CARTM Conversations: Answers to Questions from CARTM Board Chair

Editor’s Note: An email response Victoria Stoppiello forwarded to the Pioneer from Michael Maginnis, CARTM Chair, and he agreed to publish to continue answer questions. We should have the CARTM budget information available and will publish it the next day or two as well.

Victoria and Anthony Stoppiello wrote:
Hi Michael,
Anthony and I have been talking about the CARTM predicament.
In July, you sent us a letter w/ the 2017 annual report, mentioning that 2018 began with a surplus which was directed toward wage increases, repairs & ongoing site maintenance, and getting a new forklift. Your letter also said the bid on the contract would hopefully make the pilot project funding permanent.
Our understanding from what we’ve read on-line is that CARTM was getting $100k/year from the county, but in the contract bid CARTM asked for $500K/year. What changed? Was the $400K additional pilot project money?

From Michael Maginnis:
The opportunity for serious reflection on our direction arose when the county decided to conduct an open bid for the operation of the Manzanita Transfer Station. The board, recognizing that much of our success depended upon underpaid and overworked staff, band-aided equipment and fundraising that went to funding operations rather than new innovative programs, put together a real-world budget.

We also recognized that the county (in the RFP) was asking for more than just operating the trash station (as was the case in our previous agreement). The RFP included the requirement that the operator
maintain or exceed the recovery ratio at MTS. Of all the materials coming at us, around 55% is recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill. Maintaining that while dealing with an ever-increasing amount of materials to process is a huge challenge. The proposal also asked for a reuse component – if not the Refindery, something like it – to be included. And there were other requirements as well.

We did feel validated when our competition for the contract actually bid higher and did not agree to some of the terms of the RFP.

In 2010, CARTM managed just under 1000 tons of stuff that was brought to the site. For comparison, in 2017 we processed around 3000 tons. That trend is still in place. What started out as a modest recycling project has become a huge business with huge challenges. Our bid reflected our expectation that it ain’t gonna get any easier in the future.

We were hoping for a permanent funding contract with the county. Just not at the level of the pilot project.

Thanks for caring. We are humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.
I hope this addresses some of your questions adequately … if not, ask away!

Michael Maginnis, CARTM Board Chair