CARTM: Conversations Continue, Commitment to Community

By Laura Swanson
The CARTM announcement about the changes coming to the Manzanita Transfer Station as the long-time non-profit operating the County’s north solid waste repository and recycling prepares to close has raised numerous questions. David McCall, Solid Waste Coordinator is preparing options and solutions for the trash operations and recycling center in North County to be presented to the Board of Commissioners, but NOT at the upcoming meeting September 5th. “This is a very fluid situation, and we will be looking at various solutions,” said McCall. “And we will be re-issuing the RFP for the North County solid waste collection and recycling center.”

The county offered to extend the current agreement with CARTM through the transition. According to Karen Reddick-Yurka, the CARTM board turned it down for three reasons:

“1. We need the revenue requested in the bid immediately to continue the many services we provide to reduce waste and divert a high percentage of useful materials from the landfill;

2. Because it’s unfair to ask our staff to continue working another without job security, potentially to be laid off mid-winter; and,

3. I am retiring at the end of the year, and the timing is such that the board cannot search for, hire and train new leadership without the security of a contract with the County.”

CARTM’s current “franchise” contract with the County set at $100,000 since 2014, does not cover the costs/services they provide for recycling and especially for the “diversion” of materials. “We have been limping along for the last couple years, especially with the change in the recycling markets,” said Reddick-Yurka. “The model CARTM has used for the last 20 years just isn’t working, and it is time to change the way we are doing things.”
The CARTM Board, Michael Maginnis, chair, Linda Kozlowski, Wendy Ryan, Megan Ponder, Randy Kugler, Jenny Greenleaf, Jacki Hinton, and Susan Walsh, who is on leave from the board while she assists CARTM with operations through this transition, has a full plate as they determine the organization’s direction.
From Lane deMoll, one of the founders of CARTM: “Most of you can imagine how the crisis between Cartm and the County has been affecting me both emotionally and practically. As people have voiced many times over the past 20 years: “What would we do without Cartm??” That question has become dire in the past couple of days. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had fielding peoples fears and recycling worries – including my own. The incredibly hardworking folks at Cartm deserve to operate on more than a shoestring! We all know the world needs this powerful example of a community working together towards zero waste. There HAS to a solution….” DeMoll encourages the community to get involved by reducing our waste, reusing, and repurposing. “Talk to our elected officials, the county commissioners and the governor to insist on supporting programs like CARTM that are committed to reducing our impacts on our world,” she added.
CARTM was founded on the premise and quote by Margaret Meade, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Time again for a change. “I know that this community will help and support CARTM through this,” said Reddick-Yurka. “It is a time of transformation and not a time for slinging arrows. We will continue our mission and focus on moving the community to zero-waste.”