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Old 06-13-2008, 04:38 PM
 
Location: St. Anthony Park
3 posts, read 9,251 times
Reputation: 10

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I live in St. Paul. I moved from South Minneapolis in 2006.
In South Minneapolis, we had ONE garbage hauler who came ONCE a week, the same day as recycling.

After I moved to St. Paul, I was shocked to find that no less than 5 different garbage haulers come into our nighborhood each week because everyone is free to choose whoever they want.

We just selected the hauler that the sellers of our house used, partly because we had so many other things to do at that time, it was just the easiest. But they don't come on the same day as the recycling, which is kind of a pain.

I'm mostly concerned about the environmental impact of having all of these different haulers coming in as opposed to one - not to speak of the noise and damage to the streets and the eye sore of having garbage out there by the street every day of the week (we don't have alleys on my street).

I also miss the Minneapolis City haulers (although I've heard it's changed) because they would take just about anything you put out there and it was a fixed charged lumped in with the water and sewage (I think).

I've talked to some of my neighbors who are "connected" somewhat with the city of St. Paul and they say, there's no way that St. Paul is going to get involved with this issue.

I heard a guy in "tangle town" did something about this and I'm about to follow in his footsteps. I just thought I'd put this out on this forum (which I just discovered by chance) and see what kind of responses I would get.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 6,002,330 times
Reputation: 958
Most people see freedom of choice as a good thing.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:24 PM
 
701 posts, read 1,595,377 times
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I love the Minneapolis trash system!

How about trying to negotiate a group rate for your neighborhood? If people get a deal financially and it cuts down on trash traffic you may get a lot of your neighbors to sign up and all go with the same hauler.
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:01 PM
 
Location: St. Anthony Park
3 posts, read 9,251 times
Reputation: 10
Freedom of choice is a great thing. But there is a great cost to such freedom of choice. You can carry the freedom of choice thing to smoking in restaurants and blowing second hand smoke in people's faces. Also, do we all want to hire our own police and electric company? I think there's an argument for not privatizing certain things and there's a place for the free market. There is a very serious environmental crisis at hand, so having 6 different haulers coming into the same block is nuts.
No one's going to force anyone to choose a certain garbage hauler. So the freedom of choice will still be there. However, the suggestion that we get together and reduce the traffic of garbage truck coming in and out of here and, at the same time, get a better rate, is a good one - thank you.

So, the Minneapolis system is still great? I'm glad because it was great when I lived there. I guess one can't have everything. I love my Saint Paul neighborhood. But the garbage thing is just crazy.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:16 AM
 
82 posts, read 353,909 times
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I worked for the phone company for several years and can't even estimate how many times I heard people complain about all the different phone companies and competition and you could have onc company as your local phone company and another for long distance, and you'd never know what company your speaking too and blah blah blah, how it was so much better when "old ma bell" just did everything. Well, see, the reason ma bell bit the dust is because people complained about a monopoly and how it wasn't fair to consumers not to have a choice, so ma broke off into baby bells, so people would have choices and companies would have to compete by one upping eachother, which benefitted the consumer because it was all about pleasing them. Hmmm. I guess the grass is always greener.

Anyway, I like the idea of competition, but you are right, with the impact on the environment. Squeaky wheels get greased, talk to your neighbors, as someone else mentioned, see if you can negotiate an area rate. I live in Hawaii and the garbage is picked up 2 times a week! Our can is hardly even half full with a family of 5!!! The worst part, it is FREE!! I say worst part because, as I am a bit of a greeny, it encourages people to throw everything away. The cost of water is very very high, so people buy bottled water, and use disposable dishes to avoid using their own water. We are on an island, folks. Not to mention the gas involved. If it were up to me, we would have to pay for our trash by the pound, and get discounts for turning in our recycling.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,698,621 times
Reputation: 3975
Quote:
Originally Posted by llabwons View Post
After I moved to St. Paul, I was shocked to find that no less than 5 different garbage haulers come into our nighborhood each week because everyone is free to choose whoever they want.
While we're not in the same part of the country anymore, we have a similar situation here in our Atlanta subdivision. One company (a smaller local one) seems to be the most popular, but there are at least three others which come in on various days. It doesn't seem to be a problem, though.

Quote:
I'm mostly concerned about the environmental impact of having all of these different haulers coming in as opposed to one - not to speak of the noise and damage to the streets and the eye sore of having garbage out there by the street every day of the week (we don't have alleys on my street).
The noise concern I can understand, although the garbage trucks down here seem to come only during the day (ours comes once a week around 10:30am). I'm not really sure why street damage would be an issue?

Anyway -- our HOA has asked for quotes at least once from the various trash haulers to see if we could get some sort of group rate for our association, but so far a consensus hasn't been reached. I guess I don't see much difference, though, between having one and many, and I think it's nice to have a choice of providers (the first one we went with really messed things up and were also fairly inflexible about what they would take, so we've learned that not all garbage companies are the same, at least down here).
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:31 AM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 6,002,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taysantanamama View Post
If it were up to me, we would have to pay for our trash by the pound, and get discounts for turning in our recycling.
That would probably just cause more people to burn their garbage.
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: St. Anthony Park
3 posts, read 9,251 times
Reputation: 10
In this economy, I'm against increasing the cost of anything. Regarding the phone company comparison, it's a very interesting study. That is, to regulate or not to regulate or to privatize or to keep public. I don't think there is one simple answer for every thing. Each service or utility has to be analyzed separately. For example, would anyone like to leave it up to each individual household who takes care of fires? It appears that in general, most people agree to keep this a "public" service, to pool our funds and have the best equipment and people we can afford for this particular service, rather than have each person hire there own fireman. Yes, I know the arguments against government involvement and government regulation. But, without some sort of regulation, everyone would be "free" to do whatever they want.
That would include firing guns in the air (or at people) and going to the bathroom in their front yard. In general, we live in a free market society. But again and again, businesses and individuals have demonstrated that, if left up to their own devices, will take short cuts to increase their bottom line at the expense of the general public and/or the environment.

I'm not home during the day either, so I don't hear all the noise from the trucks coming in during the weekdays. But, the environmental impact of one versus many big trucks coming in during the week is simple math.

Rather than argue this point on this really great forum (glad I found it), I should be looking at the package my neighbor gave me. It includes materials from a guy who organized and accomplished the change to which I'm referring in a nearby neighborhood.

I hesitate, to go around and ask all my neighbors to try and come to a consensus on this. I know a number of them could not be bothered and will begin to perceive me as a nuisance with too much time on his hands. But, we are living in a critical time.
This global warming thing is no joke. Seeing "Iron Man" last night gave me hope that
someone will develop a tiny environmentally friendly generator that will provide an abundance of clean energy to power vehicles and whatever else needs power.
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:00 PM
 
6,480 posts, read 15,659,773 times
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llabwons-- I agree. Before moving to St Paul, I had lived in many different towns, cities and suburbs in 5 different states. None of them was without municipal garbage pick up. I was particularly surprised about St Paul, since MN as a state has more of a Northern European collectivist heritage than most states (ever hear of the St Paul District Heating System?). Also, St Paul has a strong labor union history. It's hard to believe the municipal unions would've allowed this to happen. I'd be curious to know from any old timers around here who know how individually arranged, private garbage collection came to be.

Same deal with alley plowing. The city plows the streets, but the property owners have to make their own arrangements. Also, when I lived in Rochester NY, the city would plow the sidewalks as well as the streets. Sometimes, our sidewalks would get plowed before our streets would! I wonder why in MN, which also gets lots of snow, the municipalities don't plow the sidewalks and alleys too?
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,698,621 times
Reputation: 3975
Quote:
Originally Posted by llabwons View Post
I'm not home during the day either, so I don't hear all the noise from the trucks coming in during the weekdays. But, the environmental impact of one versus many big trucks coming in during the week is simple math.
True, but the difference between one and five trucks driving through once a week doesn't matter very much when compared to the automobile traffic in the same area, I'd bet.

A comparison of two negligible quantities ceases to be meaningful if the two are small enough.
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