Chicoans see something rotten in trash hauling changes






Chico >> It is quite clear how many Chicoans feel about the city’s possible waste hauling franchise agreement: It stinks.

Frustrated and disgruntled home and property owners said the agreement will eliminate free market choice and drastically increase monthly expenses. Some feel it is a back-door cash grab and that they weren’t properly informed – or asked for input – before decisions were made.

While it isn’t a done deal yet, the way waste is collected in Chico looks likely to change. The City Council decided in March to pursue an ordinance implementing a solid waste and recycling franchise agreement with Recology and Waste Management, which would create a zoned system that eliminates everybody’s choice of collector.

The original start date was set for July 1, but has been changed to this fall, around August or September. The vote to move forward was 5-2, with Councilors Karl Ory and Mark Sorensen against.

From the city’s perspective, the agreement helps everybody meet state recycling and waste standards, creates standardized rates and brings an additional $800,000 to the general fund annually during the 12-year contract.

The general fund, among other things, pays for police, fire, roads and parks. Roads and parks are currently a giant, underfunded concern.

The council will review the agreement with Recology and Waste Management at the next city council meeting on June 6.

Grievances

Many people are concerned about rate increases and a lack of choice…

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