Fri. Sep 18th, 2020

Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – September 21, 2017 – I guess our local recycling guru, Tedd Ward, Director of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority hasn’t gotten the memo, China, the United State’s largest purchaser of recycled materials has taken themselves out of the recycling business with the U.S. by banning any further recycled materials to be imported from this Country.  For at least ten years, most of the materials collected for recycling not purchased by China, at bargain basement prices, are more than likely returned to the solid waste stream and never become newly manufactured products.  This has made a mockery of the insistence by recycling activists that recycling is still some kind of benefit to those that foot the bill.  For some time Americans have paid nearly double the cost to recycle as opposed to simply sending everything to the landfill.  Major urban cities such as New York ($200/ton), Chicago ($240/ton), and Los Angeles ($219/ton) pay more than double the cost of solid waste disposal, to “feel good” about recycling, recycling that more often than not will eventually find its way back to the landfill.

But we are running out of landfill space, not true.  But we are running out of raw materials, not even close.  But it serves to protect the environment, what a joke.  But it uses less energy and prevents toxic materials from the processing of raw materials, not anymore.  It is almost irresponsible for people to consider recycling as a benefit to society in this current time period due to the sheer cost to recycle.  That coupled with contamination, high handling cost, high transportation cost, and increased awareness that toxic waste collected from re manufactured recyclables exceed those from the processing of raw materials. Improved manufacturing techniques, lower energy costs, more energy efficient practices, and less toxicity from production have all contributed to the decline in the utilization of recycled materials.

Director Ward has made a career out of riding the recycle, or zero waste wave, at great cost to this County.  Now that recycling has become a major problem for Ward, where are his answers to this problem?  After all, that’s what over a million and a half dollars spent each year on a useless Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority (DNSWMA) is suppose to be all about. Looks like Recology has purchased the Eel River Recycling Center in Fortuna.  Isn’t that just wonderful.  Now Del Norte’s citizens will be on the hook through increased garbage collection rates to pay Recology back and then some, plus absorb the increased cost of transporting recyclables to Fortuna.  I can Hardly wait for my bill.  Of course no one even considered purchasing the local facility, keeping the jobs here, and helping our “less Fortunate”.  What a sterling example of “good management/”

In addition to this colossal oversight, it needs to be pointed out that Eel River had its own share of problems before its purchase by Recology.  In fact, the problems with recycling centers is far greater than the spin being reported by Ward in the Triplicate.  In the past three years as of the end of 2016 only a few less than 1100 centers remain in California of the nearly 2500 recycling collection centers.  Many States have gone away from the ‘mandates” such as we endure here in California where 30% is the goal of diversion from solid waste, set to go to 50%.  Many locals else where have no recycling collection at the curb period.  Gone is the blue can.  Many localities are going to voluntary recycling where materials collected by individuals can be taken to central collection centers which greatly reduce the contamination, handling and transportation costs.  Of course our local anti growth environmentalist lobby fears that people will forsake recycling if given the choice, but given the facts, who can blame them.

In a recent trip to the east coast, I spent time in a small rural county where the blue can at the curb did not exist.  Never fear recycling activists, upon visiting the local recycling collection center, which was not teettering on bankruptcy, I discovered a booming business that claimed an almost contamination free product and estimates of 25% to 30% diversion rate from solid waste collections. I guess it can be dome without the contrived situation we face in Del Norte County. Don’t worry Director Ward, CalRecycle will be just as useless in what you think of as a problem and in its solution as DNSWMA is to this County.

Time to get serious about making Tedd Ward unemployed. Get rid of DNSWMA….

10 thoughts on “Time to get rid of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority?”
  1. I have written two letters to local legislators asking for pursuing a waste management reform but no response at all. Whomever I suggested it to was in resistance. What desperately needs to happen is this:

    The waste management facility needs to give the public financial incentives to bring waste to their facility instead of the public dumping their waste into the wild life sanctuary. If people aren’t paid they don’t care it’s as simple as that. Most people don’t go out of their ways to help anything and it has never been taught to them through anyone in their lives.

    If people would get paid for garbage by the pound like let’s say $3 dollars per pound they would Not dump it anywhere else. I personally go out of my way and spend money to bring it to the waste management but I’m not the norm. If we want to eliminate the horrific trash situation at Tolowa Lake and Dead Lake they will have no choice other than to give people money for each pound of trash and even more for hazardous waste.

    People also don’t recycle. We recycle but we are not the norm. Most people dump it all into forests and wetlands. There could be different categories for different material and people could get paid more for clean plastics etc. The prison for example and other institutions could motivate people to help with the recycling process of materials and pay them for it. Jerry Brown would most likely approve of incentives like those and give grant money for such a reform. This is for the planet. So my appeal to the waste management people is even if this new reform would cut down on their income it would make the lives of the animals and all of our lives much more livable.

    1. Honestly, Nicola do you ever read what you write. Some government agency is going to pay you to dump your trash at the transfer station? Maybe, just maybe that is why no one responds to your letters? You do know that most Waste Authorities, or Waste pickup companies charge you for the service of picking up your trash? Even when you are frugal enough to take your waste to the transfer station it still costs you money? What on earth makes you think that someone will allow you to dispose of trash and pay you for it? Zero waste, or rather recycling everything isn’t possible yet.

      As far as “most people” dump their trash in the forest, please give me a break. I don’t. The last time I was at Dead Lake, a couple of months ago, the area around the lake and in the lake was without any noticeable trash of any kind. If that was once a problem, the Forest Service seems to be doing a pretty darn good job. I haven’t been to Lake Tolowa recently but I suspect that it, the forest, and the wetlands aren’t in such dire straights as you seem to wish.

      As far as recycling, you apparently do not understand that the markets are rejecting recycling inspite of the rather significant incentives offered to recycling centers by CalRecycle to make them profitable. As I’d stated in the piece it is COSTING nearly twice as much to pretend to recycle as it is to just dispose of it as solid waste. Clear plastic has almost no value as a recycled material since 2008. The only reason it continues to be collected as a recycled material is it’s CRV value to consumers, otherwise it is simply cheaper to dispose of it. Paper and glass are nearly always returned to the waste stream after being collected as recycled material. Now that China no longer accepts or buys our recycled material, recycling as you have suggested has an even larger mountain to climb to be a responsible way to deal with waste. Jerry Brown isn’t going to be able to help you now that recycling has become less and less reasonable. I guess what I’m trying to say is that your”solutions” aren’t going to find sympathetic ears in very many places. Except with your friend Eileen Cooper perhaps?

      1. Yo Sammy boi, at least the two comments put forth an idea how to cope with this issue, you just have all the answers but your ideas are no better then those offered. Wake up Sammy straightless, nothing straight about you.

        1. TWML, I never knew reporters writing opinion pieces were required to provide complete remedies for everything. Must be one of those old rules you just made up.

          What I do see by Samuel’s article is that the matter gets raised and everyone gets to put in their two cents. I value that. I don’t value someone’s criticizm that does precisely the same thing they complain of.

  2. Nothing wrong with socialized services. If we did not have socialized fire departments, we would have for profits burning neighborhoods for profit. If we did not have socialized policing and incarceration, we would have for profits arresting and detaining folks for profit. Health care is a good example, we rank about the same as Cuba on the quality of health care and yet spend many times what Cuba spends per pupil, because we create incentives to prod the downfall of humanity through capitalism. There is far more money in treating cancer than curing it, so Cuba has a cutting edge lung cancer treatment (it does not cure anything, but ads a little time) and we have dozens of formulas to help you with your hard on. Capitalism works because of the context of our capitalism; genocide/robbery, slavery, and the exploitation of previously virgin natural resources along with Merican exceptionalism. I am a capitalist, their is nothing pure about it, business folks think like wolves and slaughter packs for sport, and yet some think the problem in a “capitalism” is that it does not have enough business people. Greed will save us all. We are Neegan and we get it.. Venezuela has a problem and it is that Wall Street insist on being paved through their land. Syria, Iraq, Libya, all Baath party states, a party with the motto “Unity, liberty, and socialism” and it is the last part that has or is killing them, not because of its inherent failures, but because this nation insist on controlling the whole worlds economic “values”.

    1. Robert, I’m not sure what relevance your comments have to the opinion piece on the Waste Authority. As far as your views on Socialism and Capitalism I do not detect any coherence there. Are these conspiracy theories or is this your personal world view of these particular “isms”? The Waste Authority may be a social construct, but it has to have a real world value to the citizens it is meant to serve, particularly if it consumes a relatively large amount of money. You are perfectly correct when you say “nothing wrong with socialized services”. Problems only arise when the decision is made as to what constitutes a “social service”. My fire department may only include one fire station and one fire truck for the entire County, where as yours might consist of a fire station and fire truck next to every house and business in the County. The thing is, neither you or I get to make the decision as to what constitutes a social service, the socialist running the government decides that. When you are a Capitalist business owner who provides his own “fire protection” for his business, his decision only affects those who are around him and if you do not like it, you are free to move on. If he makes a bad decision the damage is limited and it won’t affect you. If you are a Socialist Government and are making the same decision, it is for the entire Country and its population, not a small circle of people. Try explaining that to 320,000,000 citizens of the United States if you as the government screw that one up. It is precisely for that reason that the Founders of this Country limited the power of each level of government, and in particular the Federal Government. It was designed to allow the maximum amount of freedom for each individual in this Country to make his or her own way. Nothing was to be guaranteed except the opportunity for each individual to make the most out of that freedom. That ideal has now been perverted in way to many ways for us to even consider us as following in the path of the Founders, be that good or bad for us. At this point we are back to the beginning, where in a quasi socialist Country such as ours, we no longer have the same kind of freedom over our lives, the government has that control so that neither of us get to make the decision of what makes up the social service of a fire department. While this may seem to be a very small thing in the great scheme of things, historically Socialism inevitably runs into the same problem over and over through out history, and that is we are humans and therefore, each and every one of us is different, something socialism CAN NOT tolerate. It has always self destructed through out history with devastating consequences to the population of those countries. It is beyond comprehension that any even modestly historically literate person would think that socialism, liberalism, and progressive forms of government are anything but a train wreck waiting to happen. The past century is but a mine field of governments from the Socialist tree who have progressed from what appears initially as a very benign form of government to the dictatorships that they evolve into with the certainty and remorselessness of the march of time. We in this Country haven’t even reached the level of a completely Socialist Government, yet look at the behavior on display by leftist groups all over this Country when they feel the Country isn’t far enough into the Socialist maw. Heaven help us if this Country continues on the path towards more Federal level usurpation of freedom.

  3. Besides helping residents with their recycling needs, the Authority can also assist businesses comply with the numerous laws concerning recycling and solid waste. One such new law is AB 341 which mandates commercial recycling for businesses that generate four cubic yards or more and multi-family buildings with five or more units.

    But recycling is only one leg of the equation. People should be re-using things instead of buying new and reducing their consumption of “stuff”, and in so doing there is less and less of a need to “recycle”.

    1. What help can the Authority possibly provide the residents with recycling needs that warrant the expenditure of a million and a half dollars a year? In fact what real help do they offer now that some clerk at the County couldn’t provide at a substantial savings? Same for Commercial businesses? Commercial businesses and apartments with five or more units are now mandated to recycle if they generate more than four cubic yards is another perfect example of government over reach where government finds out one set of regulations are bad law and makes it worse by adding more bad law. Why does that have any thing to do with keeping DNSWMA? What do they do that is both beneficial and warrants the expense?
      Finally so people who can afford to buy new things should just stop and continue to to re-use? What happens to the economy when that brilliant scheme is put into place? I guess if you work for the government and get paid by all of those people who now can’t sell “stuff”, you no longer have to worry about getting paid and it has the added benefit of reducing consumption because everyone can no longer afford to buy new “stuff”. Maybe we should join with Venezuela and became a third world disaster too? Socialists, Progressives, and Liberals have all the answers and Venezuela is just one example of what government run wild does to a citizenry before it really runs off the tracks. So the DNSWMA has some value does it? What exactly is it? To foster more bad State law? If that’s all you got then I for one can most certainly do without the Waste Authority! What a WASTE!

    2. Good idea’s j, it’ll be hard to make a comment without the two od boy’s jumping all over every thing that has opposition to them. sleezy weezy and doppy straights

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