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'Trashcat' Defined

August 14, 1993

Fat cats, bureaucrats, trashcats and greed--will the story never end? Your readers are already familiar with most of these, but "trashcats" might be a little new so it's important to describe this new species.

A trashcat is a bureaucrat who specializes in advising public decision makers on solid waste (where it comes from and where it goes). In other words they get paid to think about trash. Please don't confuse them with trash-truck drivers who get paid to move it, or landfill personnel who get paid to dispose of it.

County trashcats like to think that they know what is best for the county's trash and they will devise endless ways to try and get control of the trash from every city so they can add on fees to finance their own budgets and pay county management's bloated salaries.

City trashcats are quite a bit different because they don't think that they know what is best for everyone else. City trashcats tend to just focus on meeting the intent of state law related to waste reduction and blunting the county's endless maneuvers to steal their trash.

So what does all this add up to? Well, it's hard to tell. One person to ask is Supervisor John K. Flynn because it was under his leadership that the county went from trashcat to a whole group (aptly named Solid Waste Department). Now that the county has had to close fire stations, cut salaries at the county hospital and lay off personnel, it's time for John Flynn to propose a meaningful reduction in the number of county trashcats or we may not be able to pay his salary either.


Oak View


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