Las Vegas Sun

July 7, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Republic Services treats us like trash

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The Clark County Commission is going to take yet another look at recycling, as the Sun reported last week.

Perhaps it is time for an eye exam. It’s better than even money that our stealthy trash collector, Republic Services, is lobbying our elected officials in Carson City right now.

For quite some time, it has been campaigning for a change to its very long-term contract here in Southern Nevada.

Republic Services has magnanimously offered to reduce the number of scheduled pickups in Clark County from five every two weeks to four every two weeks, a 20 percent reduction in overall service.

In return, we will receive a large recycling container that will ostensibly improve recycling.

If successful, this would improve Republic’s recycling profits and of course significantly lower its cost to service the entire community.

Is that all? I currently pay $164.88 per year for its services. So will my bill be reduced $32.88, an amount equal to the proposed 20 percent reduction in trash pickup services?

Don’t even think about it. This will never happen, not for me and not for you.

It appears that Republic Services feels we all should subsidize its efforts to improve recycling and its profits while also paying for its new and improved single-stream recycling container.

I guess we may need to wait and see how the Carson City lobbying campaign works out this year.

If successful, I suppose one of Republic’s goals, a state law allowing the storage of trash containers in everyone’s front yard, could be achieved. Won’t that be pretty!

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  1. I am quite willing to wager that the author of this letter does not recycle. Anyone who has used both the 3-bin system, with pickups every 2 weeks, and also the the single large bin system with a weekly pickup should recognize that the latter is far easier and more appropriate to an average household's needs.

    My wife and I greatly prefer the new system to the old. The reduction to a single weekly pickup of trash is offset by having a larger container for such. The advantage of having a similar size container for recyclables with weekly pickup should be obvious to anyone who attempted to use the old system.

  2. The two larger receptacle bins with bi-weekly pickups is sufficient.

  3. Really. I opine it's the other way around. Republic Services are treated like trash.

    They do a yeoman's job.


  4. Obviously, Rychtarik never lived where, during the winter, trash pick-up was a gamble bigger than the slots on the Strip. In Milwaukee, pick-up "occurred" once a week and if your day fell on a holiday, forget about it! If it snowed during the next cycle, they put plows on the garbage trucks and you were out of luck, once again. Milwaukee, like many municipalities, was the supplier of garbage pick-up and that meant dealing with a huge bureaucracy and a union that had no interest in those receiving the service. Their job, as they saw it, was to pad the payroll with unnecessary employees so as to increase the number of dues paying members, thereby increasing the cost to taxpayers. The quality & frequency of service was the last things they cared about. As I see it, many who are served by Republic don't have an inkling of how good they actually have it.

  5. As a dedicated trash recycler who has lived and worked in 12 states, I guess I'm in the 3% of folks here in Clark County that government cannot and will not do anything for. It seems that way when it comes to how Republic Services is being allowed to run roughshod over us. As a rational being why should I be forced to accept an offer by Republic Services to dramatically reduce my trash pickup services while I receive nothing of real value in return? For nearly all my adult life I have always participated in recycling efforts and today I still do by using the refuse bins provided by Republic Services more than a decade ago. Will a new recycling container change my life? Hardly. Will it lower my service charge? No. What will it do?
    1. For my family and others it will reduce our garbage pickup service by 50% with no reduction in our cost. Yuck!
    2. We already recycle. By adding one recycling pickup every two weeks and a new container this won't improve our recycling effort and therefore there is no benefit.
    3. With 26 fewer service truck stops at our house each year this will dramatically improve Republic Service's profitability but not ours we will continue to pay the current rate.
    4. With the new recycling containers that we don't need, Republic will further reduce their workforce and their cost via automation.
    5. The new recycling containers will create a storage problem that I don't now have.
    6. If as Republic contends, recycling will improve, then they stand to make more money by selling more of these materials.
    Assuming that Republic is correct and recycling even doubles from 3% to 6% of the total population, what about the other 94% that don't recycle? This 94% of our population that don't recycle, will they also receive a 20% reduction in service for nothing of real value in return? What will they do with their new recycling container and who pays for that?What they can expect is a bill and a bin, nothing more.
    Education is the key to improving everything including recycling not another bin type. We all know how well education is doing here. When we next go to the polls we will remember the names of those who voted to improve Republic's profitability solely at our expense.

  6. Personally, I like to have the switch from the multi-bins to the singular stream recycle bin. All too often, materials in the multi-bins are flying all over the street before Republic gets here to pick it up. What a mess, eyesore, and health hazard!

    The writer, Richard Rychtarik, does make a point about Republic seeing more profits and not being FAIR to the consumer. WHO is representing the consumer up in Carson City about this? Where do our Representative Lawmakers stand on this subject?

    As a lifelong conservationalist and recycler, it is a habit and a part of my lifestyle, both at home and at work, to dutifully do my part and encourage (and teach) others to do so as well. Over the years, Republic has enjoyed a near monopoly across the United States in refuse collection. The Consumer needs to have a voice in this process.

    Blessings and Peace,

  7. WHEN can Republic transition into QUIETER equipment? We get trash services often and the constant noise from the trucks is an environmental hazard limiting our quality of life. Clearly this is going to take COMMISSION ACTION.

    I recycle almost everything. FREECYCLE groups operate via email to distribute unwanted items. BGCN clothing recycle bins. Craig's List curb alerts in the FREE section. Yesterday gave a retired neighbor an "awning in a box" to shade thermal heat off a window. I had upgraded to exterior window shades on a couple of windows. The plastic shopping bags get recycled at the grocery. I use earth-friendly insulated cloth bags at the grocery but retail outlets use their plastic bags--AND I add in the clean dry plastic "bagging" from merchandise packaging--although the non-flexible stuff goes into the metal/plastic/glass/paper recycling.

  8. We do like the new size of the trash and recycling bins,and don't mind the once a week pickup either.

    Mr.Rychtarik is correct when he says that Republic services has reduced their expenses. And perhaps they should also reduce our monthly bills and pass the savings on to us the customers as well.

    When we look at the huge profits for Republic Services that is made from us recycling,cans,bottles,paper and cardboard, etc.for them.

    The price for paper per.ton is $113.08,cardboard per.ton is $110.00,bottles per.ton is $420.00 per ton,and aluminum cans per.ton is $1900.00.That' a whole lot of money.

    One only has to look at the huge profits that are being made from the customers of Republic Services,who recycle for them.Plus we pay them to pickup our recycled items.

  9. We are becoming a nation of cry babies. Trash pick up???? Give me a break.
    Republic is a public company symbol...RSG. Richard should buy an ownership interest in the company. If they can increase margins it will be reflected in the stock price and he can get his $30 bucks. They also pay a wonderful dividend...3%

  10. One of life's enduring mysteries is: we separate our recyclables into red, white, and blue bins, and then Republic Services throws them all together into the truck.

  11. What a bunch of whiners! It's only about 14 bucks a month, the service provided is terrific and, yet, they cry like babies! Everyone one of you whiners pay more than 14 bucks a month for most everything including smoking, drinking &/or gambling. No, I do not own stock in the company nor do I know anyone who works for it but, for crying out loud, save your angst for real problems such as the lack of sychroniztion of the traffic signals in the valley! If you do any driving, the lack of synchonization forces your vehicle to idle unnecessarily at intersections for what seems forever and costs you more than 14 bucks a month in wasted fuel and, more importantly, time.

  12. With all the high tek gear out there people who recycle should be getting a credit on their bill sharing in the profits of the company.

  13. Everyone keeps saying that twice a week trash and recycled pickups are good. We in our area of Henderson have been reduced to once a week pickups,a few months ago with larger containers.One container for trash only and one container for all recycled items combined together in one.

  14. "Taxpayer dollars usually feul Harry's agreement and profiteering!" @ Bob Realist

    As in Varian Medical Systems Inc, in Palo Alto California. Seems the real reason Boehner and Biden were negotiating a fiscal cliff deal was to free up time for Harry Reid to protect his financial interests in Varian by killing off its biggest competitor Elekta AB.

    WSJ broke the story Tuesday January 29, 2013, page A4 "Room for Favors in 'Cliff' Deal." Say it ain't so Harry!