In response to Paul Dillard's July 9 letter, "Waste controversy about money, not the good of the community," he is correct about one thing. It is about the money. It is also about the good of the community. Here are the facts:
1) The decision was not difficult and the contract should have been awarded to a local company that has supported this community since 1963 in more ways than Recology could count.
2) Hambro received a one-point evaluation edge against a company that has been in the garbage business longer and manages more garbage facilities than Hambro. This fact begs one simple question: Why didn't Recology, with all its vast experience and expertise, beat Hambro by a very wide margin rather than Hambro besting Recology by one point?
3) Hambro had no previous experience when it won the contract to manage the Del Norte garbage transfer station, yet we have received only positive commendations regarding our management and operation of the facility. Do you think for a moment that there are not times when Recology fails to make a scheduled pick-up? Pick-up errors are not uncommon in the garbage collections business and when they do occur, like any other responsible company collecting garbage, they immediately remedy the problem for the client just as Hambro would do immediately if it occurred. Garbage collection is not rocket science, it is all about scheduling and scheduling is something each of our Hambro businesses manage on a daily basis.4) Hambro has stated and guaranteed publicly that when we win the contract we will not interfere with or take business away from Julindra Recycling.
5) Hambro would not have a "monopoly," but instead would have two separate management contracts. This is not the norm and is unusual and the exception to the rule in the garbage business. What is common in the garbage business is for one company and one company only to manage all garbage functions and not for these functions to be broken apart into various components under individual agreements. Breaking the garbage business into multiple components only increases the cost to the ratepayers, residents and businesses.
6) The profit from the businesses Hambro won in Arcata, Grants Pass and Lenoir, all return to our corporate office in Crescent City, and have been invested in other businesses in Del Norte County. An example is Eco Nutrients, a company we continued to operate for years although it lost money every year until a few years ago. We were convinced the business was a good long-term investment and continue to support it. And now, after many years of losses, it is a profitable Hambro company. We are committed to our community and we have proven our commitment.
7) Hambro has been in business for 47 years, 31 years longer than Recology has been in Del Norte County! During this time we have made uncountable monetary donations to various groups, teams and organizations. We do not have, nor do we feel a need, to build a "wall of sponsorship/donations" to proudly tout and display our commitment and contributions to the community. The groups, teams and organizations we have helped know who they are, know they can come to us for assistance and know we are committed to helping.
8) The controversy is not about money other than not creating unnecessary costs for local residents and business owners and Hambro is the best choice to accomplish this goal.
9) The controversy is about what is best for the community and what is best for the community is to give a local company with the lower bid and the experience and commitment to our community and giving our business that opportunity to expand our business expertise to support the investment and creation of additional businesses and job opportunities in our community.
10) Regarding the Fourth of July Parade, Hambro for many years has supported other groups and businesses by providing trucks, equipment and personnel to pull floats or carry displays and we have done this at no charge ever!
11) Finally, the Hambro bid includes $2.2 million dollars for new front-line equipment. By our estimate, if Recology had also included new equipment the Hambro bid would actually be closer to $4.6 million dollars under the Recology bid.
Hambro included new equipment in our bid because we felt our community deserved to be served with new equipment rather than the second-hand equipment we currently see collecting and transporting the garbage in our community. Hambro wanted to help improve the appearance of our community. We did the same thing when we won the garbage transfer station contract. New equipment went into service.
The bottom line is that Hambro is local, we have been here for 47 years, we have supported our community in uncountable ways and we are asking for and deserve the support of our community. I also invite Mr. Dillard or any concerned citizen of Del Norte County to call or arrange a meeting at our office to talk with us regarding the facts about the garbage collections contract and the Hambro Group.
Charlie Compton is a vice president of Hambro Group.