Paonessa: how does single trash hauler align with limited government model?

This concerns the request for proposal the Town of Paradise Valley recently put out to in effect establish only one trash hauler company for the town and eliminate all others who have served the town heretofore.

This follows the relatively recent implementation of limited days of collection of trash and noise and emission controls requirements which were welcomed by most citizens of the town.

I find this quite offensive in that the town is considering granting in effect a monopoly/utility status in the trash pickup field for us and we all know what happens when that is the case and there is no longer competition — higher prices and poor service as the “select” company functions unfettered from any competition or competitors and we the citizenry are left without an alternative choice except to complain to the town.

Moreover, the consequences also inevitably mean the town will spend and employ large amounts of time and money for reviews, studies, research, instituting controls, regulations and determining prices and their adequacy. It will be an open money pit for the town to absorb needlessly for something that has competitively functioned since virtually the founding of our town over 50 years ago!

Indeed, the town has existed and grown quite nicely without a unitary monopolized trash service and there is no overwhelming reason why it cannot continue well into the future without it.

We are a community that prides itself on minimal government intervention and the merits of private enterprise. If the town succeeds we will have eliminated viable and cost-effective competition like, for example, Area Disposal, which many of us use, but alas they are too small to be able to fulfill the RFP that has been sent out by the town.

Many of us have been very satisfied with them and frankly switched to them from one of the big guys because of the latter’s poor service and/or higher prices.

Any economics professor can tell you the consequence of the proposed town action.
And, we have all seen how effective limiting competition works-just look at how the Arizona Corporation Commission has fumbled trying to regulate the electric companies. What’s next? Will it be we have a townwide selected landscaper or pool service company? Really? It is like the old adage: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Let’s move on with more serious Town business then talking trash!

Editor’s note: Mr. Paonessa is a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley

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