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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

San Francisco, Waste, And Environmental Discrimination At Hunters Point

From SFGate,

Readers of this space know that I have been following the landfill contract process in San Francisco for some time now. Until a few weeks ago it was a battle between two companies. The winning bidder, a local employee-owned company, Recology, had a far more economical bid and a superior environmental transportation mode by taking the hauling of the trash out of trucks and putting it onto trains.
The losing bidder is the current service provider, Waste Management of Houston, Texas. Waste has worked tirelessly to keep the business after submitting a bid that was more than double Recology's and approaching ten times their current price.
It even bought off typical opponents like the Sierra Club, creating an environmental industrial complex in the process by creating an economic incentive for them to keep receiving waste at the Altamont landfill through a open space mitigation fee overseen by the club.

Somewhat expectedly, the City's Budget and Finance Committee rejected Waste's tactics agreeing that there is no disputing the facts that Recology is cheaper and more environmentally superior option.
Case closed, right?
No. We forgot that this is the San Francisco Board of Supervisors where closing simple matters is no simple task. Instead of moving forward with the clear winner of their competitive bidding process, the B of Supes took a big two-month time out.
Why, you ask?
Well, because a company named Waste Solutions - that makes a living hauling toxic waste out of San Francisco on Port property in the Bayview - had an idea.
So what is the big idea to warrant this delay?
What is the earth shattering revelation that disrupted a multi-year competitive bid process raised by a company that did not even put forward a bid in the process?
Geniuses really, move the dump to the Bayview and barge it to Pittsburgh. Huh? Move the dump to the Bayview, next to the sewage treatment facility. Move the dump next to the power point that the community worked to close for more than 20 years. Move the dump to the Bayview where Lennar is expected to invest billions of dollars into building out the shipyard.
I don't get it. The community will not get it. Apparently the City of Pitsburgh and the Port of San Francisco will get the trash and the revenue that comes with it.
Nice, right?
But what will the Bayview get? More environmental justice issues to deal with in a community that has struggled with every environmental impact the fair City of San Francisco has had to offer for the past 50 years.
One would hope that someone, somewhere, would actually bring this to the community for their discussion before derailing the rail option of the winning bidder that saved the City $130 million before they lose that offer in the City's continued pursuit of environmental terrorism residents of the Bayview.

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