Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let's all get together and protest this Recology rate increase

I know what you're saying: Oh God, not this again.  He's going to go on about recycling poachers again, like he does over and over and over.  It's true!  It's one of my Personal Obsessions.  No, seriously, it bothers me for a couple of legitimate reasons: (1) Every Monday night, there's constant noise outside my window as these little fucking shits systematically empty every single recycling bin in my neighborhood, and (2) they're not especially careful about it, so a lot of extraneous paper and shit gets taken out of the cans and scattered about, increasing the Net Dirtiness Factor of me neighborhood.  Also, some of it is Purely Irrational Hate at this point.  You can talk to my former shrink about that; he could probably explain it better than I could.

But now we have an opportunity to do something pointless and futile about it!  As you may or may not know, Recology is seeking a 21.51% rate increase, which would mean an increase of around $7 for most people.  If you're a renter, you probably don't pay for garbage and don't give a shit about this.  BUT BUT BUT even if you're a renter, you still get to protest this and at least bitch about recycling poachers in the process.  HERE'S HOW.

You can write a letter!  The Department of Public Works is having a hearing on Friday, June 13, to consider written protests.  Here's your chance to bitch about this. Send your angry-ish, but not crazy-sounding, letter to:

Refuse Collection Rate Hearing Officer
c/o Department of Public Works
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 348
San Francisco, CA 94102

Here's what you might say: "I hear that Recology is trying to raise their rates.  Presumably they're doing this because they need more money.  I've got a great idea!  They're losing a huge potential revenue stream to recycling thieves every year.  Instead of raising rates on their customers, how about taking some simple steps to combat this problem?  One solution might be locking recycling bins.  The City of Pasadena managed to do this for only $1.34 per month.  If Pasadena can do it, certainly San Francisco can, no?  What, is Pasadena better than us?  If that's what Recology thinks, why don't they just move to Pasadena then?"

No, wait, I got a little carried away.  Delete those last two sentences.  Jazz it up however you want, but remember:  "Each protest must identify the subject premises (by street address or refuse collection account number) and include the signature of the customer submitting the protest."  So put your address on it and sign it.

Now, if we can just get you and everyone you know and everybody else in this godforsaken city to do this, we'll get somewhere.  This is never going to work.  Never mind.


generic said...

It's almost as though monopolies produce poor outcomes for consumers.

GG said...

Meh, this sounds like a pretty reasonable increase in the context of past rates. And I'd rather have them keep encouraging recycling/composting than pull back on those initiatives for fear it will cut into profits. BTW, as for Pasadena's locking bins, I've definitely seen locked bins in SF -- maybe all you need to do is request one?

Tamagosan said...

This was going around on the Glen Park list but I didn't really follow it (something about how you can opt out? I'm I making that up?), especially since the GP recycling poachers are pretty neat and seem more concerned about beer bottles than stealing my identity. SO FAR.

When you give away recycling and compost services for free, and encourage people to divert all their garbage there, it's tough to find a way to monetize I guess. I like having this problem in a way. It's kind of like the cigarette taxes, but that's probably about Freedoms, too.

In any case, I think @generic said it best.

Annie said...

I've never cared much about the poachers until a few weeks ago when my neighbor called the cops on me for neatly placing a measly amount of compost in her bin that was already out on the curb. Certainly one of the most "san francisco" things to happen to me yet.

What really ticked me off though was that as two officers lectured me about the fraud (wtf?) charges I could face for tampering with my neighbors' bins, a loan poacher began clattering about at the other end of the block! Talk about a broken system. Good grief!

Tamagosan said...

Oh I can just IMAGINE TK's brain as he reads that, Annie!!!

TK said...

Annie -

Yeah, I've seen cops literally stare at the poachers on my block and then drive away. Something to look at when you're stopped at the light, anyway!

I can't believe they would bother speaking to you about putting something in a bin, though. Amazing.

T - My brain looked like this.

GG said...

So after I saw some locking bins on my walk yesterday, I decided to do some follow-up on this, and was going to e-mail Recology to ask them about how to get a locking bin, but the "contact us" on their website is a broken link... which says a lot about them. Sigh.

Another option is to do what we do, which is to put the bins behind a locked gate, and give them a key for access.

TK said...

GG - We looked into putting our bins into our (locked) breezeway but it's expensive, and it doesn't solve the problem unless everyone does it. The noise and the mess are neighborhood-wide, not just us. So yeah, Recology would have to put everyone on a locked-bin system, which will never happen.

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