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  1. TopTop #1
    EmeraldMatra's Avatar

    Bottom Line: It Costs More If We Donít Recycle By Occupy Sonoma County

    Bottom Line: It Costs More If We Donít Recycle

    By Occupy Sonoma County

    Whatís your bottom line? Is it money or the continuity of life on this planet?

    In January 2018, Recology of San Francisco will replace The Ratto Group as Santa Rosaís garbage hauler. As goes Santa Rosa so goes the rest of the county. Curbside residential rates are expected to increase by 58%. If youíre paying $16.97 a month now, expect it to rise to $26.85. Commercial rates will increase by an even greater percentage. Yet, these new rates are still 7% - 18% below industry standards for similar size communities in Northern California. One reason these rates seem so high is because Ratto was charging 42% - 48% below the average rate. They were able to achieve this, in part, by paying drivers an average of $16 an hour while line recyclers received barely more than the state minimum wage of $10.50 an hour.

    Rattoís below average rates bought us below average service and a dismal environmental record. The deal was a 45% diversion rate. A diversion rate is the percentage of trash kept out of our landfill through recycling, composting and repurposing. What we got was a 36% diversion rate. The Standish Avenue Recycling Center was closed by the health department. Rattoís trucks polluted heavily and frequently broke down which led to poor customer service. A 2015 lawsuit shut down Sonoma Compost and weíve been out-sourcing compost ever since. Up until recently, Ratto employees lacked union protections resulting in few wage increases, dangerous working conditions (garbage and recycling workers are in the 5th most dangerous profession in America), extended work hours and unsafe trucks. What you pay for is what you get.

    Recology is a union shop and has been since the 1930ís. Their diversion rate for San Francisco is 80%. In LA theyíre shooting for 90% by 2025. The goal in Santa Rosa is 60% by 2029. They plan on introducing a new fleet of trucks and containers. They will expand services, upgrade the Standish Avenue site, and try to bring composting back to Sonoma County. Until that happens, Recologyís six composting facilities will absorb our compost. Critical to their success is eco-education. Zero waste specialists will help customers, both commercial and residential, improve their recycling and composting while reducing their trash. For us to reach zero waste, customer buy-in is needed. Consider what a 1℃ climate change has brought us to date: unprecedented hurricanes, mass migrations, droughts and, of course, fires. It looks like Octoberís fires werenít started by climate change, but climate change most certainly exacerbated them. Proper waste disposal is one way we can reduce the effects of climate change.

    So whatís your bottom line? Is it money or the continuity of life on this planet?

    Sources: Made Local, September/October 2017 issue, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press Democrat 8/16/17, 8/29/17, Sonoma County Gazette 8/29/17.

    For more information contact or call 707-877-6650.

    Occupy Sonoma County embraces the egalitarian, deep democracy principles of the Occupy Movement with a regional strategy for effectively organizing county-wide social justice campaigns that are globally relevant.
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  3. TopTop #2
    nicofrog's Avatar

    Re: Bottom Line: It Costs More If We Donít Recycle By Occupy Sonoma County

    Quote EmeraldMatra wrote: View Post
    ...Whatís your bottom line? Is it money or the continuity of life on this planet?...\
    All good questions; I have had a Bottom up eye on Recycling ,Compost ,Creative Re-use ,and landfill waste ,all my life, and for the 12 years I have been in Sonoma County. I like stuff and try to keep it useful. A very unpopular attitude.

    what I want to add here is just a little more "truth" about Ratto /Garbarino, and the what got us to where we are.

    A lot of "most" people do not understand the gravity of miss managing our Organic waste (food scraps, restaurant waste, grocery, and dairy(60%)waste etc .) I was lucky enough to attend a fired up lecture on that by Buckminster Fuller, and Adam Trombly in 1972, which kick-started my unsuccessful attempt to be an "environmental activist" for all these years since then.

    I chose COMPOSTING , as my area of focus. he said (they were doing the first global computer modeling for projected human development and population growth.) Anyway, he said "at the rate we are going with landfills and toilets managing our Nitrogen-rich wastes, we will have about 50 years before huge masses of people begin to die due to climate change". Funny how being wise and educated does not necessarily translate to effective communication to foment change. In Climate change estimates Methane from Landfill has outweighed fuel emissions as a damaging influence on Ozone layer depletion. So yourPriuss may not trump my composting..(OH and remember the "ozone hole" that was Reagan administration FAKE-NEWS !) whee aint this fun!

    SO we have Methane coming off Sewer plants and Dumps destroying our atmosphere at record levels daily ,not to mention CHLORINE !! the largest chemical company in the world does not even care if you know how badly they are trashing the environment ,because EVERYbody knows that you MUST have Chlorine for sanitation and modern civilisation. Just like every body knows SUVs are safer (just ask the guy who gets hit by one!!)

    Why Rant!? good question! It is arguably way to late to do anything about all this(wait, don't read this to the grandkids ok??) well, I guess I rant from habit, and it is a very ineffective way to convince even ONE Neighbour to compost.

    P.S. I teach Composting at C M O S C ( I may well be the countyís only, or second to only compost teacher!) poignant !! It's fun anyway ,planetary devolution or not! As an individual, I have found with a small effort and little expense one can create about 2 cubic yards of worm compost per year.(that is like diverting 2 -20 cubic yard dumptrucks of food from landfill).

    SO RATTO , well they and all the other Mafia descendant garbage companies depended on the WEIGHT of waste to make their profit , not the volume.

    SO in evaluating the "zero" waste goal in recent years they have told a consistent LIE that is so simple it's silly (and I practically got bood out of the room for mentioning it in a meeting where zero waste folks were being nice to our garbage heroes.. their brochures say THIS <<< FOOD IS 27% of our waste>>> funny, when we get the Bill, it's based on WEIGHT, but when they talk "science", they choose VOLUME as their veil, oh true ,true, it's around 27% Volume, but 75 to 80% WEIGHT , this a huge discrepancy and changes all the math for determining FUEL waste, EXHAUST pollution, Stench generated,and Danger to employees.
    So whatever, just hope the new guys will be better and the compost "problem" is so silly and stupid it's all about decentralising , people caring and stepping uP.. our schools could practically handle the entire thing .

    Then there's TOXICS (don't get me started) let's please..just look at Fluorescent Bulbs (Mercury pollution) well as a dumpster diver for years(getting that compost remember?) I made the observation that many businesses turn a blind eye to employees discarding of fluorescent tubes and squiggles in the landfill trash or recycle. I was alarmed by this , knew it as illegal , and called the trash company(not mentioning names) and found out that at that time it was a $20,000 fine. A team of twenty men in Hazmat suits, and a big hazmat truck to come in and clean up the mess. I was actually fond of the store we were "diving" I knew they could not afford that kind of blow , so I left them notes regarding toxic waste .(there is a service ,that for something like $20 a month will come and gather up your toxic mercury lamps.

    20,000 !? yes thats a lot, and it NEVER happens... here's why..the Drivers are all 90%Hispanic (possibly undocumented?) and their route would go all to hell if they created a fuss like that.. they MAY be informed by their bosses or team leaders??or maybe not? Have you noticed until very recently all the complicated and ever changing rules for trash and recycle are on the cans and dumpsters in English only !!?? and I know at least one mobile home park (90% Hispanic) where many if not all residents use blue and grey cans for all trash disposal,when there was a toxics "Pick up day" 10% of the people had anything to pick up.THIS IS NOT THEIR FAULT ,and I'm sure it is seen a ridiculous fuss gringos make over nothing due to little or no EDUCATION on the topic.

    So a good thing TO KNOW about this is that regular people , most likely people who could find no other employment SORT and handle all our garbage .and recycling. (on the tour I went on they were using handkerchiefs for masks) I work at an up-scale non profit where even there, the young folks do not seem to know or care that film plastic does not recycle .

    Can you imagine all of their delight in finding the left overs of thanks giving dinner, mixed with aluminum cans and old potted plants and coffee ground and fish bodies...PLEASE start to imagine that if you do not compost,recycle,and care about landfill. Your away might be someone else's here and now.

    so a good rule of thumb for Toxic waste is ANY material powder or liquid from your home or business other than water flour or milk .is TOXIC when mixed with all the other junk in landfill and messes up the downstream of wherever it goes! the simple phrase ;"THERE IS NO AWAY" , go live there in your imagination,then regard your waste can differently. Even household OILS can be composted by putting them in paper then feeding them to worm bins.worms readily eat wax coated cardboard vegetable boxes.

    Even Municipal compost systems have not yet figure out that they could

    Oh and don't believe all those stupid old rules about what you can and cannot compost .Ignorant people always want to make themselves sound knowledgeable by grabbing some dumb list of "RULES" off the internet and trying to call it Science. (sorry some of these folks are great writers and have BOOKS out on what NOT to do that are ,sadly incorrect.and get in the way.) sigh PEOPLE. (once you have been repeating a piece of info for 30 years,it's mighty hard to Let it go in the face of simple facts. There was a girl in a university or high school who did a special project(someone had noticed that citrus peels when kept too dry, break down rather slowly in old school compost heaps so she did a project! she filled a box with citrus peels and put in some worms,the worms died!! WOW there's a FACT. now fill a box with ground cloves, put a human in it.hmm or black pepper, hmmm how about SALT? it was not citrus peels that killed the worms ,it was the schoolgirl. and now we have a FACT to put on the internet ;Citrus Kills Worms!!!Ta DA! funny I have fed a ton of citrus to my worms ,and they smile up and ask for more! fact of fantasy ?

    So Zero waste?remember Re-cycle Town??ask Brian Belardie (west coast metals) what ever happened to that part of the devolution of Sonoma County .I have been watching a lot of things get WORSE here, Not a popular habit, one is supposed to paraise all the do gooders for all the good dining first and then Maybe beg for your little change. Praise to Green Mary! ... Rick Kaye (Compost Will Bax ! ... My friend Ellen..Who had done a lot with feasibility studies and any others that I have missed.

    I have also seen many compost systems come down at schools environmental centers ,due to inept management policies. Want to see food grow big and strong and healthy? grow it in your own local compost. Oakland Berkeley and san francisco have Creative re-use centers ,here we have failed diversion programs at the dumps. Realtors and big land owners do maintain hundreds of EMPTY BUILDINGS however ,that must be useful somehow financially. what do they say,,it's a FREE COUNTRY!
    as I see it we live an a time when the bumper sticker is yet to be coined.
    hey "things CAN be getting better,they CAN,",says the Lorax!
    Last edited by Barry; 01-12-2018 at 02:34 PM.
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  5. TopTop #3
    eyemusic's Avatar

    Re: Bottom Line: It Costs More If We Donít Recycle By Occupy Sonoma County

    One way to decrease one's waste removal costs is to request a smaller waste container and make a more concerted effort to recycle and compost so less goes into the black "landfill" container. Paying attention to one's purchase habits to minimize packaging can eliminate lots of "waste."

    With Recology there will be increased options for recycling more discards than with Ratto who had minimal (if any) interest in running an ecological operation. It's impressive what Recology does in San Francisco -- I know from years of personal experience. They even sponsor Artist-in-Residences at their recycling and waste facility enabling artists to have access to various materials for creative projects.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-12-2018 at 01:35 PM.
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  7. TopTop #4
    ChefJayTay's Avatar

    Re: Bottom Line: It Costs More If We Donít Recycle By Occupy Sonoma County

    I'm sorry.
    No it's not money or death of the planet. It's not that simple.
    I'm all for recycling, if it was ever properly implemented by our government. It has never been, and is arguably more failed than ever with the collapse of recycled raw material rates.
    In reality, that blue bin just makes you feel better.

    If our government was actually serious about tackling plastics and recycling issues, it would be pouring money into the studies of bacteria (and now wax worms!) known to consume plastics or perhaps implementing advanced sorting techniques being used by the AG industry...
    That is... Instead of asinine laws banning bags.

    However, if our local governments just keep handing contracts to companies, thereby refusing to allow competition into the marketplace... What's is the trash company's incentive to care anyways?

    Edit: tense/grammar
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