This is purely a rumor, but I am hearing rumblings that Long Beach is considering the privatization of our sanitation department. You know, that vital department that picks up our garbage & recycling several times a week? It’s a service we cannot live without.
The Privatization of public departments is a big topic these days in our area. Nassau County is trying to partially privatize our sewers. The Long Island Bus, while the MTA is not exactly a public company, recently went to a private operation. Can privatizing our sanitation save the city some cash?
In the 2012/13 budget, one of the options for curing our city sanitation budget woes was the following:
Get out of the commercial sanitation business entirely. Most municipalities do not get involved in commercial carting and all commercial carting is done privately. We would realize our savings by the reduction in staffing, fuel consumption, maintenance costs, truck fleet and tipping fees. (source – 2012/13 Budget)
What do you folks think? Should the city privatize our sanitation? The other options are:
- Increase commercial rates by 60% to make up the difference in revenue expense. Increasing these rates would close the budget gap and allow the City to provide commercial sanitation as a budget neutral service.
- Put Commercial pick-up out to bid and set authorized vendor rates By putting commercial pick up out to bid, we could establish rates for the business community by tonnage (“pay as you throw”). The City would regulate the rates as well as the pick-up times as outlined in the bid specs. Once rates are established, businesses would have varied rates, based on their individual needs and they would pay the City monthly based on their respective bills plus an administrative cost.