprano in the house? Waste is king. If you follow the topic of waste for the other cities in the bay area they are all encountering the same problems. It is in part who owns the locations where this is dumped so they maximize the use of their own dump locations. The politics of waste sites is big business and we are paying for it. Big trucks hauling this stuff is big business. Big business rules in the waste wars. And we are paying for it.


3 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:38 pm

I think Craig Laughton is right on. All organic molecules get converted into CO2, directly or indirectly.

Why are we putting so much money into foolish projects like costly composting programs ?


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:58 pm

@john

Because voters passed Measure E in 2011, which promised garbage to energy but has only delivered the first.


Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 16, 2015 at 7:19 pm

If all organic molecules got converted to CO2 we would not have coal and petroleum in the ground.


3 people like this
Posted by Me Thane
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Some organic matter decays into methane (CH4),not CO2.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm

"If all organic molecules got converted to CO2 we would not have coal and petroleum in the ground."

Those organic molecules were not composted. Else we would not have coal and petroleum in the ground. We must bury our organic waste deep and let it become coal and petroleum in the ground, not compost it to make the GHGs CO2 and (the much worse) CH4.


1 person likes this
Posted by trash talker
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:24 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by taxation
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:32 pm

seems that we had this taxation without representation in 1776-- how did that go? our governments need to wake up and quit the incessant taxation of the all citizens--excluding the politicians. they all want redistribution except when it comes to their own money. government (local and national) are nothing more than crooks. a lot of talk about helping the "poor" people (that is the average citizen)--- why don't they open up their own purses and share with others. how many millions are the politicians (washington) worth? when do we open our eyes and see the real culprits in government. how much is Clinton worth? how much corruption takes place nationally and locally? how much money did Rodriguez make on the corrupt business deals? Oregon Expressway fiasco. California Avenue. Town and Country. now Page Mill. it goes on and on. if someone really wants to protest--that is what we need to protest --taxation without representation. we did it before. we can do it again.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:14 am

Two issues here.

This price hike is not acceptable. We have no choices. All of us have the mini can, mine is about half full each week. My blue can is usually three quarters full. Both go out each week. The green can goes out about once a month. I have no choice in what I pay. I could put my black can out less often, but it does not have any incentive so why should I hold on to trash if I am already paying for it to go.

We are not the type of family that throws out food. We have very few food scraps. We do not have the type of lifestyle that means we are throwing out food, we eat our leftovers. Having a pail for scraps is a ridiculous waste. Putting waste food out will encourage vermin. We have had cans attacked by raccoons and had to have them replaced. Our present can has scratches from raccoon attacks. Whenever we put out a turkey carcass it has to be well wrapped in plastic to prevent raccoons finding it. Our trash needs to be protected from raccoons, rats, and skunks.

We are in a drought, washing the cans takes a lot of water.

This is the most complicated system imaginable and I cannot see our family doing anything different with our few bits of leftover food, but we are going to be charged an arm and a leg to do it.

No tax increase. Scan the can.


1 person likes this
Posted by boycott protester
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:09 am

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by trash removal
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Taxation, taxation, taxation. and, oh by the way-- donuts are evil, but cigarettes and marijuana smoking is perfectly ok?? smoke in your lungs is never good. smoking causes over 15 different types of cancer. Smoking is a big cause of global warming. why is that ok? but, we can't have a doughnut?? really!! Big government--get your act together. quit taxation, quit telling me i can't have doughnut. one can't go anywhere without smelling someone smoking half a block away. disgusting. also, cigarettes are not good for the compost pile. cigarettes are not good for the ocean. but, lets keep taxing the citizen.


4 people like this
Posted by garbage cans
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Boycott the taxation of the waste collectors. this is total non-sense. just protest the rise in the fees. don't pay the fees. descend on city council until this nonsense stops. what total garbage.


7 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@garbage cans - I like the convenience of a single bill for all utilities, but the downside is that if you protest by not paying your waste bill, you'll end up with your electricity cut off. Maybe a more effective protest would be to dump your compost at city hall.


10 people like this
Posted by david
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:19 am

I thought the recycle programs were for profit.
I give them our recycle products, they pick up,
process and then resell????
+9% sounds like a very high increase. What do we
get for this +9%??? Same ole, Same ole?????
David


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

David, it's a 9% increase but a 27% increase over the next 3 years.

Who else gets raises that high?


9 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm

@trash removal wrote:

"Taxation, taxation, taxation. and, oh by the way-- donuts are evil, but cigarettes and marijuana smoking is perfectly ok?? smoke in your lungs is never good. smoking causes over 15 different types of cancer. Smoking is a big cause of global warming. why is that ok? but, we can't have a doughnut?? really!! Big government--get your act together. quit taxation, quit telling me i can't have doughnut. one can't go anywhere without smelling someone smoking half a block away. disgusting. also, cigarettes are not good for the compost pile. cigarettes are not good for the ocean. but, lets keep taxing the citizen."

What do donuts, weed and cigarettes have to do with GreenWaste and the city sticking it to the citizenry? Dopeheads, smokers and Homer Simpsons don't factor into the rate increases at all, at least not that I can see. And how does cigarette smoking cause global warming? I thought that was a sun kind of thing.

From the article:

"he City Council is scheduled to vote on Monday on an amendment to its agreement with GreenWaste"

If the CC approves the changes, then why not try for a recall election?


18 people like this
Posted by PUC
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Is there any way that we can get this put before the PUC? There is definitely something unethical about a 27% increase over three years--possibly there is something illegal as well.


5 people like this
Posted by palygrad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 18, 2015 at 11:40 pm

To PUC,

This is a good idea, but unfortunately the California Public Utilities Commission only regulates privately owned utilities:

"The CPUC regulates privately owned California utilities, such as those that provide energy, water, and telecommunications services. However, if your utility is operated by a government entity, for example the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) or the Sacramento Municipal Utility Department (SMUD), CAB cannot assist you. Also, certain services that utilities provide are regulated by the Federal Government or local governments."

CAB refers to the Consumers Affairs Branch of the California Public Utilities Commission or CPUC.


6 people like this
Posted by Give us a break
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:26 am

There is a way to nullify these yearly exorbitant rate increases,and it is described in full on every notification we receive from Palo Alto Utilities concerning said rate increases. If the majority of the affected consumers protest the increases in writing, then the rate increases will not take place. They count on this never taking place, but if there were a way of getting people to actually read the information they receive and to act on it, we could actually wield some power with the utilities for a change. Palo Alto Utilities used to be one of the best deals around, but it seems they are now simply viewing their customers as the proverbial geese who lay golden eggs.


7 people like this
Posted by Garbage
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 23, 2015 at 11:03 pm

@JA3

Problem is Greenwaste owns the closest landfill, Sorry I mean recycling facility in the county, also an anaerobic dig-ester. County law dictates that solid waste must stay in the county or face a fine. Ex Palo Alto Public works director, Glenn Roberts had a great idea for a recycling center, however people like Emily Renzel and crew gave him and the project a bunch of grief. Now Greenwaste has a monopoly, So watch our rates go Through the roof. I once asked a guy high up in the recycling industry why Palo Alto would not want to build a recycling facility, his reply was that we are a bunch of morons.I did not get offended, because I knew that he was right.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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