Friday, January 6, 2017

PAYT in Peters - Not so much UPDATED

When I saw this article in The Almanac, I thought, "This could be us if PAYT comes to fruition."

Delinquents owe $82,000 for garbage collection

Some residents are not paying as they throw in Peters Township, resulting in this:

PAYT does not appear to be working in Peters Township. Government officials are now dealing with legal action against delinquents. On the bright side, Mt. Lebanon commissioners can take all the legal action they want because of the agreement they have with their solicitor. It won't cost Mt. Lebanon a dime extra (think MTL's case against me), but the downside is that we will see more of what is pictured above. Not only will Mt. Lebanon be dealing with delinquents, we also have hoarders here. There, I said it. There are people in Mt. Lebanon who do not part with anything. Hoarding will increase if there will be a separate fee for solid waste removal.

Peters Township is rethinking their PAYT system.
He suggested that township officials consider changing how residents are charged for waste collection. 
“I think, as part of next year’s budget cycle, we should look seriously at the possibility of incorporating that into the taxes,” he said. “There are lots of reasons to do it. The downside is that it results in a substantial tax increase. But it eliminates these problems with liens, and it eliminates lot of the fees associated with trying to collect.”
Susan, how does this fit in with your memorandum to Keith? Are you going to call up The Almanac and complain that they printed such "trash?" I'm willing to bet that mentioning "hoarders" and "Mt. Lebanon" in the same sentence did not sit too well with you. But this is the real world.

Commissioners, are you listening?

Update January 6, 2017 12:36 PM

Then there is this one:

I could do this all day.


Anonymous said...

Another reason you should be recognized by the municipality for your volunteerism to the community, Elaine.
We'd never hear this side of the story from our public information officer!

I wonder how many people deposit their trash on on other people's piles to avoid the PAYT.

But the fines part is what is worrisome. Remember the, what was it, $500,000 in unpaid parking tickets that the municipality simply wrote off.
They wouldn't publish a list of the scofflaws and honest people now pay more to park.

Anonymous said...

🙀 Oh my, Harry and the Almanac are going to be on Susan's shit list now!

Anonymous said...

Here's a repeat of some info submitted under your earlier SMART post in case people missed it.

Here's a little test to see how committed our commissioners are in reducing the amount of garbage we send to landfills.

How about instituting receiving a printed copy of MTL magazine subscription based! Sort of a Pay As You Receive (PAYR) program.

Keep the online version free and I'll bet they'll modify our behavior to be more environmentally responsible in short order.

Think about how many trees that will be saved since they won't be used to make paper. How much ink and solvents used to wash up printing presses won't be flowing into our sewer systems.

Seriously, I'm all in to take steps to reduce waste, but I believe the key is reducing waste before it gets into the home rather than after.

Returnable bottles, reusable grocery bags, online magazines, minimal product packaging are all earth-friendly ideas for instance.

The study below is a good read.

"Conclusion This paper has used original data gathered from individual households to estimate responses to the implementation of a price per bag of garbage. We find that households reduced the number of bags, but not necessarily the actual weight of their garbage. Thus households stomped on their garbage to reduce their costs. They also increased the weight of recycling, and they might have increased illegal dumping. The reduction in weight of garbage at the curb is 14 percent. If we account for the amount of illegal dumping, using our lower estimate, then the true reduction in garbage is only 10 percent. Recycling increased by 16 percent. Many in Charlottesville were already participating in the voluntary recycling program before unit pricing began. Thus the incremental benefit of unit pricing is small. In our simple comparison, this social benefit does not cover the administrative cost."

Notice last sentence in the above conclusion: "thus the incremental benefit of unit pricing is small, in our simple comparison, this social benefit does not cover the administrative costs."

I'll add, administrative costs mean nothing to our commissioners. They'll pay thousands to send our PIO to NY and continue to pay for deer culls without seeing any improvement in it's declared goals. To them it's all only money... ours!

Anonymous said...

Hoarding is really serious public health issue. Hoarders shouldn't be publicly shamed despite the recurrent pattern demonstrated by local news media.

I can't imagine the increase in hoarding that may be provoked by PAYT.

E. T. Gillen said...

No, 10:16 AM? Can you imagine people not willing to pay to have their garbage collected? Probably not.

I personally know/knew three hoarders living right here in Mt. Lebanon. One lived on the street behind me and died of pneumonia in the winter because he wouldn't pay for his electricity. The neighbors took up a collection and paid for his cremation thinking he was destitute and later found out that he was a millionaire.

Anonymous said...

I meant I CAN imagine! Oops at 10:16 am. Sorry about that!

Anonymous said...

As I read through Morgans' memorandum on PAYT, I couldn't help but laugh over this bulleted point on selling PAYT to the community.

She wrote: "Our various mtl media are probably our best chance of reaching a broad audience. Refuse is important, but boring; no one wants to read 2,000 words about it, and it's impossible to a paragraph or two."

The inher bulleted points she writes: "Our communications with residents need to be considered and visual. Here's a few ideas:

• graphic illustration, almost like a comic book, that would explain PAYT"

Yep Susan, the taxpayers are immature dolts that can't comprehend something unless it's a comic book. She goes on:

"• poster, post cards..."

Yep way to reduce paper, Susan. Print 15,000 post cards! That's SMART.

Anonymous said...

Did Peters Twp. taxpayers get a tax reduction when the new system went into place?

Anonymous said...

Why does "someone" keep trying to get you this volunteer award? Because you spend your time blogging about your thoughts.. um... don't think that benefits the community. The community is SO MUCH better off because you sit around on your computer making memes.

Anonymous said...

3:33, at least Elaine's blog isn't full of misandry.

Anonymous said...

3:33, besides maintaining this blog Elaine does a lot of charitable work.
Also, like it or not her blog was instrumental in finding an safely returning an elderly woman with dementia to her family.
Possibly saving the woman's life and that alone is justification for her inclusion in the awards.

Keep your blinders on 3:33, they're the perfect fashion statement for a mule.

E. T. Gillen said...

3:33 PM, Susan Morgans is right. Comic strips might be the way to go. It certainly got your attention. Too bad that is all you got out of this post.

I do understand your angst with my blogging. Only one person in Mt. Lebanon should write about her thoughts. She gets paid quite well AND earns the finest lady award while doing it. I wouldn't want to take that away from her since she dedicated her life to telling us how great she is and is above everyone else. She needs that positive reinforcement or else she would have retired by now. Do you feel better now knowing that I am not a threat? I won't apply for the blogging position for mtl Magazine because I would have to get paid $25 per article. That wouldn't make me a volunteer, now would it? However, I always wanted to win the Mt. Lebanon volunteer award when I grew up here. It is my life goal. Nothing greater than that in this world. My life would be complete.

Anonymous said...

this must be how they got rid of school buses in mt lebanon. just keep taking away basic services that people have everywhere else just to drive everyone a little crazy. no pun intended.

Anonymous said...

3:33, rather than go on the attack and continually shooting the messenger (Elaine) why don't you focus on the issues? There's a lot of them.
Like why we pay to dispose of toxic tires, but the municipality pays to bring them back and put them on sports fields.
Or had the $200,000 spent killing deer and has resulted in only raising the deer accident rate.
Or how the stormwater fee is a regressive tax.
Or why we didn't collect $500,000 in parking fines.
Or how about the administrative cost of PAYT and why it's not working in Peters.
Is it that it'll interfere with self-serving world?

E. T. Gillen said...

4:30 AM, parking fines amounted to $800,000+. Make sure you read:
Former Assistant Director of the Mt. Lebanon Parking Authority Speaks Out
It was back in the day when Brumfield was a member of a functional commission.

Anonymous said...

Nah, they took away the school buses to keep the city kids from being bussed here.

Anonymous said...

Boy, the haters run away quickly when you ask for their opinion on the things that matter (as 4:30 did), don't they Elaine?

It's far, far easier to demonized someone that sees the other side of issues than it is to debate the subject.

The climate warming disciple did the same thing when they announce history would judge a commenter harshly, as though that confirmed their opinion.

That's why any efforts for unity in this community will most likely fail.

Anonymous said...

Another area with PAYT fee collection problems.

Then there's this from the San Francisco Chronicle:

"SF’s zero-waste failure littered with fines, frustration"

"At first glance, San Francisco’s system of blue, green and black bins for recycling, compost and garbage seems pretty straightforward. But residents have a lot of questions and complaints when it comes to the way the city deals with its trash.

Last week, we told you the city sends a whopping 1,463 tons of garbage to the landfill every workday, an increase from recent years. In 2003, the city set the goal of creating zero waste by 2020, but it looks like the chances of that happening are about as good as the Giants’ bullpen suddenly learning how to pitch."

What was it one California said to the school board several years ago? Oh yeah, "we should be more like California."

Unnn, NO!

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Morgans will reference this book in her big sell of PAYT?

"The Recycling Myth: Disruptive Innovation to Improve the Environment"

"Product Description
This book states the harsh truth: that despite best intentions, our current environmental practices are doing more harm than good, and that the solution lies in creating supply chains of the future that design, produce, consume, and reuse materials in a manner that is balanced economically and environmentally.

• Supplies an informed perspective from a leader in the consumer beverage industry at one of the world's largest producers of packaged beverages and a researcher in Sweden in the fields of environmental science and supply chain logistics

• Presents a bold counterargument to the idea that recycling and sustainability programs are inherently beneficial and introduces a new system that will benefit both our environment and economy―without asking consumers to consume less

• Explains why recycling and sustainability programs are ineffective because they focus solely on doing less harm rather than improving both the economy and the environment"

My guess is the PIO's PAYT "experts" will all be in the same vein as the Cornell expert's guesstimate of our deer population.

Anonymous said...

OK, for this taxpayer the question is... with all the issues facing this municipality like the ice rink, street repairs, broken sidewalks, tree maintenance, PW renovation, pedestrian accidents, DUIs, drugs, and the apparently pressing for some deer problem, why are the commissioners focusing on garbage collection?

Our current system works pretty efficiently, takes very little effort on residents' part and we are recycling.
I can't say I've ever heard one resident complain that we're paying too much for trash collection.

So why, why, why, are the commissioners tinkering with something that isn't broken?

From articles I've read, the gain in recycling is at best minimal if there truly is any at all, the administrative costs skyrocket and it makes getting rid of your trash a hassle. So why is the PIO working on the big sales pitch?

Perhaps, the commenter that has called Elaine, immature and stupid and likes to continually bash commenters here will take some time out from the name calling and explain it all to us.

E. T. Gillen said...

6:50 AM, as I remember, the savings will be for the municipality, not the residents. It is just a matter of removing a service off their books. Think of how much money the municipality will save when they figure out by placing salt boxes all over Mt. Lebanon and expecting us to keep the streets clear, eliminating the salt trucks. It is the same thing.

Anonymous said...

If the commissioners are really serious about reducing the amount of trash we generate and making us pay to throw it why don't they just publish maps to the nearest landfill and recycling depot?

Once residents make several trips with their Beemer filled to the ceiling with trash bags they'll learn that this sucks and reduce the amount of garbage they generate. Or they'll decide, there are companies that'll come to their house and pick this shit up and hire the most economical one. Something historically we've entrusted and paid our municipal employees to do, but now they don't want to do.

Don't hold your breathe waiting for those employees to take a pay cut.

Anonymous said...

PAYT, for the wealthy an extra $25 or so a month to throw out a few extra empty Chicas Regal bottles isn't much of a big deal.

To the less affluent, seniors on fixed incomes and young families just starting out and going through diapers, formula and Fisher Price toys the extra fee could be a hardship.

Something our highly paid PIO and municipal manager probably don't consider.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question for the Office of Entertainment and Ptopoganda.

You've finally saved for that big flat screen or the IKEA bedroom suite for your little princess and now all the packaging and styrofoam won't fit in your allowable trash receptacle.

Ms. Morgans, how much do you propose we pay to get rid of that waste? A dollar? Five? Ten?
If it's a dollar, that hardly seems worth the effort.

Maybe, your idea Ms. Morgans is to have residents store the empty packaging and chop it up and put a little bit out at a time. Again, hardly worth the time and inconvenience since it all will eventually go out in the trash.

Anonymous said...

Correction - Chivas Regal bottles.