Monday, October 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Are municipal monopolies really garbage?

By
From page A9 | July 13, 2014 |

Several municipal governments in Solano County recently reviewed past-due garbage bills from their respective garbage contractors and moved to place liens against chronic nonpayers. Of all the issues afflicting our communities, one wonders why city resources are involved in third-party bill collection.

Services, like garbage collection, are exchanged between private individuals and/or businesses. Should one party default on their part of the agreement, it is incumbent on the other party to compel the defaulter to deliver; often by a civil judgment. This is the standard for all types of common services: Auto repair, construction services and health care, just to name a few.

Yet, for some reason, when it comes to garbage collection, we the people have surrendered (or perhaps had it ripped from our hands?) our freedom of choice and association to a municipal government. Not only are we allowed only one company to serve us, but we are required to buy their services. If you get unsatisfactory service, what recourse do you the end customer have? Can you go to a competitor or opt out entirely?

Unfortunately, the answer is resounding no.

Cities tried that with cable monopolies and the result was reduced selection and quality while experiencing rising prices. Fortunately, alternate (and unregulated at the municipal level) goods came along, in the form of Internet streaming services or satellite-dish services. Unless someone is developing a mobile debris incinerating service, consumers don’t have many alternatives for their garbage collection needs. The classic “put your trash in a box and drive it to the landfill” method will have to suffice.

The question still begs to be asked: Why grant a garbage collection monopoly? If some other individual or business wants to come to my house, haul my garbage, recyclables and compostable materials every week for a price I am willing to pay, why shouldn’t they be allowed to offer their services?

Furthermore, why force everyone to subscribe to garbage collection? If one is environmentally conscious enough where they have developed a lifestyle that doesn’t create garbage, they take all their recyclables to the recycling center and compost their green waste into a garden, why should they be compelled to subscribe to service they don’t use, simply because they live in a city limit?

Looking at these exclusive deals, oftentimes there are hidden tax increases. The city typically gets a “franchise fee,” which can range from 5 to 10 percent. What does the city do to earn its cut? Additionally, there may be additional charges, like a road impact fee. It is unlikely that the garbage collection proprietor will absorb the fee, so it will be passed on to us, the customers.

For those who believe that mandatory municipal monopolies are wonderful for a community, why don’t we apply the concept to other areas of our local economy? Let us consider package deliveries: Would signing an exclusive 10-year contract with FedEx instead of UPS to deliver packages in our city limits ensure consumer choice and value?

What about cellphone service? With all these different providers setting up towers, our cities will become forests of awkward metal towers. If we just let the city choose one cellphone provider, we could remove the extra towers and clean up our cities. How about all those grocery stores? Let us grant Walmart an exclusive 10-year deal in our town and exclude Safeway, Raley’s and other vendors. We don’t need all those extra delivery trucks driving around on our roads, adding to traffic and wearing them down.

As consumers, we must be aware of the factors that affect the value and quality of the services we desire. As citizens, we must always be vigilant as to the activities of government and ensure they are working in our best interest. Oftentimes, the two are directly intertwined.

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at lpsolanocounty@gmail.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Good article. Thanks for that, but watch out for the garbage mafia.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • happy userJuly 13, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    never had a problem with Solano garbage.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 12:57 pm

    I want all my neighbors to be forced to take garbage service.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    After we passed Prob 13 we can't blame local government for getting revenue where it can. State takeaways should only further raise that expectation.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Girl Scouts explore sweet side of chemistry

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Time again for my Cheers and Jeers

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 8 Comments

Senior Center hosts monthly travel presentation

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Total Home, Garden & Harvest Festival wraps up

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Pumpkin Patch Festival set for final weekend

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Sessions teach about child support process

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Arrivederci! Italian Festival

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Red Kettle Program returns for holidays

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Holiday Fashion Extravaganza registration deadline looms

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

Elder depression and substance abuse topic of discussion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville library to host composting series

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

Napa man jailed for running over ex-girlfriend

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Local governments schedule meetings

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Weather for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Obama switches gears, confronting Ebola head on

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
CDC to revise Ebola protocol, Pentagon preps team

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Cruise ship docks with Ebola-watched health worker

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Friends, family of Ebola patient reach milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California lottery sales top $5B for first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Archaeologists seek movie set in California sands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
The 10 semifinalists for World’s Funniest Person

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

On the road to find the world’s funniest person

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Coroner: 6 fire victims died of smoke inhalation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New England raking in millions from leaf peepers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police hunt for clues near where Va. remains found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Super drunk woman arrested, mistook jail for bar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Robotic device helps paralyzed groom walk aisle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Pope beatifies Paul VI at remarkable synod’s end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
S. Korea: 2 Koreas exchange gunfire along border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sweden: 3 credible sightings in submarine search

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
5 Things to Know about Pope Paul VI

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

UN says Iraq has executed 60 people this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Opinion

Pulse poll question

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Is it truly affordable health care?

By Jim Mccully | From Page: A8, 22 Comments

 
Suisun mayor offers his endorsements

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 13 Comments

Which candidates support Alzheimer’s cure?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Beware a Trojan horse

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

I’m too scared to leave my abusive husband of 15 years

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Report: Nashville songwriter Paul Craft dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Reported ‘Easy Rider’ chopper sells at auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
‘New Girl,’ ‘Cosmos’ win Environmental Media Award

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
‘Fury’ blasts ‘Gone Girl’ from top of box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Manning breaks Favre’s TD mark in 42-17 win over 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Tim Lincecum waits his turn, still yet to pitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Palmer leads Cardinals past Raiders 24-13

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Serena Williams hits back at Russian official

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kings pick up G Ben McLemore’s option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rockets beat Warriors 90-83 in exhibition game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pacquiao makes professional basketball debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal receiver Trevor Davis released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sounders rally for 2-2 tie with LA Galaxy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers net 2 in 4 seconds; Lundqvist stops Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL roundup: Jaguars bounce Browns, gets first win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

SEC is 1st conference to put 4 in top 5 of AP poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ski champ Svindal injured while playing soccer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Royals dependent on 3-headed bullpen monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Ben Martin wins 1st PGA Tour title in Las Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Denkinger’s miss revisited as Series returns to KC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Hend wins Hong Kong Open in a playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Baek wins playoff to take LPGA South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Ilonen beats Stenson in World Match Play final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Jay Haas wins Greater Hickory Kia Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Facebook, Apple pay for egg freezing, sperm donors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Wizard of Id Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield October 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7