(Victorville) – At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Ryan McEachron brought to the council’s attention a concern he has about an issue that could affect trash and recycling rates for city residents.
“Majestic Recycling is actively taking recycling materials from businesses in our community, under the auspicious that they are donating the money back to our schools,” said McEachron. “And although that has merit, my concern is that it will ultimately drive up rates to our rate payers – those that pay those trash and recycling fees.”
The mayor’s concern is that there will eventually be a request to increase rates because a private company is out there taking away from the company that the city has agreed to do business with to handle its recyclables, Burrtec Waste Industries.
City Manager Doug Robertson updated the council on a meeting he had with Majestic Recycling representatives. “I recently met with a representative from Majestic Recycling, and we engaged both the city attorney’s office, Burrtec and their legal counsel. As long as Majestic Recycling is not charging for the services, it is not violative of the franchise agreement that we have with Burrtec.”
Robertson went on to say that this could ultimately have an adverse affect on rates. “At this point state law does not give us any grounds to stop that operation. We have been working with both Burrtec and Majestic on trying to put together some sort of ordinance that would be enforceable, which is the tricky component of it, that would address some of the concerns that have been addressed tonight,” Robertson concluded.
In an e-mail statement, the city manager clarified, “As far as I understand it, Majestic is picking up recyclables at no cost and donating a portion of the sale of those recyclables to education. Depending on their success, they could conceivably pull enough of the current recyclables from the current operation that it could have an effect on (Victorville) rates. Majestic has assured us they will collect the data needed for Victorville to submit to the state for diversion calculations that we are required to provide.”
Dan Tate is principal of Majestic Recycling and he weighed in on the issue. “The city has an exclusive agreement with Burrtec. That franchise agreement gives them exclusivity to pick up trash. And recyclables are not considered trash.”
“What we are doing is placing a recycling bin at the school or business at our expense, we pick it up at our expense, we sort it at our warehouse, and when we have enough we sell to our buyer. We then pay the school or business 100% of the CRV value, and 50% of the gross sales of all the other recyclables – newspapers, lunch trays, milk cartons, cardboard, etc. We probably have a 75-80% recycling rate. We’re recycling everything but food,” Tate said.
“I met with Doug Robertson and Dana Armstrong two weeks ago. And they told me I wasn’t doing anything wrong. And then Ryan, without any notice, brought this up to the council. Now he’s going to make every citizen in Victorville think their trash bill is going up because of me?, ” said Tate.
Mayor McEachron, stated his concern for the average citizen of Victorville, their hard-earned money and finalized the matter by saying, “I would not like this council to be asked by staff to approve a rate increase to our rate payers because we have a private company out there taking recyclables from the very company that we have already authorized to do so. I think we’ve got to address it.”
An investigation of the matter is pending.