My comments on the City's OrgaWorld contract

My comments on the City's OrgaWorld contract
Posted on January 7, 2014 | Peter Easton | Written on January 7, 2014
Comments
Letter type:
Open

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

General incompetence at City Hall (a/k/a "Twitty Hall")

With respect to the contract the City of Ottawa, in one of its more unfathomable moments, signed with OrgaWorld for the  handling of organic waste, I would like to have answers to the following points:
 

  1. Did Twitty Hall ever do any sort of objective survey as to how many householders would consecrate their time and their slop to this activity, and of the anticipated slop/household?
  2. Was the motivation (score 1-10) behind the deal "saving the planet from climate change" (Twitty Hall - 10, Residents - 2)?
  3. Alternatively, was the motivation to merely save landfill space (not a negligible idea, but one not discussed)
  4. If 1 above, how much CO2/CH4 was OrgaWorld directed to reduce in the battle to save the planet?
  5. Further to the above, to what extent was the Orgaworld contract directed to minimizing GHG emissions vs. efficiently dealing with garbage?

 
I have a (now former) colleague who trashed his green bin when told that he would have to store said implement in his garage between slop pickup days.  When he remonstrated with the Twitty Hall Gang that he really didn't feel like opening his home to maggots, he was advised by the Twitty Hall Genii to buy a freezer to freeze the slop, then putting it in the Jolly Green Bin just before collection.  (And, should the motivation behind the Green Bin Crusade be 2 above, remember that it takes emissions-loaded electricity to run the freezer).  He was not impressed.

Folks, the average fast-food truck owner does more due diligence of his contracts than, apparently, does City staff (of which, at last report, there were 14,000).  But that's OK - when things go south, Council can be depended on to commission an audit and then never release it.  Moscow was better run - at least, it has a subway.  With chandeliers, even.

Peter Easton
 

About The Author

Recently retired federal public servant living 2 streets from City Hall (a/k/a "Twitty Hall")

Comments

Bill

hi Peter Rumours are that the OrgaWorld audit done by the City Auditor will not be released until AFTER the election. This is an audit done using taxpayers' money to determine if taxpayers' money has been wasted. What possible reason justifies this foot dragging? The commercial arbitration process has been ongoing for almost two years and whatever the City auditor found is now academic because the arbitration sessions are apparently over and both sides are awaiting a decision.

Gord

Yes the City did studies and pilot projects to determine the popularity and the potential uptake for separated organic collection. The results were marginal but were interpreted in a way to make it seem as if separate organic collection was a popular idea. There was just a heavy political push to make it happen. You have to realize that a lot of members of Council see themselves as social engineers, able to influence people's behavior. They don't necessarily see themselves as there to serve the people's wishes.
As to saving landfill space yes they thought that would be important. All but one failed to grasp that once organics leave the house in your garbage a lot of things happen to keep them from taking up landfill space. Seagulls eat a lot of it before it is buried. Water content evaporates and shrinks the waste. Take a look at a week old apple core or banana peel. They have much less volume than when they were first discarded. They continue to decompose and once buried in the landfill organics become an important source of methane which is -guess what - a source of revenue for the city.
The city loses twice with the Orgaworld contract. It pays too much for the service and it loses sales of methane which can be used to create electricity.