Dayton Trash Fees going up: Commission thinks DOH! is an answer.

Anytime you see “emergency ordinance” take a second look. Most of the time it means either: the commission is made up of idiots who didn’t see something coming, or they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. In this case- both.

And, it’s our first Gary Leitzell no vote- with no real solution to the problem offered (of which I’ll provide- because I’m not an idiot). From the DDN:

City of Dayton trash customers will pay more for the service beginning with their April bills.

In a four-to-one vote, City Commissioners Dean Lovelace, Joey Williams, Nan Whaley and Matt Joseph pushed through an emergency ordinance raising annual waste collection fees from $91 to $113, beginning with April bills. The rate increase will generate $1.3 million annually for the city.

“Without that increase, we would have to make further budget cuts,” said City Manager Tim Riordan, adding staff proposed the increase in November as a way to balance the 2010 budget.

Mayor Gary Leitzell said he could not vote for an ordinance that both increased the cost to residents and decreased service. Dayton customers will still have trash pick-up once a week, but bulk waste pick-up goes from twice per month to once.

“I think we need to look at alternative ways of saving money,” Leitzell said.

The mayor suggested the city explore ways to reduce tipping fees paid to Montgomery County for dumping trash and recyclables.

In 2008, Dayton paid $38.25 per ton for trash disposal, or about $2.36 million for the year. Tipping fees for recyclables cost much less at $14 per ton or about $31,864 per year.

“Recycling cost less. The goal, in terms of a long-range budget solution, is to get more people to recycle,” Whaley said. “I know it’s hard for all of us to do these kinds of things, but it is part of governing.”

Whaley and Williams both said Leitzell’s suggestion should be researched, but said the reality of the mayor’s solution is that it would not generate enough money to prevent a budget shortfall.

About 27 percent of Dayton’s residents recycle, but only account for about 3 percent of the city’s waste stream. To generate the desired $1.3 million, recycling would have to make up 88 percent of the city’s waste steam.

via Trash collection fees going up in Dayton.

Trash and Recycling Bins in Savannah are equal sizes

Dayton provides two different sized trash bins. And, the size of the bins is the first indication of which has more importance. Take a look at Savannah GA bins in the photo at right- see a difference?

We get what we ask for- little recycle bins- collected every other week- and you get less recycling.

Secondly- in Ontario Canada they give you the bins for free- but, won’t pick up unless it’s in a trash bag you pay for. You pay big bucks for the ones to hold trash- and the recycling bags are FREE! It’s pay as you go trash bills- and forces people to feel the pain of not recycling.

Solves part of Dayton’s problem. Of course now that we’ve finally stopped the insane practice of paying trashmen double time to work holidays- maybe we can also start looking to making them put in a full 8 hour day every day?

We’ve cut the number of public trash containers in parks- which leads to bigger messes and a less pretty city. We’ve cut back the number of hours we sweep streets (ineffectively- since we don’t move cars first) increasing our costs of cleaning out catch basins and road repair. Maybe if the trash collectors put in a full day keeping our city clean- citizens wouldn’t have to waste their time picking up trash on alley sweeps- and could spend time working on other things to make our city beautiful.

Just voting no doesn’t get it Mayor Leitzell. Let’s see some ideas.

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37 Responses

  1. Drexel Dave Sparks February 7, 2010 / 12:15 pm
    Once again Esrati takes one step forward with a good idea and example of somewhere else implementing said idea, but takes two steps backward by labeling those who didn’t have a solution as idiots.
  2. Karri O February 7, 2010 / 1:13 pm
    Oh, how I miss LA every week when I take out the trash :)
    A large recycling dumpster (even for paper and cardboard, not just cans and bottles), an even larger “yard waste” dumpster for grass and leaves, and a regular size trash can – all collected weekly.
    How sad that when my dad came to visit and dumped a bunch of regular trash into the recycling, I could easily explain it to the very polite LA garbage collectors.  Dad’s from Dayton – he doesn’t know what recycling is.
    Esrati points out some good examples of established programs which work, but does not really address the issue the city will use to shoot down any such program – initial cost.  Bags and bins are not free.
    I would happily pay for my own larger recycling bin – with a lid to keep out the animals – and a green bin.  Many people I know would as well.  Make having a larger bin a pay option to start – no extra monthly costs, just a one time equipment fee of about $150.00 which could be reimbursed to the customer over future bills or as a tax credit as the city saves on dump fees.  Make it a requirement for owners of rental properties and for businesses to provide and use the larger recycling bins.
    No major startup costs for the city, long term financial and ecological benefits for all.
    Dayton is broke as a joke.  We all want change, but need to be able to come up with solutions that take into account that very real fact.
     
  3. Gene February 7, 2010 / 1:28 pm
    I think it is funny that he never considered the cost of his “solution.” Big deal you have a solution – IT WILL COST MORE, therefore it ain’t much of a solution. I am all for more recycling, evenif it cost more. But just saying “here’s how you do it” and not really explaining it will cost more if more typical Esrati.

    Also funny is how he equates the size of bin to importance – here is a GD thought folks – stop buying shit that has packaging and then there is no need for regular trash or recycled trash. Buy a keg-a-rator and buy draft beer, drink city water, don’t drink pop – rather drink tea. Buy fresh fruit, vegetables and the like – no packaging.

    This is kind of like our “oil” problem. Liberals want to solve it with trains, why not “rethink” how to travel and transport items altogether. Lets start making more stuff locally and we will have little need to import from other cities/states/countries. Or better yet, stop buying stuff you don’t need. I-pod, J-pod, My-Pod, this and that. Or is this typical liberal bable all over again, which is “you should change…. but I need these things…” You know, the Al Gore “I can fly alone, but people should stop traveling.”

    Let’s rethink trash, not rethink how to collect it.

  4. SheliaO February 7, 2010 / 2:15 pm
    The city of Dayton spending less on services is no surprise.  I remember when bulk pick up was a call ahead service.  Why did it change?  Obviously not to actually collect more waste, there are piles of bulk waste all over my neighborhood that have been there for over two months.  Even the twice a month pick up wouldn’t work when the trash drivers failed to do their jobs.  I have worked in the trash industry in the past and I know it is a thankless job for the residential drivers, but in the city of Dayton, the drivers of these routes have it pretty easy in comparison to the subscription service providers in the ‘burbs.  All I can do is my best to recycle everything I can, which I do.  I would love a larger recycle bin outside to match the size of my sorting station inside.  Check the alley ways to see the results of the work done in the city.  Do I have a solution?  No, I’ll admit it freely, but here’s an idea: have all those city inspectors who are supposed to inspect the properties and only attack homeowners for repairs or cleanup and fines – make them look at the absentee landlords for the same things.  I would wager that would bring in some money, maybe it would actually pay the cost of keeping these people on the payroll and a reason for them to still have a job.
  5. Karri O February 7, 2010 / 2:50 pm
    Bulk waste pickup is still a call ahead service – they are just reducing when you can schedule a pickup from ANY regular trash day to a bi-weekly system, so maybe you’d have to wait a week.
    I’ve found that having an active city on craigslist.org has greatly reduced the amount of bulk wast I need picked up.  It’s amazing how many people want your free crap.
    Also, the inspectors ARE citing landlords for violations – it’s getting the landlords to pay and/or address the situation that is the big problem.  Even with multiple violations it takes years and money to take over these problem properties, which are often in such bad shape that no one (except other absentee landlords) want them.   Hopefully, some of the money the city received from the stimulus package to tear down some of the worst apartments/homes will actually be spent doing just that.
  6. Gene February 7, 2010 / 3:54 pm
    Maybe to save us from our own spending habits we should have trash pick up every other week. Less trash collection would hopefully lead people to buy less crap. They could cut cost that way, charge us less, and we all win. My trash, most weeks, is a third full at best. There are 8 out of 12 months I bet I could get it once a month. The other 4 months I could use it twice per month. Charge by weight, but then we would have every Dayton redneck filling up other people’s trash bins. Or we could all out our trash on porches in SPark…..

    And the recycle program is helped by all those guys who sift through the trash for cans…. that should be less overall waste for them, no?

  7. SheliaO February 7, 2010 / 4:37 pm
    I’m not talking about taking over problem properties – I’m talking about making the current owners responsible for them.  If it takes so long for the absentee landlords to be held accountable then the system that proctects them should be changed to make them on equal ground with owner occupied homes.  The city has ordinances and as an actual resident of the city currently, it really doesn’t appear that anything ever happens to help the situation.
  8. Gene February 7, 2010 / 4:47 pm
    This Dayton SheliaO…. people don’t care. Especially landlords, aka slumlords.

    Dayton is dirty. The actual “Downtown” area is nice and relatively People who live in cities, especially like Dayton, are poor and have no manner. Some people do, but a lot don’t. We all know this… these people make our neiborhoods look like crap, and they don’t care. I am not railing on anyone, but standards in the city are way different than say…. Springboro or Oakwood or Washington Township. That is just a fact.

  9. Karri O February 7, 2010 / 5:59 pm
    Sheila – I agree it would be prudent to change the system, but the standards ARE the same for owner-occupied and non-owner occupied homes.   It’s just that some landlords just don’t care – they rack up fines and unpaid property tax bills while collecting rents from tenants who often have nowhere else to go.
    One can form an “investment corporation” and can buy a single family home for $5000 – entirely possible in some of our neighborhoods – and stick in a tenant paying $400 a month.  It’s possible to collect several thousand in rents over and above the purchase price and not pay a dime in property taxes or maintenance to the property before FINALLY the city can take back the building on a tax lien years later.  Do the “owners” care?  Not a bit!  They dissolve the business and move on to the next cheap property with a new corporation and a few grand in their pocket.
    The back taxes and fines?  Company’s bankrupt, sorry – but here you go, City of Dayton, have the house – and spend a few grand in legal fees to take over an unmaintained property, and a few more to either re-sell it (likely to another slumlord), raze it, or rehab it into low income housing (tens of thousands).
    I’d be interested in what you think would be an effective tool to make owners and investors be compliant.  Fines?  Liens?
    Look at the flip side of what you propose:  Let’s say the city can and would impose hefty fines for not maintaining property.    They get aggressive and really nail it to the banks (who own many foreclosures here and leave them to rot) and bad landlords.  How do they get these businesses to pay up?
    How do jacked up fines and harsher enforcement affect elderly or unemployed homeowners who just can’t afford to maintain the property like they used to?  Is a $500 “your house needs a paint job” fine going to do anything other than force them into foreclosure or a lien sale sooner?
    It’s a tough problem and Dayton faces it in numerous areas of town on a scale that we can only begin to imagine and which will likely only get worse in the near future.
    Gene’s also right –  the solution begins and ends with the people in the neighborhood.  I live in Grafton Hill and our neighborhood association is extremely aggressive in self-policing potential problem properties and businesses.  The homeowners and residents by and large do care about their properties and put a lot of pressure on those that do not.  It’s not perfect, but it working a heck of a lot better than sitting back and wondering when the CITY will do something.
     
     
  10. Karri O February 7, 2010 / 6:01 pm
    But in the short term, I’d really like a yard waste bin because you just cannot compost black walnut tree leaves and I’ve got about 19 million of them, and a recycling dumpster the squirrels would stay out of.
  11. Gary Leitzell February 7, 2010 / 11:37 pm
    David,
    Why don’t you go to the city website and view the first 15 minutes of the commission meeting to actually hear the discussion about this subject. You will learn that I did propose a solution. In fact it was reinforced in that discussion several times, that a solution was proposed. A solution similar to what you propose. You should really do a little more homework before you blanket label us as idiots. You might actually realize that the majority of your elected officials think along your lines on several issues. Always remember what I told you months ago. Attack ideas and not people. Your credibility and popularity will depend on it. You know, people actually respect what you do. They like the message, but they don’t like the delivery.
     
     
  12. Civil Servants Are People, Too February 8, 2010 / 3:01 am
    The benefit of so-called emergency legislation is so that A) you only have to read it during one meeting, instead of waiting a week just to read it again before they can vote on it, and
    B) it takes effect immediately instead of waiting another 30 days for it to become valid.
    Is it a true emergency in the sense that it was done late or haphazardly?   Usually not.   It’s just easier and more efficient to do it that way.    So to point a finger at that fact, is really like saying efficiency is bad.
    If it gets on the agenda, it’s already been reviewed by staff and management as the best available alternative on the table.    Often, staff has worked on the issue over a period of weeks or months. This is how many cities operate.
    I’m sure there are other solutions out there for this issue, but as noted above they will take time and money to implement them.  In the meantime, costs will generally rise.   In this case, the community was probably getting a discount (subsidy) which is no longer sustainable.
    Sooner or later, prices have to go up.
    You can’t buy a Coke for a nickle anymore, can you?
    Unfortunately, our society is falling behind the times.
  13. David Esrati February 8, 2010 / 8:59 am

    @CSAPT – The benefit of emergency ordinances is that the period for “public discussion” lasts between the first reading and the second reading- ie- about a minute. If the citizens aren’t aware in advance- no discussion. The process was built with a 30 day window for a reason. There is no discount to be taken on this issue- it’s a matter of the rule of P’s- Prior Planning Prevent Piss Poor Performance- and let’s avoid discussion all together.

    Please don’t make excuses for them using it in this case. As to being reviewed by staff and management- remember who you work for ultimately- US. We need time to review and digest too- without a full discussion being posted online- in advance- the citizens didn’t get a chance to weigh in.

    @ Mayor Leitzell- yep- I screwed up again by attacking people not the ideas. Sorry. As to going to the city website and reviewing the tape-I wish I had time to. If you’d provide a link- even better- but, honestly- I thought I’d see something about this on YOUR blog- with a discussion- well before the vote. Your last post is your swearing in. Jan 5. I thought I was voting for a voice of the people who would do a good job of staying in touch with us using the available technology.

    Please- be aware that the constant flow of “Emergency Ordinances” has been the status quo- it’s not the right way to do things. Don’t accept the BS from “staff” about the length of the process- it’s the process. Same goes for the proper way to go into executive session- they’ve broken those laws for years.

    I admire you for coming here and posting- and throwing my bs back at me.

    Keep it up-

    but, please do more to reform city hall to belong to the people- not the bureaucrats.

  14. djw February 8, 2010 / 10:36 am
    here is a GD thought folks – stop buying shit that has packaging and then there is no need for regular trash or recycled trash. Buy a keg-a-rator and buy draft beer, drink city water, don’t drink pop – rather drink tea. Buy fresh fruit, vegetables and the like – no packaging.

    Gene,

    Wishing people behaved differently than they do is not a solution to a public policy problem. You make public policy with the people you have, not the people you want.

    In the city I currently live in, I do what you want me to do–produce very little garbage by doing all the things you suggest (although I do own a dread I-pod). Like most people in my neighborhood, I also get to choose to have a tiny little garbage can, and therefore pay less because I have less garbage (we have about five different sizes to choose from, at different rates). I also have free, unlimited, weekly pickup recycling (and bi-weekly food/yard waste for about 2 dollars a month). You incentivize this kind of behavior and it becomes common. Yelling at people to live differently isn’t effective.

  15. Gene February 8, 2010 / 11:08 am
    You are right. Wishing people behaved diffrently is just that….. wishing.

    But you should not have to incentivize people to put actual trash in a trash can (huge problem in Dayton.) But incentivizing them to generate less trash is a great idea. But then again, if you did it in Dayton, the old r’neckers would just throw it in the yard or throw it in a bin that belongs to a productive person.

    But the biggest incentive to buy less is that one would have more money and less stress. Less clutter is a huge stress on a lot of Ameicans, both rich and poor. People who have less crap around are happier. Now I am sure someone will want me to quote some study, but I don’t have to…. interaction with friends and family has proven over the years that people who downsize their life and the crap in it are more happy and more productive than pack rats. I think most people would agree with that – well, except a lot of pack rats.

    That being said I think society would be better off, companies/businesses as well, if they would cut down or eliminate the potential for trash. I should be able to buy pasta buy the pound and put in a reusable container, but the groceries stores around here offer pasta in boxes and plastic bags. We can do better. Name almost any product and you will see wasteful packaging. Yes, I realize it “sells” items…. but the waste is unreal. That is why I buy stuff from other people on line – used stuff most often. It is not that I hate new, I love new. I hate the packaging and having to deal with the disposal of it, so I buy used. That’s just me though.

  16. David Lauri February 8, 2010 / 1:59 pm
    We’ve cut the number of public trash containers in parks
    At least we still have trash containers in parks.  Colorado Springs no longer does, and that’s among the least of their worries: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_14303473
  17. djw February 8, 2010 / 3:34 pm
    Colorado Springs is the end game of the modern conservative movement. Perhaps we can take a lesson from them.

    Gene, agree completely with your last post (well, except about the proclivities of Daytonians, but that’s beyond the scope of my knowledge. I’ll find out soon enough, since I’m moving to Dayton in about six months) 

  18. Gene February 8, 2010 / 5:45 pm
    Ok… Some neiborhoods are far worse than others, and only a few r’neck Daytonians need not particpate in proper trash maintenece for a neiborhood to go to heck in a basket held by one’s own hand.

    But I just have to say one thing. Why the heck are you moving to Dayton? Do you lose a bet?
    Actaully, Dayton is not that bad. Just have to ask people where to live, where to avoid. There are some nice areas…. where they are I don’t know :)

  19. djw February 8, 2010 / 6:51 pm
    Job. Our host is doing a good job of selling me on South Park….
  20. Gene February 8, 2010 / 7:07 pm
    SP is nice… may need to buy extra locks for the house, but…..

    I’m kidding. SP is just fine.

    Job? So your the person who got “the job” in Dayton… One job opening per year in Dayton, and you got it…. WOW..

  21. SheliaO February 8, 2010 / 10:17 pm
    I really get so tired of hearing how everyone in Dayton doesn’t care about the city or their neighborhood.  I certainly care about both.  I may seem to not know how much of anything works in the city politic but I have lived here all my life.  I have problems in the neighborhood with police answering any problem and I always get told by bystanders to use the resources available in the priority board.  I have been to the meetings and nothing ever gets done.  I guess I am just sick and tired of nothing getting done.  How do people bear the ineffectiveness that surounds us all?
  22. David Esrati February 8, 2010 / 10:35 pm

    @djw Happy to have you join us in South Park-

    My amazing neighbors of 10 years moved to Seattle a few years back to work for Microsoft-

    it’ll be nice to get someone back from the West Coast.

    If you have any questions about SP- please feel free to write me-

  23. Scott February 8, 2010 / 11:19 pm
    djw,
    If you’re moving to Dayton, I’d strongly suggest you give South Park a good look.  I’m the neighbor (apparently amazing!) who moved my family to Seattle for a job with Microsoft, and we miss the great house and great neighbors we had in SP.  We’re happy here, but our hearts will always be in South Park.
    One thing we don’t miss is the trash collection… Here in the Seattle suburbs we have a small garbage bin, a big recycling bin, and 2 big yard/food waste bins for our family of 5.  The garbage bin is seldom full, but the recycling bin and yard waste bins are often stuffed! 
  24. Bill Daniels February 8, 2010 / 11:31 pm
    djw,
    Whether you decide on South Park for your home or not, stop by the South Park Tavern the next time you come to town.  I’ll treat you to your first pizza and beverage of your choice.  Drop me a note and let me know when you’ll be stopping in, and welcome to Dayton.
    Bill Daniels, SP Tavern Owner
  25. Greg Hunter February 9, 2010 / 4:40 am
    Maybe to save us from our own spending habits we should have trash pick up every other week.

    Against the law for some very good public health issues i e the gestation time (7 days) for the FLY.  Now that only applies in the when the snow is not flying so you could arrange to discontinue trash service during the snow operations and utilize the garbage personnel to do snow removal and then continue garbage operations when feasible.  This type process would not endanger public health, nor would the lack of garbage collection fall on people unequally due the random nature of snow storms.

  26. Hall February 9, 2010 / 11:05 am
    The city will give you as many recycle bins as you want. I have (3) and easily fill (2) of them routinely (family of five).
     
    I do have a couple of comments regarding the recycling though. 1) Don’t bother separating it. They dump it all in a “garbage” truck for separation later. I thought they had a truck that was divided up and glass went in one section, aluminum cans in another, etc, etc. 2) One week I happened to be in the garage when the garbage truck was coming down the alley. I had my recycle bins out and overflowing. I asked if it was recycle week and they told me no… I cursed (not at them) because I’d gotten the pick-up week mixed up so now I’d have to go another week. They took my bins and dumped them in the garbage truck. Given the few people who probably do recycle, it really made no difference I’m sure.
  27. Gene February 9, 2010 / 11:46 am
    You are right Greg – all that trash from Taco Bell, KFC and Burger King can really attract the flies around trash bin. Dayton is famous for it’s fast food addiction. Arbys….. McDonalds….

    djw, South Park is nice, but don’t let them fool you. It is urban (which is fine.) Expect some urban problems, like trash in allies and people’s yard, for weeks and weeks. And punk kids as well. A little crime – afterall this is Dayton, home of the “Do-it-yourself” break-ins.

    If you want safe, and need good schools for kids, I suggest the suburbs. If you are single, or without kids (and don’t plan on having any) then I suggest South Park or Oregon District or actual Downtown (aka Centreal Business District.) We need people in the actual Downtown. The neiborhoods are doing well, but Downtown needs new blood from out of town.

  28. djw February 9, 2010 / 12:41 pm
    @Bill–thanks! I will definitely take you up on that. Your tap list warms this beer snob’s heart.

    @David, thanks, I may take you up on that.

    @Gene, I appreciate the warning, but I’m a pretty die-hard urbanite. I am considering the CBD as well. There seem to be a lot more rentals available.

  29. jstults February 9, 2010 / 6:23 pm
    David:

    Look at the size of those bins!

    Karri O:

    My bins used to be bigger.

    djw:

    My bins are huge!!  But I’m considering a bin reduction.

    Gene:

    Well, you wouldn’t need big bins if you were a prude like me.

    I can’t tell, is it bin-size envy or carbon theater?
    (sorry, I had to, Greg hasn’t been up to his usual double entendre lately)
     
    South Park is for wimps who want walk-able communities and trendy taverns with lots of good beer, the real action is in Grafton Hill, we’re getting a Dollar General!!

  30. David Lauri February 10, 2010 / 9:59 am
    South Park is for wimps who want walk-able communities and trendy taverns with lots of good beer, the real action is in Grafton Hill, we’re getting a Dollar General!!
    Doesn’t South Park already have a Dollar General in the old hardware store?
  31. David Esrati February 10, 2010 / 10:03 am

    @David L. Yep- we have a dollar store in the old Graeff Hardware. Not sure which flavor. My mom likes it though.

  32. Gene February 10, 2010 / 10:29 am
    South Park Tavern is trendy? WOW. If this is trandy for Dayton then I would love to know what is trandy in other cities….

    SPT is a local place the serves beer and pie. And I hope it ain’t a trend.

    Dollar stores and Dayton go hand in hand. In fact, the city should sell the rights to their name and become Dollar General Dayton… like the do with bowl games.

    Grafton Hill – a place anyone can get shot at……

  33. Greg Hunter February 10, 2010 / 10:57 am
    And I hope it ain’t a trend

    Hell yes its a trend.  No more steak and martinis after the ATM for the house ran out or the overtime at GM blew up.  Back to the Future!  Since we have great water and and excellent farming why do we not have a local Beer Making Business.  Combine Beer and Ethanol production and the future is ours!

  34. David Lauri February 10, 2010 / 11:55 am
    Grafton Hill – a place anyone can get shot at
    Eh, I live on Grafton Hill and I’ve never heard gunshots.  Wander over to the other side of Salem Avenue and you’ll hear some gunshots.
  35. Karri O February 10, 2010 / 1:12 pm
    Agreed, never have heard gunshots or been shot or shot at in Grafton Hill.    Once you’ve lived in a larger city, you do get more comfortable with the safety of your block vs the safety of the whole surrounding area idea.   Grafton Hill, like many of our historic districts, is not for everyone – just the cool people.
     
     
     
  36. Hudson Rush February 10, 2010 / 4:33 pm
    Once the old Rite Aid at Wayne/Wyoming becomes a Dollar General, Dayton will have the Wayne Ave “thrift strip”.  Within 7 or 8 blocks, we will have 3 different dollar store competitors.   Who needs competing retailers in this city?
     
    Now if we could just increase the check cashing joints on Wayne Ave…

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