These changes involve utilizing other modes of transportation, including barges, as alternatives to the rail-haul plan proposed in the agreement. They also call for developing new facilities at the Port for handling waste, recyclables, organics, and other refuse. The cost of such alternatives would be passed onto the rate payers.
"I think that, cost-effectively, we may be able to insert the Port into this equation, but it's not ready for prime-time yet," Mirkarimi said. He concluded by saying that Recology has been innovative in reducing the city's waste stream.
"This should be a front-burner conversation," Mirkarimi said, noting that former Mayor Gavin Newsom focused on making San Francisco "the greenest city" in the United States. He added that San Francisco claims to have a 77 percent diversion rate, the highest in the U.S., and said, "That comes at a cost, it doesn't come for free."
After the meeting, DoE deputy director David Assmann said that the City Attorney's Office is reviewing WM's filing. "But it's too soon to comment," Assmann said.
He also claimed that, thanks to the 1932 ordinance, "there was no practical way" for another company to transport San Francisco's waste to its designated landfill, "other than building a second transfer station outside the city."
But Kelly continued to express concerns that the agreements are not competitive, and that the city lacks a contract and ensuing franchise fees. "They are running this as if it's still the 1950s," he said.
Kelly claimed that Recology Vice President John Legnitto, who is the 2011 chair of the SF Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors, recently told him that Recology has been in negotiations with City Hall around a $4 million franchise fee, but that the money would now be spent opposing Kelly's competitive bidding initiative.