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« Things to do in GSO | Main | Seems like old times »

Jun 23, 2011

Comments

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Ron

Not sure if this is legally possible but what if the judge ruled that the city could not open up the landfill under existing permits because of pending litigation? Even if council scrambled to get this landfill up and running I think the 15 year contract is out the door.

Joe Guarino

Ron, the judge quite obviously and intentionally did not make that ruling. He said certain portions of the landfill are currently permitted and are to be considered "existing landfills", not a new landfill. That has legal significance.

Ed, I have responded to your concerns over at my place.

Ron

Joe the question is what kind of contract would this be? It certainly would not be a long term contract. This by no means is a done deal for supporters of opening the White Street landfill. A lot of things can happen between now and November.

Joe Guarino

I don't know what the term would be. Perhaps they might elect to initiate a 5-year contract that is annually renewable with the consent of both parties. I guess we shall see in the event that the RFP produces any interested vendors.

Joe Guarino

Another alternative could be a longer term contract that provides that the city will, in good faith, pursue permitting for sloping and/or a liner as needed to enable expanded capacity. It could also stipulate the longer-term contract would terminate if the existing landfill reaches capacity.

Billy Jones

The problem for landfill supporters is that a shorted term contract simply wouldn't be profitable for the companies bidding on the landfill because they simply haven't ample equipment sitting around and doing nothing, and will have to buy $Millions in new trucks and other necessary equipment. 1 truck and trailer equals $125,000.oo. One tub grinder equals $900,000.oo.

But, if City Council would get there heads out of their collective asses this could be the best thing that could happen for most landfill supporters.

There is nothing other than City Council that is stopping the City from reopening the landfill to municipal waste. Not a court order-- nothing! The city does own the necessary equipment and much of said equipment is just sitting around doing nothing most of the time. And we-the-taxpayers are paying to keep that equipment idle. No one even knows what that is costing us and no one is going to tell.

A shorter term contract means private companies won't be interested as there's simply no way to turn a profit in a short period of time.

As for garbage from outside of Greensboro: While I believe every community should deal with its own waste, from a bottom line perspective, OPG (Other People's Garbage) would be a huge money maker for the City of Greensboro.

Finally, as I've argued before: Why are landfill supporters and landfill opponents trying their damdest to give away the gold when new technologies and landfill mining are both on the technological horizon? Greensboro has a responsibility to deal with Greensboro's waste and not ship it off to other communities and the only reason private companies are interested in control of the landfill is because they know the gold is there.

If it weren't for getting arrested I would already be at the end of White Street digging holes and staking my claim, laughing all the while lunatic supporters and opponents argue about the best way to give away $Millions!

As Bugs Buddy used to say, "What a bunch of maroons?"

Kim

Go Billy!

Roch101

I sure would like to see the costs of the city doing it themselves. Just so, you know, we'd be making a completely informed opinion and can say we've explored all the options. I'm not sure why that's not in the mix.

Roch101

ugh, "a completely informed decision" is what my brain was trying to convey to my fingers.

Ron

Sure the city could do it. But the motive of the majority of council is to have a private company in a long term contract take it over so closing it again can't easily be reversed by a new city council.

Billy Jones

Roch wrote: "I'm not sure why that's not in the mix."

See below.

Ron wrote: "Sure the city could do it. But the motive of the majority of council is to have a private company in a long term contract take it over so closing it again can't easily be reversed by a new city council."

Almost but no cigar. The real motive for Council to turn the landfill over the private companies is commonly called "campaign contributions." I call it graft and bribery. 15 years is a lot of campaign contributions.

Roch101

Ron, I have my big fat cynical streak, but really? Why would such a motive, if it existed, trump finding the most cost savings? I could see "We've found the most cost effective means of trash disposal, let's lock it in," But, "Let's lock in a more expensive option because..." well, I'm having a hard time finishing that sentence.

Joe Guarino

Yes, if the city were to run the landfill, that could be changed at an instant via political manipulation if the composition of the city council were to change-- regardless of the merits.

I am hopeful that a private vendor could operate the landfill better than the city can. They can be held accountable in a manner to minimize neighborhood complaints.

Let's remember that northeast Greensboro had many complaints with respect to how the city managed the landfill operation in the past. Otherwise there would have been no reason to push to close it to residential trash.

And Waste Industries, for instance, seems to have a good reputation managing landfills.

Billy Jones

Joe, your argument simply doesn't hold water nor does it reflect a good grasp of East Greensboro politics-- a place where I just happen to live.

For starters: Contracts are always made to be broken. Every Council for the rest of our lives is going to have a White Street Landfill fight-- count on it. The opponents will fight it 'til they die, they've got lots of people throwing money at lawyers on their behalf and that money rolls in from all over the nation, not just East Greensboro. That's why it was framed as a black vs white issue in the first place. East Greensboro was 90% white when White Street was opened. The core opponents are in it for the money and won't stop as long as the checks keep coming in.

No matter who runs the landfill, if the composition of the city council were to change the status of the landfill could change-- regardless of the merits.

As to the management of the landfill, Private contractors are less likely to manage environmental issues as well as the city. The people in charge of the White Street Landfill are the very instructors who teach landfill management to public and private waste contractors and their employees. They taught the very classes and signed the very waste management certifications I currently hold. No one is better qualified.

Waste Industries has a good reputation managing landfills but according to the EPA and NCDNR (the people who know) the current White Street staff is better.

If Council will reopen to municipal waste under city management, White Street might stay open. Landfill mining and high tech waste disposal options would bring many high paying jobs to East Greensboro and take the wind from the sails of opponents. People with good paying jobs in waste aren't going to vote against their own jobs. But if Council attempts to sign a 3rd party the battle will never end. That's why I've tried to make people understand the value of what's buried there and what will be hauled there or anywhere else.

Ed Cone

Long-term lock-in with a vendor seemed essential to the deal; we'll see how that plays out. The issue of GSO-only trash has not been discussed adequately in public, so we don't know how important that is -- potentially, very, and certainly worthy of public discussion.

So some major factors may have changed here.

A shorter-term deal, limited to local garbage, may have been a better proposal all along. Not comparing costs to city-run services still seems irresponsible, though.

Billy Jones

"Not comparing costs to city-run services still seems irresponsible, though."

Pretty much SOP for Council.

David Hoggard

Prediction:

If a contract is signed with a private contractor before November's election, those Council members who voted for it will be in the fight of their lives to get re-elected and Mayor Knight is automatically kaput.

Rakestraw and Wade might be safe due to the makeup of their districts, but Thompson will be insuring himself of a single term with a vote to re-open like the Mayor

Billy had it right above: Those who don't understand East Greensboro politics (I live there, too) will pay for their dismissive ignorance. East Greensboro slept through the last election, but is wide awake now.

Bubba

"....but Thompson will be insuring himself of a single term with a vote to re-open like the Mayor."

And it's political wisdom like that that helped you get elected, right?

Oh, wait......

David Hoggard

Bob, you are such an ass.

Billy Jones

David wrote: "Bob, you are such an ass."

Like my dear old Daddy always tole me, a man should do what he's good at.

Ron

David, Rakestraw might have a difficult time getting re-elected. Remember last election she almost lost and since she pissed off residents with here marymandering scheme, she could be gone along with Knight and Thompson. Voting to open White Street could hurt her in a tight election because I do recall a number of people who spoke at the council meetings opposed to opening the landfill were in her district. But I can almost say with certainty that Knight and Thompson are gone because they are at-large council members.

Bubba

"Like my dear old Daddy always tole me, a man should do what he's good at."

Yes, Hoggard is quite good at being politically irrelevant, isn't he?

Bubba

"But I can almost say with certainty that Knight and Thompson are gone because they are at-large council members"

Wow! ANOTHER

Pray tell us how you "can almost say with certainty that Knight and Thompson are gone because they are at-large council members"?

Ed Cone

Please focus comments more on ideas and issues, and less on other commenters. Thanks.

Bubba

"But I can almost say with certainty that Knight and Thompson are gone because they are at-large council members"

Wow! ANOTHER member of the Hoggard School of Political Wisdom!

Pray tell us how you "can almost say with certainty that Knight and Thompson are gone because they are at-large council members"?

Joe Guarino

Billy, I asked over at my place, but I will repeat here. Are you suggesting that the east Greensboro crowd was lying when it has complained about the manner in which the city previously managed the landfill? Let's remember once again-- the rats, the odors, the trucks barreling through neighborhoods...

Billy Jones

Joe asked: "Are you suggesting that the east Greensboro crowd was lying when it has complained about the manner in which the city previously managed the landfill? Let's remember once again-- the rats, the odors, the trucks barreling through neighborhoods..."

The East Greensboro crowd was for the most part fooled. The smells they complained about came not from the landfill but from the Wastewater treatment plant discharge that is piped upstream to the landfill.

The trucks were an issue but under the new plan will be non issue because the entrance is to be moved to Cone Blvd at a cost said to be $8 Million to be paid by taxpayers.

As for rats-- White Street has been closed to municipal waste for years and yet the rats remain because most area residents do nothing to get rid of them. I put out rat poison every week just like my Daddy did for 50 years and the rats keep coming back. I can only afford to bait one yard and house, not the entirety of East Greensboro. Rats prefer living where people live, the residents of East Greensboro need to do their part.

Besides, I've personally seen giant wharf rats in Latham Park.

This landfill battle is what it is because too many on both sides are ignorant of the facts.

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