What is the difference?

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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Wayne » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:36 pm

Fitzie wrote:I agree completely with the added note that you could have high volume recycling were it offered in the most convenient form available for the highest number of people. In MMK's case that's at the curb. I did a lot of research on this topic and convenience is the "magic".

I read somebody's post that if PAYT goes into effect, they will refuse to recycle and instead pay the extra bag fees, just to spite the TC - nobody's going to tell them they HAVE TO recycle!

You're right, Fitzie, it's just not in the mindset of some people. Me, I take all my recyclables to Fearon Road, even though I have curbside pickup for regular trash. Yeah, I'm one of those "tree huggers" that Dennis King so detests. There are others like me, but I don't know how many.

However, if recyclables were picked up at the curb along with the trash, I'm pretty sure that the 'convenience" requirement would be met and there would be pretty high participation, especially if there was an incentive involved. I do believe this was one of the conclusions of the Solid Wast Advisory Committee. Why, oh why, didn't people listen to that committee? :(
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby TonyRichardson » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:53 pm

Wayne wrote:
Fitzie wrote:I agree completely with the added note that you could have high volume recycling were it offered in the most convenient form available for the highest number of people. In MMK's case that's at the curb. I did a lot of research on this topic and convenience is the "magic".

I read somebody's post that if PAYT goes into effect, they will refuse to recycle and instead pay the extra bag fees, just to spite the TC - nobody's going to tell them they HAVE TO recycle!

You're right, Fitzie, it's just not in the mindset of some people. Me, I take all my recyclables to Fearon Road, even though I have curbside pickup for regular trash. Yeah, I'm one of those "tree huggers" that Dennis King so detests. There are others like me, but I don't know how many.

However, if recyclables were picked up at the curb along with the trash, I'm pretty sure that the 'convenience" requirement would be met and there would be pretty high participation, especially if there was an incentive involved. I do believe this was one of the conclusions of the Solid Wast Advisory Committee. Why, oh why, didn't people listen to that committee? :(


The supporters of that agenda always think that there is some magic bullet to make it all work, and yet compliance has to be forced to achieve significant participation.

unfortunately the message that represents is always lost on the people pushing an agenda.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Wayne » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:07 pm

TonyRichardson wrote:The supporters of that agenda always think that there is some magic bullet to make it all work, and yet compliance has to be forced to achieve significant participation.

unfortunately the message that represents is always lost on the people pushing an agenda.

I'm not sure what agenda you're attributing to me. The rational person will recycle if he sees an immediate cost savings. This kind of system is already working well in many other towns all over New Hampshire.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Fitzie » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:00 am

Wayne,

The people were never given the opportunity to listen because the BOS at the time were TS supporters due to their relationship with residents who felt the same way (including local haulers whose businesses depended on a non-CS solution). If you recall the BOS tasked the SWAC2 with accurately defining the costs associated with each option then....when they didn't like the numbers which showed CS the best solution.......buried the SWAC's numbers and published their numbers which were based on nothing. The BOS members who did this were Nancy Gagnon, Norm Carr, Tony Pellegrino and Fran LeReux (sp?). Dave Mc tried to get the true numbers shared with voters but was outnumbered 4-1. Dennis supported this blatant act of disrespect to the voters, which is why his cries of foul now drip with hypocrisy. In Dennis' world it's OK to trample democracy when you agree with the outcome.

Assigning costs and values to a recycling program is very tricky business.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby TonyRichardson » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:11 am

Wayne wrote:
TonyRichardson wrote:The supporters of that agenda always think that there is some magic bullet to make it all work, and yet compliance has to be forced to achieve significant participation.

unfortunately the message that represents is always lost on the people pushing an agenda.

I'm not sure what agenda you're attributing to me. The rational person will recycle if he sees an immediate cost savings. This kind of system is already working well in many other towns all over New Hampshire.


I'm not attributing an agenda to you personally Wayne but rather to anyone that decides they should interfere in another's life "for their own goood".

On the other hand lets parse out your comment "The rational person will recycle if he sees an immediate cost savings".
What cost savings would anyone see if they seperate out recyclables for pickup versus putting it out mixed?

Do we get a check cut to us for each pound of recyclables we sort out for you? No, of course not.

Do the recyclables being sold to a recycler help defray the pickup expense? Possibly or possibly not, depends on volume and overhead, there is no blanket answer.

The economic break even point where money generated exceeds handling costs requires a significant volume, one that generally requires forced compliance to achieve.

Voluntary compliance rates have generally proven to be too low to do this.
For an illustration of this merely look at how often initiatives of this type fail at the ballot and wind up being instituted through other means.
As is in the process of happening here now, and why we are having this discussion.

We can try and debate the whys of that if you like, but the only result would be for Nat or one of the moderators to lock the thread for talking too much politics.
Because at base recycling has always been a political agenda item.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby TonyRichardson » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:13 am

Wow Fitzie, you and I seem to be in agreement on a lot of this.

Would not have expected that by each of our initial posts :lol:
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby lynn » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:54 am

amazing what happens when people engage in civil discourse :shock:
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Wayne » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:06 am

TonyRichardson wrote:On the other hand lets parse out your comment "The rational person will recycle if he sees an immediate cost savings".
What cost savings would anyone see if they seperate out recyclables for pickup versus putting it out mixed?

Do we get a check cut to us for each pound of recyclables we sort out for you? No, of course not.

I was thinking of the case of PAYT with free recycling, either at the curb or at the TS. Anyway, like you and Fitzie, I think we're in general agreement.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Fitzie » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:35 am

Tony you are correct in pointing out that recycling does directly equate with the costs not incurred were the material simply thrown into the can and hauled as MSW. Recycling has costs which vary depending on how the material gets to market. From a purely economic perspective the value of recycling is shown as the net result of cost of recycling activity + market value of recycled material (A) compared against cost of MSW tipping fees (B). If A is less than B, you have an economic savings. If it isn't....well, that gets into social arguments that others are more suited to make than I am.

Here's where it starts to get tricky though, especially with respect to recycling.

This debate has always suffered from being viewed through two lenses......the impact on the tax rate and impact on private out of pocket expenses. My position has always been that waste is a universal expense and should be viewed through a universal lens which includes private out of pocket expenses. This is even more true when you have a situation such as the one which exists in MMK today, that being the vast majority of money being spent on waste takes place privately through private CS with the waste going directly out of town. The same equation was in play before the TS was built but most of the collected waste was delivered to the landfill due to it's attractive tipping fee of $40/ton. When the landfill was closed, so too did these isolated market conditions. When it became clear the TS's tipping fees would drive all privately collected waste out of town (we were told as much in writing by the 2 companies collected 70-75% of the CS waste) it also became clear the TS would not survive....in fact could not survive.....on it's own revenues and MMK would be supporting an inequitable system servicing less than 30% of it's residents. It was and is the worst possible enterprise, one that allows those using the service (30%) to do so without taking full financial responsibility but requires the remaining 70% to not only pay their actual costs (private CS) but also cover the remaining costs of the 30%. In summary, 70% of MMK's households are paying for the operation of the town's SW operation and not receiving one thin dime of value.

There are 2 solutions whereas in the past I incorrectly was stuck on one, that being town-wide tax funded CS. That is indeed one solution that is in place all around the country. It typically includes CS recycling and here is where one can realize real savings. The other, which I admit was lost on me, is PAYT which simply allows the current open market to dictate costs to CS users such as yourself BUT ALSO MAKES THOSE USING THE TS ASSUME THE SAME LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR COSTS. I don't like it as much as muni-CS because I believe it misses an opportunity to lower everyone's costs by leveraging 10,000 possible accounts and the MSW and recycling tonnage they represent on the whole, but that said it's one hell of a lot better than the existing system which can only be described as either a welfare state centered on trash or a perk to self-haulers who pay more taxes than condo owners (as Dennis contends).

The TC should be commended for correcting an inequity in the tax base during these difficult times where people are losing their homes and having to work 3 times as hard just to make ends meet....to borrow a line from Dennis.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby TonyRichardson » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:29 am

Fitzie wrote:There are 2 solutions whereas in the past I incorrectly was stuck on one, that being town-wide tax funded CS. That is indeed one solution that is in place all around the country. It typically includes CS recycling and here is where one can realize real savings. The other, which I admit was lost on me, is PAYT which simply allows the current open market to dictate costs to CS users such as yourself BUT ALSO MAKES THOSE USING THE TS ASSUME THE SAME LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR COSTS. I don't like it as much as muni-CS because I believe it misses an opportunity to lower everyone's costs by leveraging 10,000 possible accounts and the MSW and recycling tonnage they represent on the whole, but that said it's one hell of a lot better than the existing system which can only be described as either a welfare state centered on trash or a perk to self-haulers who pay more taxes than condo owners (as Dennis contends).

The TC should be commended for correcting an inequity in the tax base during these difficult times where people are losing their homes and having to work 3 times as hard just to make ends meet....to borrow a line from Dennis.


Fitzie, problem is that if the fees were set for the TS to be self funded through the people actually using it instead of through the town taxes, NOBODY would use it for anything.

So either the fees will not cover the actual cost...what we are getting with this change, I am not holding my breath to see a penny's worth of savings to me either. In fact, watch the budget for the TS and it will keep going up just as it does now.

At some point we will likely be given the real Hobson's choice :
A-close the station and lose all the money thrown at it already or
B-force the town residents to use a mechanism crafted by the town which is guaranteed to piss off a lot of residents that currently have no dog in the fight.


Hence my position that the TS should never have been built in the first place, it makes no economic sense under any model that allows private haul CS.

I was against the TS back then for this reason, and since what would have been the best option at the time was not one of the choices we got stuck with it.

(Best option would have been to let the landfill close and let the market find the solution. Thich would have happened quickly and we would not be having this come up every few years.)
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Dennis King » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:50 pm

Wayne wrote: Me, I take all my recyclables to Fearon Road, even though I have curbside pickup for regular trash. Yeah, I'm one of those "tree huggers" that Dennis King so detests.(


Wayne, I do not detest "tree huggers", What I object to is the attitude that comes from this group. They feel they are saving the planet and the rest of the world is evil because they do not care. The next level of that logic is to demonize those people and then FORCE them to do what you feel it the right thing to do. That is the part of this philosophy I object to.

I suspect you go to the TS to recycle since your current CS person does not offer this service. Congrats, you made my point that ALL of the town can use the TS. I also find it interesting that the new rules still allow for FREE disposal of refrigerators, sofas, construction debris, and this is what the apartment owners and condo owners would use the most.

I am all for recycling and have suggested we move it to the large facility. Single stream recycling is only 3 months old and we already have a 50% increase. You say you want to make incentives for people to throw less, How do you explain a 50% increase when these people (myself included) get nothing out of it other than the knowledge that it is the right thing to do and we are indeed saving costs.

Recycling pays two ways, we reduce the cost of tipping fees (less tonnage) and we earn money for our recyclables (not sure if it still costs us when you consider the shipping and personnel costs but it is certainly less than the alternative).

What really bothers me is the coercion. I have stated publicly that I would support a town wide curbside program along with a company that will take over the TS and provide the service for a discount. I do not want to see PAYT with this curbside, again, stop FORCING people. Since a company would be taking over the TS, I see they could still use the single stream recycling we have and the Concord coop. In order for this to work though, I do see the need to separate the trash on the curb so yes, a separate can for the non recyclables, a sticker to go on the bags, some way to let the garbage man know how to separate it will do, only do not charge them. Another key provision is to keep the TS open to the public on Saturdays so if you do not want to do any of this, you still have the TS which most people use on Saturdays anyway.

The key benefits: We privatize the TS and thus no longer have to pay staff and the pensions
We get town-wide curbside pickup at a discount (maybe $3-4/week), those who pay for CS now save money and it is now in the taxes which we all pay. We retain the choice, lower costs, and everyone wins.

The only problem is you have to ask the people. FORCING PAYT will cause lots of hurt feelings. It is like spitting in the eye of the taxpayers in this town. I encouraged the TC members to wait until next year, get bids, see who is interested, then go to next years deliberative session as see what the town wants to do. That is the correct way to do things, Mandates knowingly against the will of the people are just tyranny.

The other thing that really bothers me is we start this new program in November and even though it has been a unusually severe winter, we already have a 50% increase. Given time, I am sure that number would double. The key is to work with people, after all, we are one town, we can do great things if given the chance but years of demonizing us so you could impose your will just hardens people bringing us further apart.
I implore the TC to reverse course, let the warrant go and listen to the will of the people. I suspect it will fail but then you can get started on the real solution.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Tim Tenhave » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:27 pm

There is a another major element being missed in the discussion of a municipal based system (with our without PAYT).

That is, we have a large number of commercial and industrial properties in Merrimack. They also pay property taxes and have no free (except for what they pay in their property taxes) use of the current Transfer Station. For them to send their waste there they have to pay the tipping fee on top of what they pay in their property tax.

When I suggested PAYT has an equity aspect, I did not only include those who own condominiums (since they are private properties, a municipal solution is not allowed), appartment dwellers and their owners, non self hauling residents, we also have commerical and industrial properites.

Don't you think the InBev/AB, BAE, Brookstone, DCU, Billy's Famous Pizza, Common Man, Florence's, Shaws, Merrimack House of Pizza, Mobil on the run, would like to see some benefit from the Transfer Station as well given they pay the same tax rate all the residents pay?

When it is stated that 70% of the residents provide for the TS in their taxes and don't use it we cannot forget that 100% of the commercial and industrial users either don't use it or through a tipping fee are already on a PAYT system.

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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Dennis King » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:37 pm

That is just ridiculous, commercial businesses benefit from all the infrastructure we taxpayers pay for and what about 72% of the tax burden, last I checked none of them are sending kids to our schools.

Tim you continue to try and defend the indefensible. The simple fact is the whole town voted for the TS and all can use it now. Homeowners do pay more than apartment owners and condo owners so the "fairness issue" is totally bogus.

What really bothers me TIm is what you did to this town on Thursday. I wish people could watch it but for some unknown reason, the public access cable system has been in for repairs since this meeting occurred.

Tim, you should have let the people decide, that is the process. You took a vehicle used for democracy since our founding and instead of bringing it forward for the people to decide (as is your right), you used it as a pretext so the discussion was now on the agenda and the TC was then able to IMPOSE their will on the people.

Sorry, Tim, the ends never justify the means, particularly when you have to circumvent our democratic process to do it.
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby RayWhipple » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:57 pm

Dennis King wrote:I simply responded to the simple fact that the so called evil self haulers are indeed paying far more in taxes that the average condo owner or apartment renter.


You have more than once complain about renters and condo owners in regards to property taxes. Renters may not directly pay taxes but their rent DOES go to pay the taxes. And if taxes goes up, rent goes up so they feel it. I have rented for may years ans can tell you it is not much cheaper to rent than to own a house. When I lived in Greenfield, my rent was $1200 a month and we had to pay our own heat. So I was paying just under $2000 a month. That's $24,000 a year. An average apartment cost about $1000 a month no matter where you go. I agree with you in some ways that we need to limit goverment but I am also against the class warfare that is going on.

Dennis King wrote:Ray, sometimes you have made personal attacks against me and if you go back and look at my posts, I have not done that to you.


No you haven't made a "personal attacks" on me but I see you doing it to others here, Like Dave Y., Tim, and others just because you don't agree with them.

Dennis King wrote:I object when a person tries to belittle my positions which I see as a way of making a sideways personal attack. We are all entitled to our views and the real way to grow and learn from each other is to be open to people with different ideas.


You seem to do this to almost everyone who does not agree with you libertarian views. I am sure that it would not take much to find a lot of examples here in the forum. You like to talk down to the people that want a cleaner place to live and call the "tree huggers" as if its something bad. Yes it has gone to far in a lot of areas but I guess you can call me one of those "tree huggers" because I feel we haven't gone far enough in some areas. You blast people for taking part in our form of goverment to get what they think should be done and yet you the very same thing. you stand up and speak against bigger goverment, less goverment intrusion into your life, less taxes and so forth and that is your right and i support it. But when people stand up for what they believe it is some how wrong and you attack them. There are people here in Merrimack that support the PAYT and some that don't.

Dennis King wrote:Tyranny now rules, before you know it, the secret police will be out there looking to see if you mow your lawn with the correct mover, don't use salt to melt the snow (no slip and fall, much better), control the size of the portion you get at the restaurant, oh the list is endless, once the government takes control of others lives, well they become intoxicated by the power and drink again and again, issuing new edicts with each sip.


Do REALLY believe this Dennis? Peterborough went to PAYT years ago and its still the same small town with no PC police. With comments like this it's no wonder your ideas that have merits go no where. We do agree on a lot of topics but what happens if I agree with the PAYT (remember I am still undecided). What will you say about me then? Am I a liberal in your eyes? While I have rented in the past I will be paying property taxes and does that change my status in your eyes?
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Re: What is the difference?

Postby Fitzie » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:32 pm

Dennis,

With each new post you only further deepen the hole. You're hiding your personal wants behind the well-worn "will of the people" fluff yet on other topics dealing with the same basic issues you take a completely opposite position.

If you really cared a lick about the plight of others you would have considered that a significant portion of MMK's households, single family and condo alike, are owned by elderly residents that cannot load up the Buick weekly and drag it to the TS. They, because of your affection with doing so and desire to remain firmly attached to the nipple of taxpayer's who don't gain any benefit from the TS, are paying much more for private collection than they should be given they ARE IN THE MAJORITY IN TERMS OF WASTE MANAGEMENT IN MMK. Is there a more worthy group of your fellow residents around which the program should be centered than them? Are YOU more worthy?

Have you ever considered that Dennis? Probably not, because apparently everything revolves around you and the ego-driven attachment you have to your part in the "win" 7 years ago. The facts have shown that "win" to be one giant mess and your attempt now to present the TS as having "value" in a CS contract is nothing more than denial.
Last edited by Fitzie on Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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