Adjusting the tipping fee

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Adjusting the tipping fee

Postby RBarnes » Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:33 am

The telegraph has an article regarding the discussion of the tipping fees last night. You have to subscribe online to read it so I’m not posting the link.

Now I did have a comment last night regarding the tipping fees but I was cut off before I was given a chance to express my view on it (and it’s now a moot point) but even though I wasn’t given a chance to say my piece I have to say for the most part the selectmen did the right thing.

I was going to state that I hope they do not lower the rates down shifting the burden onto the tax payers forcing us to subsidize local hauling businesses, but at the same time if the tipping fees are too high we shouldn’t force businesses to subsidize the outrageous cost of government enterprises.

I was going to suggest to the selectmen that they take the time to work with Ed Chase and try to find out what the accurate amount per ton is. Unfortunately for Mr. Buckley I do believe that once ALL the costs including scale workers, truck drivers etc are factored in we will see we are actually paying far more then $110 a ton.

And quite honestly I don’t think this would be that hard to computer.. Now that we have a full years data simply take the total bottom line of the transfer station and divide by total tonnage passed through it. Result is the total cost per ton to the people of this town.

On a side note Buckley’s point out that Hinch made the promise that this issue would have been revisited after 6 months clearly shows more evidence of a reoccurring theme… Hinch says what he needs to say to either shut you up or get what he wants… He did it to Buckley, he did it to my wife and I when the town dug up our lawn, he did it to all the voters who supported him because he claimed he would be more like Dave McCray.
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Postby Fitzy » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:29 am

Here's the article Rick. What's funny is Buckley complaining about the "taxpayers paying twice". 3 Years ago he DEFENDED their right to choose to do so in order that he stay in business.

Don't say we didn't tell you so, because we did. You are getting screwed, but the tipping fees at the TS are not what are screwing you. You screwed yourself.

Did any of the Selectmen ask him if he'd be willing to commit to a lowering charge to his customers if the tipping fee was reduced? That would have been funny to watch Rod try and stammer his way through.

Oh and did he mention the inequity that existed in his favor for all those years the tipping fee was a ridiculous $40/ton? Bet he didn't.

Hey, I wonder if the town may not be better served if analysis the BOS directed the DPW to perform included a bid for curcbside INCLUDING the "double taxation" Rod is so very concerned about. It MAY reveal that this double taxation is far worse for the several thousand users of curbside in MMK whose waste never passes through the TS. If it did include these factors, you'd have curbside by 2007 and for less than you're paying now. Rick, you may wish to mention this to the BOS and Rod.

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc ... /111040130

[quote]Hauler: Tipping fee stinks


By PATRICK MEIGHAN, Telegraph Staff
mailto:meighanp@telegraph-nh.com

Published: Friday, Nov. 4, 2005

MERRIMACK – A local trash hauler thinks the town’s tipping fee is a lot of rubbish, especially because the town’s trash-processing costs have gone down while his has stayed high over the past year.

“I just find this unacceptable, that my customers are being charged extra,â€
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Postby RBarnes » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:59 am

Fitzy wrote:Rick, you may wish to mention this to the BOS and Rod.


I would Mark but based on last night I doubt I'd be able to get through everything before they cut me off again.

Carolyn spend more time watching the seconds on the clock then she did listening to anything I had to say last night.
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Postby Stan Heinrich » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:40 pm

Please remember, lowering the tipping fee may get more trash brought in by "local" haulers. This would end up costing more tax dollars spent to process that trash. If you are going to look at tipping fees you should also look the cost of curbside pickup again. That just might turnout to be the lesser cost option to all the residents of this town.
Lowering the tipping fee to accomodate one local hauler is unfair to all those residents who choose to take their trash to the transfer station.
Currently using a trash hauler is a decision made by the resident and it is their choice to pay for that service.
Maybe it is time for SWAC 3.
Curbside may save tax dollars for all.
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Postby Michael Pelletier » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:12 am

Well, that's why the town needs to figure out what their actual cost basis is - if it is really as low as Rod Buckley thinks it is, then an 8% profit instead of a 16% profit is still a profit.

What are the tipping fees at surrounding government-run and commercial transfer stations?

And while lowering the tipping fee "to accomodate one local hauler" - which is a mischaracterization of the underlying issue - might be "unfair," operating the transfer station at all when some two-thirds of the town doesn't make any use of it whatsoever, is even more unfair.

If Buckley Disposal is the only commercial hauler using the transfer station, then that points to another serious problem with the operation, given that commercial haulers were planned to offset operational costs of the station when it was being sold to the public, as I understand it.

As for choice, consider the "choice" that folks like this have:

Image Image

I don't think paying for a private rubbish hauler is the principal purpose of the elderly tax exemption, and the handicapped exemption only applies to the value of mobility aids in the home.

We can have town-wide curbside without violating Article 83 of the constitution (in monopolizing a service that is already provided by local and regional businesses), by closing down the principal operations of the transfer station and giving everyone who wants one a sticker for access to the Rochester landfill for a fee. Anyone who finds it a hassle to drive their trash to Rochester themselves can hire any of their own choice of competing hauling firms striving in a free market to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.

And maybe we could leave open the break-even and net-profit aspects of the operation, such as recycling aluminum and scrap metal. And then we could use the tipping floor as an enormous garage for town vehicles and maintenance, or road salt storage, then build a nice loft in there for office space, and close down the Public Works building down there on Turkey Hill Road.

As a result, the two-thirds of the town that does not use the transfer station that they pay for will see a free-and-clear reduction of their taxes in the amount of their share of the transfer station net operating budget (assuming someone sits down and figures out what that is), and the rest of us will have a reduction that we can use to offset the cost of hiring a hauler or buying a trash compactor.
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Postby Wayne » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:58 am

Michael Pelletier wrote:We can have town-wide curbside without violating Article 83 of the constitution (in monopolizing a service that is already provided by local and regional businesses), by closing down the principal operations of the transfer station and giving everyone who wants one a sticker for access to the Rochester landfill for a fee. Anyone who finds it a hassle to drive their trash to Rochester themselves can hire any of their own choice of competing hauling firms striving in a free market to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.

Michael, the proposal for town-wide curbside pickup included the continued operation of a drop-off site at the existing location. This would be for both bulk items and regular trash, and eliminates the problem you are trying to solve. It is likely this would not be a major operation, for how many will drive to the site if there is no financial advantage?
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Postby Shannon Barnes » Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:49 pm

The curbside option would have had only bulky items and yard waste options, not regular household trash. The trash and recyclables would have been part of the curbside feature, which, for the record, included condos and municipal buildings.
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Postby Michael Pelletier » Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:40 pm

Do you happen to have the figures for how much the town is paying to have the municipal building and school trash hauled away?
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Postby Wayne » Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:25 pm

Shannon Barnes wrote:The curbside option would have had only bulky items and yard waste options, not regular household trash.

Shannon, is that true? I seem to recall that the proposal called for "a small drop-off facility", and I interpreted that as a place that accepted regular trash among other things. I thought this small facility was included to appease those people who were worried about missing their curbside pickup who didn't want to have to hold onto it another week.
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Postby Tom Williams » Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:31 pm

Michael Pelletier wrote:We can have town-wide curbside without violating Article 83 of the constitution (in monopolizing a service that is already provided by local and regional businesses), by closing down the principal operations of the transfer station and giving everyone who wants one a sticker for access to the Rochester landfill for a fee. Anyone who finds it a hassle to drive their trash to Rochester themselves can hire any of their own choice of competing hauling firms striving in a free market to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.

Michael,

This is a wonderful idea. I will vote for it. I will also be happy to sign the petition to get the warrant article on the ballot (since there is little chance the BOS will put something like this there).

Will you lead the effort?
Tom Williams
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Postby Fitzy » Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:38 am

Stan,

There's no need for a SWAC 3. The data already exists, it would only need to be updated to reflect the private collection costs of today. The equation is simple.

Add the total amount of money it costs to operate the TS to the total amount of money being paid for private collection in MMK (this is obviously an estimate, so to be "fair" use the cheapest price).

Compare this against a bid for town-wide collection and keeping the existing site open for hazmat and bulky drop off. Here's a hint to keep the number down; ask the company who is already accepting your waste in Rochester.

It will be an easy $450,000 cheaper for the town-wide collection, and it will include curbside recycling and a couple of appliance pickups each year. You'll get more service for less money because you've leveraged 8000 homes (CUSTOMERS) rather than having 8000 individual contracts.

You'll have to get past the sympathy vote for the "little guys", but at least this time you won't have a BOS the buries the numbers of their own committee (I hope).
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Postby Michael Pelletier » Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:13 am

Fitzy wrote:It will be an easy $450,000 cheaper for the town-wide collection, and it will include curbside recycling and a couple of appliance pickups each year. You'll get more service for less money because you've leveraged 8000 homes (CUSTOMERS) rather than having 8000 individual contracts.

I wonder, then, why I'm paying $62 per month for Adelphia's officially-protected monopoly cable broadband internet service, $2 per month more than satellite broadband, my only other alternative, if leveraging 8,000 homes into a single protected provider automatically means lower prices?


What if Webster Green likes their current trash hauler, and has painstakingly negotiated favorable terms and suitable service parameters, and doesn't want to switch?

"But it's for your own good," you might say, "don't you want to save one eight-thousandth of $450,000 ($56) per year by using the trash hauling service that WE in our infinite wisdom and with no cronyism or kickbacks whatsoever have selected for you?"

"Actually, no."

"Well, too bad for you, because five percent of the population of the town cast the majority vote."
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Postby rmorrissey » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:10 am

Michael wrote
I wonder, then, why I'm paying $62 per month for Adelphia's officially-protected monopoly cable broadband internet service, $2 per month more than satellite broadband, my only other alternative, if leveraging 8,000 homes into a single protected provider automatically means lower prices?


Actually I don't think it is correct to call Adelphia an officially protected monopoly. They do have a non-exclusive franchiese agreement with Merrimack, but that does not prohibit competition from reaching the same agreement with the town, which is sometimes done (I know in Watertown Mass they have a choice between Comcast or RCN).

Also in regards to Adelphia's Internet service the town has no regulatory authority, as the FCC has clasified it as an Interstate Information Service.
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Postby Fitzy » Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:02 pm

Michael Pelletier wrote:
Fitzy wrote:It will be an easy $450,000 cheaper for the town-wide collection, and it will include curbside recycling and a couple of appliance pickups each year. You'll get more service for less money because you've leveraged 8000 homes (CUSTOMERS) rather than having 8000 individual contracts.

I wonder, then, why I'm paying $62 per month for Adelphia's officially-protected monopoly cable broadband internet service, $2 per month more than satellite broadband, my only other alternative, if leveraging 8,000 homes into a single protected provider automatically means lower prices?


What if Webster Green likes their current trash hauler, and has painstakingly negotiated favorable terms and suitable service parameters, and doesn't want to switch?

"But it's for your own good," you might say, "don't you want to save one eight-thousandth of $450,000 ($56) per year by using the trash hauling service that WE in our infinite wisdom and with no cronyism or kickbacks whatsoever have selected for you?"

"Actually, no."

"Well, too bad for you, because five percent of the population of the town cast the majority vote."


OK Mike. I guess almost every city or town the size of MMK in New England must have it wrong. :roll:

The trash business is unique, primarily because he who owns the disposal capacity rules. Always. You can't compare it to cable TV.

You see Mike in the long run you're simply going to pay more. That's fine, as long as you don't also whine about your taxes. Right now if you have pickup you're paying twice.

You know what's hilarious? All the bitching I watch you people do about the cost to live there while you willfully pay twice to have your frigin' garbage taken away. If only you paid as much attention to the schools as you do the dump.
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Postby The Purple Parrot » Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:33 pm

Sure hope the tipping fee stays up there. Why should the folks who live in town give handouts to the PRIVATE TRASH HAULERS?
Lowering the tipping fees will
RAISE YOUR TAXES!!!
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