Throwing Away Your Money Essay

2075 words - 8 pages

Section One
Residents may be throwing away more than trash when the city run garbage trucks collect their rubbish. Government run solid waste collection costs approximately twenty-five percent more than when a private contract company is utilized. (Teel 1993) The concept of privatizations of solid waste collection services is nothing new. This change from using government employees and government owned trucks and landfills to contracting with a private company for solid waste collection is a trend that is getting more attention lately. The move to privatization is usually driven by the desire for cost savings. (Hyres, 2010)
There is much debate over the quality of public versus private contracts of municipal services. The other branch of this debate is the cost benefits to taxpayers. One of these municipal services is solid waste collection. Waste services can be broken down into three areas, all of which are available to be contracted out to private companies. The stages are collection of solid waste from households and businesses, recycling (collection and processing), and disposal of non-recyclable products at landfills. (Wright & Nebel, 2002) There are costs incurred for each stage especially at the landfill. From the collection, to the sorting, to final disposal all of this ends up being a costly process for the taxpayer. In this economic climate, many cities are facing budget shortfalls and waste collection is getting close attention. Medina County is no exception, Medina is looking for ways to save, and more efficiently use taxpayer’s money. One viable option is to privatize garbage collection. The policy for solid waste management in Medina County needs to be amended from being a flow-control system managed by the local government, to private contract operators and stop force d flow-control.
Flow control systems are legal provisions that allow state and local governments to mandate the places where municipal solid waste is taken. Because of flow controls the designated facilities hold a monopoly over the controlled area. (Flow Control, 2008) In Medina County, all garbage is under flow control authority and the workers are county employees. Flow control ordinances require curbside garbage be taken to a specific disposal facility, this creates a monopoly with no competition from other companies bids, leaving the prices higher than necessary. (Barlas, 2007) Analysis from other cites show that contracting out solid waste management will create cost savings due to payroll, operation expenses, equipment, and eliminate environmental regulation headaches, (Spinner, 2006) Cities with fully contracted waste services have substantially lower average costs per household than cities with only a few or none of their services provided through contracts. Correspondingly, strong evidence exists that privatization cuts municipal costs and increases the quality of service to consumers. (Dachis, 2010)
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