Opinion - Republic Sells Our Green Waste To Be Burned; Composting it Will Cost You 25% More

By Michael Monasky | February 13, 2018 |  

It appears that no one in Elk Grove, of any significant number, seems to know or care that the green waste we put into our plastic bins is not composted at all. 

According to information provided by a past staff report from the City of Elk Grove, collected green waste is burnt in ovens just outside the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California and another incinerator in Ione, California. Over 18,0000 tons are trucked each year, another 12,000 are turned to ash, and the remaining 6,000 tons are put on top of waste piles in our landfills.          

On Wednesday, February 14 the Elk Grove City Council will consider raising your fees by 25-percent. The pretense for this fee hike is that our garbage company, Republic Services, will follow a new state law, Senate Bill 1383, intended to reduce methane gas emissions from carbon-based waste, like grass clippings, food waste, and other, fibrous items amenable to natural decomposition.

The staff report does not count the money now earned by Republic as it sells green waste for incineration as a fuel to generate electric power. Instead, the staff report makes it appear as though composting and sorting organic, carbon-based waste products will incur further costs to the residential customer, about $6 per month per household. The garbage company apparently sees this as an opportunity to charge higher fees without cleaning up its act.

Republic, the current garbage collector in Elk Grove, pretends to be a good and local neighbor. Aside from the flattering words expressed by all current member of the city council, it is a rogue and distant employer which refuses to do business with organized labor. Upon calling the local phone number for Republic, I was electronically forwarded to a call center in Arizona where their workers are not represented by organized labor, either.

Republic already sorts and “recycles” many types of carbon waste. Neither such existing activities nor their concomitant fees are included in the staff report. Personally, I compost organic waste for my garden; I infrequently use garbage services, except for recycling packaging waste. A lot of that waste could be reduced at the retail level.

The spirit of SB 1383 is that methane gas emissions have adverse, atmospheric warming effects which are multiple-ten-fold times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. SB 1383 was neither meant to champion nor forgive carbon dioxide generated by green waste incineration, yet there is nothing in the staff report which phases out incineration of these waste products. There is no plan to compost this waste.
Atmospheric and oceanic scientists expect exponential growth in global warming, resulting in permanent damage to the ecosphere by 2030. Pockets of tundra in the arctic are so warm now that methane emissions from its carbon storage are already being released. As these methane emissions migrate from land to air, accelerated meltdown of arctic ice will occur.

Channel 10 meteorologist Monica Woods mentioned last week that Spring arrives about two weeks earlier than normal due to global warming, drastically shifting the blooming of flora and migration of fauna. Citing the World Meteorological Association, in 2016 atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration saw a 50 per cent increase greater than normal; and that's despite overall decreases in human burning; and that's because carbon dioxide can reside in the atmospheric and oceanic water cycle for multiple hundreds of years. Mother Nature is adapting to the atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial changes mankind has imposed upon her home and resident species.

By 2030, the best science warns us that mankind will have turned a corner, a point of no return; two degrees centigrade hotter. Increasing temperatures eventually lead to an exponential curve which quickly spikes, creating unmitigable disaster in methane emissions. Now is the time for action, to vastly decrease all sorts of carbon emissions.

Mankind is responsible for global warming; it is our responsibility to put an end to it now.

2030 will be too late.  

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