And while Teeter supports recycling in theory, he doesn't want to end up paying more for trash hauling in order to support it. "Efficiency, level of service, and cost are more important to me than someone who is approaching this as 'We need more recycling-recycling is good no matter what the cost,'" he says.
Still, Teeter agreed to serve on a committee reviewing the proposals submitted by haulers Waste Management and Allied Waste. "We're participating," he says. "I remain cautiously optimistic." The group was still working in October, but was leaning toward Waste Management. Even after the city's fee and other costs, Weinert estimates, its prices could save the average business 10-12 percent on disposal costs.
Weinert stresses that the staff can only propose policy-not create it. "Ultimately," he says, "this is a political decision." Even if city council acts before year-end, the franchise wouldn't begin until next July-and full implementation would take another couple of years.
[Originally published in November, 2008.]