Stop Collectivized Garbage Hauling In Crystal!

March 2, 2013 at 11:31 am 6 comments

By Andrew Richter

The Environmental Quality Commission in Crystal wants the city council to consider collectivizing our city garbage, or as they call it “organized solid waste collection” at their work session on March 5.

Agenda Packet

This is a HORRIBLE idea and I hope the city council doesn’t even consider this. Oh yes, I know from the “environmentalists” you’ll here about reducing trucks in the neighborhood and how it reduces our “greenhouse gasses” and that evil carbon dioxide (which of course all humans and plants need to survive).

The central question is why is it OK for the government to create a monopoly?? The same people who rail against Microsoft or Wal-Mart are the same people who support things like socialized health care and the monopolistic public school system. If monopolies are bad, then it shouldn’t matter who is doing it.

Listen to what the commission says about what Robbinsdale is doing;

There system is less expensive for their residents then an open system and the city had captured a portion of the fees collected which were directed to a $150,000 capital improvement fund to maintain streets.

Yeah right it’s less expensive, and now that Robbinsdale has collected $150,000 more in “revenue” you think they are ever going to give it back? You could say that the city has a $150,000 surplus! I suppose it could be less expensive now (and the commission produces no evidence that’s true in Robbinsdale) but what stops government from raising fees? Since you have no freedom of choice, you must pay it. And once you lose your freedom what are the odds you will get it back?

This is just another example of throwing away individual rights; have the government get in bed with a business and crowd out the individual and their freedom.

Say NO city of Crystal!



Entry filed under: Agenda 21, City Government, Crystal, Environment.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael Libby  |  March 5, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Wrong. The city choosing one garbage hauler is like all of us buying wholesale, since we get the benefit of bulk purchasing and have a lot more leverage with potential suppliers.

    The current system gives the sellers of garbage hauling too much power to set prices high, since the supply side is artificially restricted to a few suppliers and the barriers to entry into the garbage hauling market are extremely high.

    As it is, because the garbage haulers do not offer full-block discounts, we are all paying extra so that each of our different providers can all drive down every single street. That wastes gas, and produces extra noise and pollution.

    Do you not care about my property rights, such that I’m allowed to live on my street and have some say over how many loud trucks barge down it spewing a cloud of noxious fumes in their wake? Carbon dioxide is a planetary greenhouse gas, but cities without concern for vehicle emissions (as we had in the past) get another lovely by-product that’s all local: smog.

    And who’s picking up the tab for the added wear-and-tear on Crystal streets? I am. The taxpayer. How about if, instead of a collective garbage system, we just add more surcharge to garbage service directly, so that those companies who use the road out front of my house that I pay for, can help pay for the damage they’re doing to it to provide service to my neighbors? The companies can pay a surcharge for every block they drive down, thus giving them an incentive to price and market in a way that prevents them from driving down every single street, sometimes to pick up garbage from *one* house!

    If you’re so dead set against this, propose solutions to these real problems the current system has. But for me, I love the idea of a single garbage hauler. Say YES city council, please!

    • 2. Jason Bradley  |  March 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

      What? It’s not at all like we’re buying wholesale. It’s not even like we’re a part of a really trendy co-op. This is a government-controlled monopoly we’re talking about. When did monopolies become good things? When did fewer choices become more freedom? That is Orwellian Newspeak at its finest.
      The current setup gives the sellers too much power? It’s their business! They should have power over what they charge. We should have the power to choose which price we want to pay (and yes, there are price breaks to be had as you shop around), or how green of a company we want to do business with. You know that the company that can absorb the most short-term loss will get the contract, forcing out smaller companies, leaving fewer companies from Cities to pick from, and eventually lay-offs of real people from real jobs.
      I care about your property rights, but keep in mind, you live in a city. There is all sorts of commotion going on. To say that there is a measurable loss to your pursuit of happiness, based on a few garbage trucks rolling down your street on one day of the week is insincere, at best. It does not devalue your property. The emission levels of a few trucks are negligible, considering all of the cars, semis, busses, and diesel trains that constantly run through the city. Carbon dioxide is not the magical devil gas you try to paint it into. It is what our plants breathe. Without it, there are fewer plants emitting less oxygen, which affects our ability to breathe. In fact, global warming apologist, Phil Jones, has admitted that his “record keeping was not as good as it should have been”, and that “for the past 15 years, there has been no statistically significant warming” ( That never seems to matter to you guys, though, because it doesn’t fit your agenda.
      I suppose you also believe that the world is overpopulated, and we need to taker ‘er down a couple billion people too, huh?
      Here’s the difference: you believe in a collective freedom, where the government has to be the arbiter of an equitable freedom, because no one is free until we are all made free. I believe in individual freedom. It is one where each person determines how free they are, so long as they don’t impede the freedoms of others. It’s one where the government doesn’t grant freedom, but protects it by staying out of the way. I believe that the Creator has made freedom our birth right, and when someone wants to impose limits on that freedom that don’t protect someone else’s right to life, liberty, or property, that they are acting under tyranny, and in direct opposition to the Creator. I will never see government as the provider of my rights. You have every right to believe they are, but keep in mind it’s antithetical to the American system of government, and a perversion born in the belly of Marxist philosophy. Marx was wrong.

  • 3. wants2know  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Collectivizing and centralizing services is never in the best interests of the consumer. If we must reduce the number of trucks (jury is out on this), then divide the city into quadrants and put each quadrant out for competitive bid. My experience with collection services in Crystal, having hired 3 different services in the year we have lived here is that each company provides slightly different services. Rates for picking up other than the “normal” garbage vary greatly. Some companies will not pick up construction waste from smaller Do-It-Yourself projects. Others charge more for what they consider excess yard waste. There is no one size fits all since so much depends on effective affordable SERVICE.

    I question the concern about wear and tear on city streets, Crystal has since the 1990’s had a master plan in place to repair and or rebuild city streets by quadrant. This plan is based upon a “normal” replacement criteria developed across many similar communities. In over 20 years we haven’t seen the need for emergency street rebuilding because a street has failed. In fact, within the context of public meetings for homeowners facing assessment for street replacement I have heard city staff comment that, “the project must continue (regardless of present economic conditions) because it is in the plan put in place in 1991.

    As for the “smog” issue, having lived in Southern California and Utah, what you consider smog is laughable. Smog issues are a matter of geography and weather conditions. Valleys and areas subject to inversion layers are susceptible to smog concentration. Minnesota’s rapidly changing weather conditions with frequent storms and moderate to strong winds rarely has the right conditions for inversions.

    There is a lot of innovation in the transportation industry. We are seeing buses and other large vehicles that run on natural gas. Development continues on electric powered vehicles. It is to the consumers advantage to encourage competition to benefit continuing research and innovation. Setting up a monopoly stifles this,

  • 4. Michael Libby  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The defenders of freedom are out in force again!

    Tell me, when does the Republican party (which as far as I can tell all the bloggers here are officers in SD-45 republican party) plan to dump the Drug War policy that started under Reagan and has only gotten worse in the meantime? You’re concerned about the loss of freedom in choosing garbage haulers? Meanwhile the biggest line item on Crystal’s budget is the police force, which spends an inordinate amount of time enforcing drug laws, we even have one officer devoted to the West Metro Drug Task Force, a force whose main accomplishment has been to get a few hundred pounds of marijuana off “the streets”.

    Further, didn’t see any of you at City Hall or writing on this blog about the ridiculous fines and penalties levied against Red Dragon liqour for selling alcohol after 8pm on Christmas Eve or to an “obviously intoxicated” person. Voted for by the apparent “republicans” on the city council, no less!

    Frankly, if opposing the GreenStep program based on anti-scientific falsehoods about the impact of human-created pollution and worrying about our alleged “freedom” to buy garbage hauling services on a fake free market are your highest priorities, then I don’t think you know the first thing about this “freedom” you all speak so highly of.

    And no, it’s not insincere to not want four different garabage trucks rolling down my street creating a racket before I even get up in the morning. And the reason we have no smog issues here, new-to-the-neighborhood-in-the-last-year is because Minnesota went through a long period of dealing with our smog problem. You are benefiting from the “big government” policies from the EPA and the MPCA right now. Back in the 80s and 90s we had a smog problem here that has largely been resolved through tighter emissions controls on privately owned automobiles and other measures.

    The very statement that collectivizing and centralizing services is never in the best interest of the consumer is just so laughably untrue that I don’t even know why I bother. That can’t possibly be a true statement. Rather it sounds more like an article of faith based on a vastly oversimplified misunderstanding of *assumptions* made in Econ 101 class, rather than a solid theory based on evidence.

    • 5. Jason Bradley  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

      You make a lot of assumptions. Besides being totally unrelated, have you bothered to ask any of us what we thought? Personally, I think the drug war has been a waste of time and money. The drug lords run free to kill, while the consumers rot in prison. It hasn’t worked.

      Regarding Red Dragon, I missed that one. I’m a father, business owner, and activist with a full time job. I miss things. That’s why we rely on tips from people in the community. Had you e-mailed us to bring our attention to it, we would have written about it. Instead, you sit on it and use it as a smear.
      This is not a Republican group, as you have alleged. We are non-partisan, and work with anybody that understands freedom the way we do, and that’s individually, not collectively. To say we understand little of freedom is another incorrect assumption. It’s a simple difference in theory. We believe man can govern himself. You believe that the government provides freedom through taking from the bourgeoisie to give to the proletariat. That’s a “freedom” I will never believe in.

      • 6. Michael C. Libby  |  March 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

        I don’t think you know anything about my political philosophy at all. But you apparently believe that might actually makes right, as this is the underlying principle of having any government at all and defending most “property rights”. If you believe that man can govern himself, then you ought to be calling for the abolition of government *entirely*, no more public roads, no more government police, no more non-militia armed forces, no more immigration controls, etc. That would be my political philosophy in a nutshell. So don’t tell me I think we should have the government tell people how to live. I don’t think government is a necessary evil. But as it is, we have one. And the one we have has abused its power for decades to do things like build interstate freeway systems, prop up certain corporations over others, etc etc. And given that there seems to be no real consensus in America for righting these improprieties and actually moving to a system where individual freedom is enhanced, then I see no reason not to lobby for ideas that I find more palatable.

        Thus, I see it as sensible for a local government to band together the purchasing power of the local citizens to do things like buy garbage hauling services. This kind of collective bargaining makes the provider of the service and the consumers *partners* who must work together to produce an efficient, acceptable solution.

        As it is, what we have is a pseudo free market in which an oligopoly of established players inefficiently provide services that would be more cost effectively delivered by a single service provider. Instead we all pay to subsidize a wasteful system that employs excess drivers, driving down the same roads that three other trucks drive down, etc etc.

        While there are some minor differences in our garbage services, the majority of what they do is indistinguishable.

        In a system where no government at all existed, communities would have to figure this problem out one-by-one, and my guess is that most of the sane ones would opt for one that produced the most value for the least amount of wasted time/resources. The better to conserve their limited resources for other productive uses.

        I am happy to consider an alternative to collective garbage hauling, but it’s clear that you all are really just knee-jerk opposed to government without really being consistent about that. You feel that because I live in a city I have sacrificed the right to clean air and quiet streets. You tell me it’s insincere because you prefer to be able to decide which of my rights I actually have and which I don’t. I could say the same to you. You live in a city and sometimes that means community-oriented sacrifices like using a city-selected garbage hauler. It’s insincere to consider this a major infringement of freedom. You readily accept single-provider phone service, cable service, water utility, electric service, police and fire service, and even recycling services.

        So, how can we prevent having multiple trucks down every street? Oh, we can’t because you have decided that it’s not a problem. So, since we are still fortunate that we have elections for our representatives over at city hall, I guess I’ll keep voting for *my* preferences in the meantime. Your nonsense about communism and freedom be damned.

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