After a couple years of preparing the electorate, the establishment is finally ready to make the leap to a single trash hauler. November’s ballot will include an advisory question asking for support for Council to implement what is euphemistically called a “contracted” trash hauler selection process.
To get around the problem of calling it a “single” hauler system the proposal is to divide the City into three zones. Each zone will have a single hauler but with three zones there could be as much as three single haulers. In that way, the establishment can claim there is not just a “single” hauler but rather as many as three single haulers.
Regardless of the semantics, each Lakewood resident will be limited to a “single” trash hauler. The City will choose that hauler and everyone on the block will be forced to pay that vendor.
Although everyone has to pay the chosen one, actually they may still keep their own provider. However they will have to pay two charges – one to their vendor and one to the City’s vendor.
Ironically one of the stated purposes of the plan is to reduce the number of trucks on the street. Since people can keep their vendor (if they are willing to double pay) there could still be multiple trucks on the street.
For example if a block has 12 houses and three vendors. Currently each vendor serves 4 customers. After the City plan, 10 of the 12 could go with the City’s choice. However if the other two vendors still have one customer each then there could still be three trucks on the street. The only difference is the two holdouts would be financially penalized.
Putting the City Council in charge of trash hauling contracting system is already raising concerns of potential corruption. One trash hauler, Waste Management, has already given Mayor Paul a $1,000 campaign contribution in 2016, AFTER the 2015 mayoral election when it was final that he would be the next mayor.
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