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Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling

Safeway to Pay Nearly $10 Million for Waste Disposal Infractions

January 12th, 2015

SafewayFor the second largest supermarket chain in the nation, the New Year is off to a bad start.

In a decision levied by the Alameda County Superior Court, Safeway Inc. will have to pay $9.87 million as part of a settlement for improper hazardous waste management. The charges brought against Safeway are a result of a 3-year investigation of nearly 500 stores (including stores of Safeway-owned chains like Pak ‘N Save, Pavilions, and Vons) and distribution centers across the state.

Ironically, the investigation into Safeway started when district attorneys in Southern California were looking into the practices of a different business.  They discovered that Safeway was shipping hazardous waste from stores back to distribution centers without using licensed transporters. This information gave prosecutors enough reason to begin surprise waste inspections at stores across the state.

As the inspections rolled out, investigators discovered that workers at hundreds of Safeway locations were disposing of hazardous waste into common dumpsters. On top of that, workers were also tossing sensitive documents like pharmacy patient records without shredding them, leaving customers susceptible to identity theft.

On top of the financial penalty, the settlement stipulates that Safeway must continue its First Assistant Store Manager Program, which identifies and addresses compliance issues at the store level and oversees yearly store audits.  Between the start of the investigation and now, district attorneys have already been working with the company to develop new procedures to ensure proper waste disposal.

While Safeway admits no wrongdoing (a move we are used to seeing among big companies like this), they have agreed to “continue to dedicate significant resources to these important [waste management] programs”.

(Source)

Waste Management taking Oakland to Court over Lost Contract

September 15th, 2014

In the wake of the recent controversy over the city of Oakland offering a 10-year contract to a rival company, Houston-based Waste waste_management_logo-320x220Management has decided to take their grievances to court.

Waste Management, the nations largest trash and recycling hauler, claims that the Oakland City Council hindered the bidding process in order to stack the odds in favor of the West Oakland-based California Waste Solutions (CWS). Citing the fact that CWS has never held a garbage hauling contract, submitted proposals past the agreed-upon due date, and failed to comply with Oakland’s contracting rules, Waste Management feels that the only reason Oakland awarded the valuable contract to CWS was due to “personal and political connections”.

Waste Management also adds that after they reviewed and rejected their proposal in May, City Council decided to re-open the bidding process and allow CWS to look at Waste Managements proposal in order to alter and re-submit a new proposal of their own (originally, CWS only wanted part of the contract, but was able to re-submit for the entire contract).

Not shockingly, the City Council is claiming no wrongdoing, as they feel they picked awarded the contract to the company that could provide the residents of Oakland the best value. Waste Managements proposal estimated that the city would have to endure no less then a 50 percent fee hike. City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan defended the choice saying, “It is completely normal to pick the one with the lowest price. We picked the one with the lowest price for the public. We saved the public $200 million.”

 

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Waste-Management-sues-Oakland-over-1-billion-5695911.php#photo-1922607

Another “Green” Holiday Infographic ;)

March 17th, 2014

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everyone. Since here at Fast Haul, we like to support all things “green”, we thought we’d get into the spirit of the holiday with this great infographic! Brought to you by Expertpromos.com, this fun and unique infographic presents a ton of interesting facts about Irish culture in America, including recent population rates, Irish symbols and their meanings, and figures on exactly how many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

For example, while 122 million people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day annually, Ireland’s most popular beer Guinness doesn’t even crack the top 5 most popular beers on tap in America. That’s pretty surprising, given that 34.5 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry. There are a ton of facts like these in the infographic that people will love! It’s perfect for brushing up on some Irish trivia to impress your friends at St. Patrick’s Day parties. In fact, Expertpromos.com is offering a 25% discount on orders over $500 when they mention the page!

Lucky Irish Promotional Items [Infographic]

Copyright 2014 ExpertPromos.com

No More Bottles!: SF’s Plastic Bottled Water Ban

February 6th, 2014

sf.waterbottles.0329San Francisco continues to stake out new territory as the leader in waste diversion by proposing a ban on the sale of water bottles on public property.  If enacted, this would be among the strictest bottled water bans in the country.  This idea has sparked a debate, with people on both sides weighing in on the potential impact (positive and adverse) of such a bold move.

Who Would be Affected?

The ordinance would apply to any event conducted on public property with 100 or more attendees.   This would not just apply to conventional festivals, but would even extend to mobile food trucks — which would need to offer tap water instead of purveying bottled water, though it would only apply to events with adequate on-site tap water, initially.  That is until late 2016, when it would take affect at all events on San Francisco-owned property.

The Pros:

  • The water’s great!  Long considered exceptional, San Francisco tap water comes from snowmelt flowing down the Tuolumne River and is quality-tested  100,000> times a year.  This water is considered so pure that the both the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Public Health say it needs no filtration.
  • Back in 2007, former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s executive order prohibiting the use of city funds purchase bottled water saved half a million in annual city spending.
  • Bottled water requires 17 million (estimated) barrels of oil each year of production  and three times the water produced to produce it.

For annual events, such as Outside Lands which draws 65,000 people, only three refillable tap water stations were available.  This example is but one of the many that mandates that the city thoroughly study how to accommodate water supply demands at such events and prioritize installing water fountains and reusable bottle filling stations.

Source: http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/12/17/121024/bottled-water-sales-ban-San-Francisco

By: Ethan Malone

 
 
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