Bloomington residents are having the same “debate” that Maplewood residents had a while ago, and that Saint Paul residents barely manage to stave off, year over year; socialized trash collection. In Saint Paul, every few years, a coalition of:
- Environmentalists who think that having one truck go through your alley every week is better than having more than one truck go through your alley every week
- NIMBAs (“Not in my back alley”) who for whatever reason are tormented by the number of trucks driving through their alleys at ugodly hours of the Midday
- Big Government dweebs
…unites to try to jam down municipal garbage collection.
And it’s apparently go-time in Bloomington:
Those in favor most often cited the need to cut down on the number of trucks in the neighborhoods.
“Every Thursday morning my normally serene suburban home life is shattered by a steady caravan of heavy trucks,” wrote John Zimmerman. “Air brakes squeal, backup alarms chirp, and I lose track after the tenth truck has rolled through.”
Apparently John Zimmerman’s realtor told him he was moving to rural Iowa.
Bear in mind, Bloomington already has a semi-government-run system, doling out parts of the city to seven different haulers. The city wants to go from picking seven winners to picking one:
The city still is negotiating with the seven haulers, but the most recent proposal would cost the average household $18.42 a month for trash and recycling pickup, said Public Works Director Karl Keel.
When the government wants to socialize a municipal service, the first number they give you is like that 3% interest rate on your credit card, or that first joint they give the grade school kids; it’s a teaser. It will not last.
In Maplewood, the rates may not have risen – but the “fees” tacked onto the rates certainly have. The “winning” hauler also made the rate by supplying cheap trash carts that fell apart after a year, cutting corners on customer service, and other “savings” that, in a free market, you don’t have to tolerate.
I pay $20 a month, fees and all, to a ma and pa company that calls me if I forget a payment, picks up extra stuff without any muss and fuss, and always answers the phone on the second ring.
Think you’ll get that with one big municipal service?
Opportunity Dumps: If you’re a Bloomington Republican, here’s a classic example of a local issue that your candidates can use to set themselves apart from the incumbents (who, on the Bloomington City Council, favor the proposal 6-1). Yes, it’s early. No, it’s it’s not early enough. If you’re thinking about being a conservative candidate for Bloomington City Council, you should be out there on the barricades today.
(And if you’re a “liberty” supporter? Helping the people win this battle would convince a lot more people that you’re not just a bunch of white frat boys wallowing in an echo chamber eating chicken wings and listening to each other argue about who’s the biggest Austrian-schooler).
Currently, Bloomington’s 26,000 households pay an average of $26.72 a month. Keel estimated that city residents would save about $13 million over a five-year hauling contract.
Many residents have pointed out that by negotiating with different haulers, they’ve been able to get extremely low rates. Council Member Tim Busse was skeptical of some claims.
“I’d like to meet the residents who are getting their trash [picked up] for 10 bucks a month,” Busse said. “I want to take you with me the next time I buy a car. That’s some pretty good negotiating.”
In the end, the council voted 6-1 to continue negotiating the single-hauler deal, with only Cynthia Bemis Abrams opposing. A public hearing will be held before a final decision is made.