Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Carting Disaster

Crain's In$ider is reporting that the city's EDC is issuing a new RFP for a consultant to evaluate whether the carting industry can raise its garbage removal rates. The consultant will be hired in February and it is expected that the study will take nine months to complete. All of which leaves carting reps with their knickers in a knot.

As lobbyist David Biderman told Crain's, the delayed schedule will mean that carters will have, "Another year operating under this unfair and obsolete cap..." What Biderman fails to mention is that the cap is the legacy of the national carting companies that he has long represented. When Local Law 42 was passed and the Trade Waste Commission established, the national garbage companies initially endorsed the rate ceiling.

They did this in spite of the fact that, aside from knowing that the rate was too low, the smaller independents were vocally opposing the rate cap as wholly inadequate. Their motive was to cultivate political support from Rudy Guiliani but, in addition, they were too busy engaged in using predatory pricing to establish market share to see the long term harm that their support of rate caps would generate.

Which leaves us with the reality of the carter's "plight." If, as Biderman argues, carters are really hurting than where does this leave their customers? They are also hurting with the 2003 approved rate hike on so-called wet waste. Clearly any EDC consultant needs to examine both the carters' rising costs as well as the impact that any increases would have on carting customers.

One solution, of course, is for the city to approve the use of commercial food waste disposers. If approved, disposers would remove heavy-and expensive-organic waste, and would mitigate any rate increase on the remaining dry waste. We can't wait to see the carters joining with us in support of Intro 133.