Fresno’s trash, it seems, will forever be a politically messy business.
A few recent examples: The City Council and Mayor Ashley Swearengin in 2011 clashed over her plan to outsource the commercial-trash service to two companies in exchange for franchise fees. In 2013, the entire city was polarized over Swearengin’s plan to privatize residential trash pickup, a showdown that the mayor eventually lost when voters narrowly rejected the Measure G ballot initiative.
Now, council members and the Swearengin administration are clashing over recycling and green waste. While largely waged behind the scenes, the battle has in many ways been no less contentious than those over commercial and residential trash pickup.
At stake are taxpayer dollars and, of course, profits for the private companies competing for the city’s business.