By Samuel Strait – July 16, 2017 –
It would appear that our esteemed Director of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, (DNSWMA) Tedd Ward, has begun his year early under the haze of recreational cannabis in his latest creation posted as a Letter to the Editor in the Triplicate titled “FACT CHECK – Del Norte Transfer Station’s rates have the lowest cost per ton for disposal in the region,” July 15,2017. Director Ward goes on to take umbrage with a Coastal Voices piece by Donna Westfall, editor of the Crescent City Times, in a column where she points out that the Del Norte Solid Waste tipping cost at Oregon’s White City Landfill is very high. In addition in order to keep up with spiraling curbside recycling costs, the Authority has had to allow Recology to increase the garbage rate on a regular basis per the contract that obliges the Authority to do so.
While no one really contests the fact that by a few dollars, the tipping fee of nearly $150.00 is the lowest in the “REGION”, it is just that Director Ward’s region is rather limited, Del Norte, Humbolt, and Curry Counties. When one takes the time, something that the Triplicate has a great deal of difficulty doing, a simple search yields a slightly different picture of the Director’s claim of “Lowest.” Cal Recycle, which I’m quite sure Director Tedd Ward is intimately familiar with, states that the average tipping cost per ton of solid waste averages slightly less than $46.00 per ton for the entire State of California. When someone goes to the trouble of checking at the national level the average comes down to slightly less than $36.00 per ton. So the question for Executive Director Tedd Ward becomes “Why is it that Del Norte Solid Waste pays more than three and half times that of the California tipping average and four and a half times that of the National average?”
To put it into some kind of perspective, New York City, which transports its solid waste just over two hundred miles (113 mile for Del Norte) to upstate New York pays just slightly less than $80.00 per ton as its tipping cost. Half that of Del Norte’s tipping cost. New York spends just over $200.00 per ton to rid themselves of recyclables. Makes one kind of think it would be cheaper just to haul them to the landfill. New York City is one of the NATIONS Solid Waste Authorities whose tipping cost is one of the higher tipping costs in the entire Country. I guess that is one thing that we here in Del Norte County have over the “Big Apple”.
I am not quite sure what Director Ward is going on about when he states in his letter that “a few years back, rates even went down a little”. I don’t think he was talking about disposal rates, because they haven’t done anything but go up. Must have meant his hat size maybe? Until the Board of Supervisors puts and end to the DNSWMA, things will only get more ridiculous. Recycling must be paid for by those that insist on having their recyclables picked up at the curb. Any one on the current Commission who thinks that 96 gallon only trash pick up at a higher cost of course, mandatory trash pickup, or even worse, getting involved with the failing, Eel River for recycling, needs to take a step back. DNSWMA is rapidly becoming a cost TO THE RATE PAYERS THAT IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE… The mere fact that Supervisor, Lori Cowan, Supervisor, Chris Howard, and Crescent City Mayor, Blake Inscore are even entertaining keeping the DNSWMA in place should be a wake up call to all of the voters that these three represent.
Director Ward seems to think that by pointing out that no sales tax, property tax, or income tax goes towards funding this boondoggle it is some how acceptable for deceiving the public about what has gone on for years of wasteful spending and incompetent practices from the leadership in the directors position. $1.5 million dollars per year and rising, is a bit much for the rate payer to continue to throw away on an Authority that does not have their best interests at heart. Fact Check, humm…. Too bad for Director Ward that his choice of facts do not seem to paint a very clear picture of what is what. His “FACT CHECKING” doesn’t seem to live up to his declaration that “Triplicate readers deserve some clarification,” then goes on to spin a fairy tale narrative where one has to wonder just what facts he was checking.