Commentary

Talkiní Trash

No, I’m not talking about the LA Times piece about Arnold’s alleged groping. Chicago garbage collectors have gone on strike against the private provider: The strike against Allied Waste Industries Inc., Waste Management Inc., Republic Services Inc. and other members of the 16-company Chicagoland Refuse Haulers Association began after negotiations failed to produce a new five-year contract for 3,300 members of the Teamsters Union. Meanwhile in California, Santa Clarita looks to bid out trash: Santa Clarita’s city manager Monday recommended that the city dump its current garbage haulers in favor of a new firm that he believes will help the city achieve its recycling goals. Fontana-based Burrtec Waste Industries Inc., a newcomer to the city, offered “the best overall long-term value” among proposals the City Council plans to consider at a special meeting Thursday, City Manager Ken Pulskamp said. But he noted that all three companies competing for the franchise were offering to lower residential rates for Santa Clarita homeowners, who currently pay some of the highest trash bills in Los Angeles County. It looks like the city is really concerned with beefing up recycling efforts. Officials ought to first keep in mind some of the points in this PERC article that addresses eight myths about recycling. Of course, it’s likely that the city’s hands are simply tied by the state mandate to recycle more. In that case, lets hope the message reaches Sacramento.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.