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Why voters might trash Prop A

Photo courtesy of Flickr user KayVee.INC

On June 5th, San Franciscans will be voting on many things, one of which has to do with their trash.

Since the 1930s, the company Recology has been taking care of The City’s trash and recycling, with no competition. This year, proponents of Proposition A want to change that by opening up the city's trash collection and processing services to a competitive bidding process. Other companies – even out of state ones – would have the chance to bid for the job.

Those against Proposition A say, “don’t mess with success.” As a matter of fact, that is their slogan, meaning the system has been working fine for decades under Recology.

Reporter John Wildermuth at the San Francisco Chronicle has been following Proposition A. KALW’s Hana Baba sat down with Wildermuth to learn more about it.

HANA BABA: What are you hearing from people in your reporting?

JOHN WILDERMUTH: They’ve had this company for 80 years and are willing to put up with it. The people are not unhappy with it, and it’s been done, it actually is working. The unions are very happy because Recology is a unionized company. It’s the largest employee-owned company in the city, it has long roots that go back to Sunset Scavengers, people have known this company for their lives, and they’re pleased. Certainly, if there’s a huge disaster, or a three-week garbage strike, or something like that, that could convince people. But, talking to people and companies, everybody says, “we’re fine.” If you want to make a change, people have to be angry and say “we wanna make a change now,” and I’m just not hearing that.

Listen to the full interview above.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.