YUMA, AZ - Two
days after the Yuma City Council voted 6-1 to pass curbside recycling we are
finally getting answers to clearly explain the dollars in this revenue sharing
deal between the city and Allied Waste.
KSWT News 13 sat down with
Allied Waste to crunch numbers, clear the air, and to get to the facts.
Since Wednesday, after the Yuma
City Council passed this curbside recycling deal, we've talked to players on
all sides: City of Yuma Administrator Greg Wilkinson who negotiated the deal, Yuma
Mayor Alan Krieger, who was the lone "no" vote, Councilmember Cody
Beeson, who voted "yes." And today KSWT News 13 spoke to Derek
Ruckman, General Manager of Allied Waste.
KSWT News 13 sat down with
Ruckman to go over the contract so we could weed through the political
in-fighting to show the taxpayer the real numbers that the Yuma City Council
could have presented two days ago to set the record straight.
"When you roll out a
recycling program, you have to understand what kind of volume we're going to be
working with. We don't really know that, we have an idea," said Ruckman.
Ruckman says the revenue
sharing formula presented in its contract with the City of Yuma is just an
example based on fiction, not reality.
He admits using this formula
will steer residents to calculate the wrong math.
"Is it confusing?
Absolutely, it's confusing. It's confusing for anyone that's looking at it for
the first time. There's some explanation needed," he said.
Ruckman says it's too soon to
determine the company's net profit because yet to be analyzed is the true
volume of recyclables collected including: paper, plastics, and fiber.
also don't know whatever tonnage we receive from the curb, what kind of tonnage
it's going to be, we don't know how much newspaper it's going to have, we don't
know how much cardboard it's going to have and most important thing, we don't
know how much trash it's going to have and so all these play into the economics
of curbside recycling," he added.
As for Allied Waste's capital
investment, the recycling company will spend $1 million in upfront costs to buy
21,000 recycling bins which will be given to Yuma residents, free of charge.
That means it won't cost the city of Yuma a single dime to start its recycling
We asked Ruckman what stake in
this deal does Allied Waste have. "There's a lot or work that needs to be
put in to make this deal successful. Getting a community to buy-in and behave
differently is a challenge," he explained.
As for the overall revenue
Allied Waste believes it can generate from this deal? Allied Waste projects it
could earn $6 million in revenue over the seven year contract. However - that's
a low estimate.
After the cost of doing
business, paying employees, sorting and transporting recyclables, the profit
margin will be much less. That figure has yet to be determined.
"There's a lot of cost
involve and processing this material. Not only are we purchasing carts but we
also have to use fuel to get it to the processing facility, we have labor we
have a baler, a loader, a bobcat, we have 25 employees, medical insurance,
electricity," said Ruckman.
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