First published in the Nov. 12 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
Jean and Tom Stapleton want municipal services to remain at current rates.
Their plea to halt the proposed increase in solid waste disposal fees ignores the reality behind the need for increased rates.
The debate about the proposed increase should not be about whether to increase fees, but instead should be about how much the fees need to rise, or what changes or reductions in services would be acceptable in order to maintain current rates or limit the rate increases.
Here are two reasons why the solid waste disposal costs will continue to rise: First, the cost of diesel fuel for the fleet of trash trucks has risen in the 12 years since the last increase and is unlikely to ever return to the 2010 level. Second, the City Council recently voted unanimously to close the Scholl Canyon landfill by 2025. That’s only two years away.
Some likely consequences of the landfill closure include higher fuel costs since the trash trucks will have to travel further to deposit trash in a different landfill, the need to purchase and operate additional trucks to maintain existing routes and schedules while driving longer to haul trash further away, higher labor costs for the additional drivers that will be needed, higher tipping fees at a different landfill and reduced revenue from tipping fees no longer collected at Scholl Canyon.
Rather than merely protesting the proposed fee increase, perhaps residents might offer suggestions for holding costs down. Would biweekly trash collection be acceptable to Glendale residents living in single family residences?