Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

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Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Pay As You Throw
33
48%
Disposal costs paid through property tax
36
52%
 
Total votes : 69

Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby Dennis King » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:18 pm

RayWhipple wrote:I want to nnow what is the issue with curb side? Seems As Dennis is against it..seems like a good alternative to a transfere station as we have it now.


Ray, I know it is hard to keep up with all the posts, I have posted support for town wide curbside. What I do not and will not support is PAYT.

To me it is all about choice, keep the TS open for Saturday drop offs and lease it to a vendor. When the government FORCES you to do anything, well, then all pretense at liberty is gone,
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby RD » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:27 pm

Dennis King wrote:
To me it is all about choice.... When the government FORCES you to do anything, well, then all pretense at liberty is gone,

Glad to see that you are pro-choice.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby Fitzie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:29 pm

andysinnh wrote:I've never been one to get involved in the TS vs PAYT debate, but I find a lot of the mindset about unbounded trash disposal tied to the historical nature of the way things happen in New England...

Back in the day, every town had a landfill. Every saturday, everyone would gather the weekly trash, go to the dump and socialize. When Merrimack was smaller, it's not unusual to have someone back to the edge of the dumping area and park and not leave for an hour. You'd talk to your neighbors, bring your kids, look over what others threw away - it was a social event! And it didn't matter whether you had a few bags or barrels of trash, or you were cleaning your basement and brought your 10th station wagon load to the dump that day. It didn't cost you anything, and the expense to the town was cheap - a few trash compacting bulldozers and some staff. But trash stayed in the town. Those were the glory days of New England.

when communities had to close their landfills due to various reasons, every community had a real issue - and that's "how do we get rid of the trash now?". As you can see from the debate here, everyone has their favorite method - but the common thread is this - they all cost real money vs the minimal money back when we had landfills. You have to get it either picked up or shipped out. As such, what was chump-change in the 60's is now real money in the next millenium. If you lived in NH you long for the continuance of the TS since you can still bring what you want to the "dump" (now a cement dumping window), but if you ever lived in a more urban area - or other parts of the country - you're used to having your trash picked up every week - or curbside as you see debated here. Everyone has their favorite, and uses that preference to debate what the best method is.

With PAYT, there is no unbounded dumping of trash any more - you pay for what you dump. This is new, and it's hard to swallow for many. You can use the recycling arguement to talk about reduction, but at the end of the day they're paying more for trash disposal than before - even if that cost was buried in a tax bill vs "in your face" when you buy a bag. The real "rub" is whether the tax rate reduces enough to match the $$ paid for bags to dump weekly.

So what's better? Depends on your perception of trash disposal. Interestingly enough, the Merrimack Tea rally at the TS really flashed back to the days of social engagement at the dump - get together and have water-cooler talk on a Saturday, and talk about what's bad or good with the world - and bring your coffee since it might be a chilly day.....

andy (who almost backed his dad's Vista Cruiser over the edge of the dumping area the first time I drove there in the early 70's :-) )



There is a mindset component to the question Andy but its much more than that. Beyond the obvious social component you've touched on there are real and tangible financial differences between the options. Let us revisit the arguments made in favor of the TS back when the debate raged:

#1. Cost - it was argued that a TS would be cheaper than CS. This was and remains only true if one ignores the money being spent on private collection and only takes into account the costs on the tax rate tom operate the TS. When it became known the vast majority of residents would not be serviced by the TS it also became clear that from a cost perspective CS won out.....and not by a small amount.

#2. Convenience - See above, enough said.

#3. Flexibility - this is where the administration totally failed the residents. Shankle argued that a TS would provide the town with flexibility and control, although he was careful to never articulate in what form that either would materialize. That's because he couldn't, because a TS servicing only MMK and receiving less than 1/3 of the waste generated will never, ever, ever, ever have any real leverage and will forever be at the mercy of those with the landfill capacity. Your comments are so true.....once the landfill closed so too did any true control MMK had over what it spends on waste management IF ALL OTHER THINGS REMAINED THE SAME. A landfill allows the kind of free and open system MMK once had with no real impact on the tax rate. When a landfill closes however, the entire financial landscape changes. To have anything approaching control the town needs to do one of two things: Leverage all the private waste collected in MMK in exchange for preferential tipping fees (CS) or institute a PAYT program at the TS.

Period.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:55 pm

Fitzie wrote:
There is a mindset component to the question Andy but its much more than that. Beyond the obvious social component you've touched on there are real and tangible financial differences between the options. Let us revisit the arguments made in favor of the TS back when the debate raged:

#1. Cost - it was argued that a TS would be cheaper than CS. This was and remains only true if one ignores the money being spent on private collection and only takes into account the costs on the tax rate tom operate the TS. When it became known the vast majority of residents would not be serviced by the TS it also became clear that from a cost perspective CS won out.....and not by a small amount.

#2. Convenience - See above, enough said.

#3. Flexibility - this is where the administration totally failed the residents. Shankle argued that a TS would provide the town with flexibility and control, although he was careful to never articulate in what form that either would materialize. That's because he couldn't, because a TS servicing only MMK and receiving less than 1/3 of the waste generated will never, ever, ever, ever have any real leverage and will forever be at the mercy of those with the landfill capacity. Your comments are so true.....once the landfill closed so too did any true control MMK had over what it spends on waste management IF ALL OTHER THINGS REMAINED THE SAME. A landfill allows the kind of free and open system MMK once had with no real impact on the tax rate. When a landfill closes however, the entire financial landscape changes. To have anything approaching control the town needs to do one of two things: Leverage all the private waste collected in MMK in exchange for preferential tipping fees (CS) or institute a PAYT program at the TS.

Period.


The Payt still won't matter in the end for leverage Fitzie. Use is liable to be even less for PayT than the TS itself.

Unless the ENTIRE town is mandated into the mix there is not significant volume....volume correlates directly into leverage.

Payt will likely reduce the volume because more people will turn to private haulers where they don't have to deal with PayT bags.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby Fitzie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:14 pm

TonyRichardson wrote:
Fitzie wrote:
There is a mindset component to the question Andy but its much more than that. Beyond the obvious social component you've touched on there are real and tangible financial differences between the options. Let us revisit the arguments made in favor of the TS back when the debate raged:

#1. Cost - it was argued that a TS would be cheaper than CS. This was and remains only true if one ignores the money being spent on private collection and only takes into account the costs on the tax rate tom operate the TS. When it became known the vast majority of residents would not be serviced by the TS it also became clear that from a cost perspective CS won out.....and not by a small amount.

#2. Convenience - See above, enough said.

#3. Flexibility - this is where the administration totally failed the residents. Shankle argued that a TS would provide the town with flexibility and control, although he was careful to never articulate in what form that either would materialize. That's because he couldn't, because a TS servicing only MMK and receiving less than 1/3 of the waste generated will never, ever, ever, ever have any real leverage and will forever be at the mercy of those with the landfill capacity. Your comments are so true.....once the landfill closed so too did any true control MMK had over what it spends on waste management IF ALL OTHER THINGS REMAINED THE SAME. A landfill allows the kind of free and open system MMK once had with no real impact on the tax rate. When a landfill closes however, the entire financial landscape changes. To have anything approaching control the town needs to do one of two things: Leverage all the private waste collected in MMK in exchange for preferential tipping fees (CS) or institute a PAYT program at the TS.

Period.


The Payt still won't matter in the end for leverage Fitzie. Use is liable to be even less for PayT than the TS itself.

Unless the ENTIRE town is mandated into the mix there is not significant volume....volume correlates directly into leverage.

Payt will likely reduce the volume because more people will turn to private haulers where they don't have to deal with PayT bags.


Yes on all accounts Tony. I wasn't however suggesting PAYT as a leverage tool, only a cost control (municipal) tool. Buying leverage comes from volume as you stated. PAYT simply turns an unknown variable cost into a self-funding fixed cost.....beautiful from a business perspective.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby Fitzie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:01 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Rick

I like your idea of a breakdown of our tax bill. I've voiced my opinion to the Merrimack Tea people on this topic. We already pay approximately $260 per year in addition to our property tax bill for curbside in my household so why should these TS users have a problem paying too if the TS is costing us so much money for the use of 33% of the residents? Why should I pay for mine and theirs too? I cannot understand why something so miniscule is such a big deal in comparison to the loss of revenue from the State?


Great questions Jeannine. Although nobody has actually come out and said so, it would seem a small percentage of the TS users are either; a) emotionally attached to the entity for what it represents to them or b) using PAYT as a platform for a larger agenda by telling falsehoods and spreading scary stories.

The former seems to believe that the TS represents something other than a rest stop for trash, as though the fact it exists is a tribute of some kind to liberty. Hey, I don't write this stuff, you can find this very position one thread down. Whether or not it is viable is not part of this group's equation, to them the TS represents a kind of payback in their mind for their having to pay what they consider is too much for the schools. Oh yea, and the Library. They HATE the library. In summary, to some the TS is a perk which is owed to them by the rest of the town.

The latter, well they look for just about anything as a lightning rod topic to scream "liberal elitist". PAYT and its association with being green (which I don't buy) is perfect fodder but I think we'll find that your garden-variety conservative will look at PAYT and say "hell yes". I don't think this group gives a crap about the TS or even cares about PAYT....they have loftier goals in mind.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby RayWhipple » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:50 pm

Dennis King wrote:
RayWhipple wrote:I want to nnow what is the issue with curb side? Seems As Dennis is against it..seems like a good alternative to a transfere station as we have it now.


Ray, I know it is hard to keep up with all the posts, I have posted support for town wide curbside. What I do not and will not support is PAYT.

To me it is all about choice, keep the TS open for Saturday drop offs and lease it to a vendor. When the government FORCES you to do anything, well, then all pretense at liberty is gone,



Ok, if i am wrong I am sorry Dennis. :) My question is would any privat hauler ever take over the TS? Has ever been looked into? I mean like calling a whole bunch of private haulers and ask them if they would be interested in leasing the site as you bring up..give them the location and facts and so forth. Just wondering what would be the thought. What would you say if no private hauler wanted to take over that site on a lease basis? What then?
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:52 pm

Fitzie

they have loftier goals in mind


Agreed
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm

Fitzie wrote:
Yes on all accounts Tony. I wasn't however suggesting PAYT as a leverage tool, only a cost control (municipal) tool. Buying leverage comes from volume as you stated. PAYT simply turns an unknown variable cost into a self-funding fixed cost.....beautiful from a business perspective.


PayT will never fully fund the cost of the waste handling along with the total support system cost (Transfer Station) that goes through it...by that measure I do not consider it self funding.

If the pricing is correct, it will fund the cost of handling the waste that uses the payt system only, but little if anything above and beyond that...if you exclude the TS captive cost, then it can be self funding as a process even if not fully self funding as an total system.

From my perspective as someone that has never directly used the TS and hopefully never will there is no upside to Payt for me. It just extends the tax burden for the TS indefinitely into the future.

The Transfer Station is a middleman that adds cost that its claimed "added value" will never equal.

If you truly want to cut costs, that burden has to go....until the TS is shut down it just adds cost far in excess of its value added to the waste management stream.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:41 pm

RayWhipple wrote:
Ok, if i am wrong I am sorry Dennis. :) My question is would any privat hauler ever take over the TS? Has ever been looked into? I mean like calling a whole bunch of private haulers and ask them if they would be interested in leasing the site as you bring up..give them the location and facts and so forth. Just wondering what would be the thought. What would you say if no private hauler wanted to take over that site on a lease basis? What then?



Ray,

I think that the overhead to use and maintain the TS exceed its value for a private hauler unless he was able to realize the revenue from the waste stream of the entire town, or at minimum a large majority of that stream. Anything less and the costs outweigh the value it represents for them. Especially since they would likely not have full control in any event.

Costs for a private hauler off the top of my head in no particular order...
1. Staff
2. Maintenance
3. Security
4. Taxes
5. Hazardous materials handling and disposition
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby RayWhipple » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:01 pm

TonyRichardson wrote:
RayWhipple wrote:
Ok, if i am wrong I am sorry Dennis. :) My question is would any privat hauler ever take over the TS? Has ever been looked into? I mean like calling a whole bunch of private haulers and ask them if they would be interested in leasing the site as you bring up..give them the location and facts and so forth. Just wondering what would be the thought. What would you say if no private hauler wanted to take over that site on a lease basis? What then?



Ray,

I think that the overhead to use and maintain the TS exceed its value for a private hauler unless he was able to realize the revenue from the waste stream of the entire town, or at minimum a large majority of that stream. Anything less and the costs outweigh the value it represents for them. Especially since they would likely not have full control in any event.

Costs for a private hauler off the top of my head in no particular order...
1. Staff
2. Maintenance
3. Security
4. Taxes
5. Hazardous materials handling and disposition


Thanks..that's what I was thinking but I did not know if it was REALLY looked into before I moved here. I for one like the idea of curbside. I think someone had said this but have curbside but also have the TS for recycling center. If I remember right the town does make money off the recycling items dropped off in the single stream area. (other than the hazard waste items). I only ask questions to learn and come up with REAL working ideas that benefits the town as a whole. I understand a lot of people do not like the PAYT, if we don't do PAYT then we need to come up with REAL ideas and solutions instead of more rhetoric. Most of you that are really vocal and screaming and yelling in protest about PAYT have not come up with any real solutions to the problems facing us in regards to the TS station. The main one being an increase in tipping fees.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby Wayne » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:28 pm

Tom Mahon wrote:Several haulers are advertising recycling pickup as part of their service. I received a mailing from Casella for trash and recyclables. There are several others out there who will do this.

:?: We got the mailing from Casella today. I was wondering if any readers have had any experience with this company? :?:
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:46 pm

RayWhipple wrote:
Thanks..that's what I was thinking but I did not know if it was REALLY looked into before I moved here. I for one like the idea of curbside. I think someone had said this but have curbside but also have the TS for recycling center. If I remember right the town does make money off the recycling items dropped off in the single stream area. (other than the hazard waste items). I only ask questions to learn and come up with REAL working ideas that benefits the town as a whole. I understand a lot of people do not like the PAYT, if we don't do PAYT then we need to come up with REAL ideas and solutions instead of more rhetoric. Most of you that are really vocal and screaming and yelling in protest about PAYT have not come up with any real solutions to the problems facing us in regards to the TS station. The main one being an increase in tipping fees.



I guess that depends on what you mean by making money...

Sure recyclables give the town funds from the recycler... Not enough to pay for the transfer station by any stretch.

I actually wonder if the recycling checks are even larger than the tipping fees for dumping the equivalent weight.
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby andysinnh » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:54 pm

Wayne wrote:
Tom Mahon wrote:Several haulers are advertising recycling pickup as part of their service. I received a mailing from Casella for trash and recyclables. There are several others out there who will do this.

:?: We got the mailing from Casella today. I was wondering if any readers have had any experience with this company? :?:

Wayne - if I read the postcard correctly it's $25 per month for JUST the recycle pickup - not trash. Add that to the $30 per month for trash pickup, and you're paying over $50 for a month. Ouch....

andy
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Re: Should we move to PAYT or fund through the tax rate?

Postby ggkrupp » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:15 pm

TonyRichardson wrote:I actually wonder if the recycling checks are even larger than the tipping fees for dumping the equivalent weight.


Some numbers I posted in another thread that I got from the Director of Public Works, Mr. Seymour are below. They are aggregated into an annual number so it is a little hard to tease out the impact of recycling.

Total Trash Tipped
2010 - 8419 tons
2009 - 8715 tons
*2008 - 9612 tons

Recycling Revenue
2010/11 $87,878
2009/10 $114,675
*2008/09 $181.893

*prior to single-stream recycling

Current revenue rate for mixed recyclables: $15/ton (recently increased)
Current tipping rate: $64/ton (set to double in a year or so)
Current amount of material recycled over the 18 mos of single-stream: 1570+ tons


A couple of other interesting points:
    The commodity price for scrap aluminum cans is variable like any commodity but $0.60-$0.95 per pound is the market rate (see below)
    32 normal size soda cans make a pound (a little less if you have large cans).
    If we use the low end of $0.60/lb, the contractor who purchases our recycling needs 800 cans in the single stream to cover the purchase cost of a ton of mixed recyclables at $15/ton
    for my family of 6, we average about 30-35 cans per week into the single stream
    25 families like ours to get to 800/week
    The town appears to be averaging about 22 tons of recycling a week under single stream (1570 tons / 18 mos = 22 tons/week)
    In order to cover the cost of 22 tons solely with scrap aluminum, it would take 17,600 cans/week
    Presume the contractor gets at least some value in the sale of non-aluminum recyclables

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