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[greenyes] A call to arms! Mission-driven recycling is getting screwed again!

Greetings to all,

If you haven't been paying attention, it's time to. Eureka Recycling,
one of the true gems-of-the-planet, is getting screwed in the decision
on who will service the recycling needs of Minneapolis. The decision is
coming down VERY SOON, and I'm asking people to jump in and help. I
know Eureka and the amazing people over there that breathe life into it.
Eureka is a sacred vessel, much like Eco-Cycle in Boulder is, for
holding the dreams and aspirations of the community. Recycling may not
save the planet, but it will be the recycling spirit that does! Let us
come together in one voice now and let the good folks leading
Minneapolis know that all across the nation we are watching and
supporting our friends and national leaders at Eureka Recycling, and
that Minneapolis should be thanking their good fortune to even have the
opportunity to work with such a fine community-spirited and
business-savvy social enterprise like Eureka.

At the bottom of this message are the email addresses of the Mayor and
the City council and some environmental reporters at the important
newspapers. But first, here is a letter I copied off the Eureka
website, so you can read it in their own words.
( In case you're wondering, I did ask the Eureka
folks if they wanted outside help, and here was their answer, " Eric,
sure, you can help! Why not? It may not turn the tides in city hall
(those currents seem to be moving just a little too fast in the other
direction) but it certainly will help us continue to build our
reputation with Minneapolis recyclers and educate folks and the media
here about the bigger picture issue."

Thank you for your immediate actions on this ... Susan and Tim and the
whole organization are fighting our fight for us right now, so let's
help them!

Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle, Inc
Boulder, CO
= = = = = = = = =

"Sustainable Recycling in Minneapolis"

February 10, 2004

Dear Minneapolis Recyclers:

The Minneapolis City Council's Transportation and Public Works Committee
postponed their decision again regarding the city's contract for
recycling processing until Tuesday, February 17. At their last meeting,
on February 3, the chair of the committee requested that the staff get
all three proposers' "best and final offer." Because the staff
evaluations have revealed pricing, including Eureka Recycling's best
pricing, this gives Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) and BFI an opportunity
to meet or beat our price - which (to date) has been the best offer they
have received.

We believe that Eureka Recycling is in a unique position to partner with
the city of Minneapolis for the sustainable future of recycling. We
appreciate your interest in this issue and your efforts in communicating
with your elected representatives. Sometimes this process leaves
residents feeling as though they are not being heard by their elected
officials but actually the opposite is true. You were heard loud and
clear. We received many calls from local press, government officials and
others telling us that the attention was bringing a closer observance to
this issue. Of course not all of the elected officials liked this
attention and some may hold a bit of a grudge about this grassroots
approach, but we all agree that we want an educated community making
decisions about their city.

The committee has delayed the decision on this recycling contract
several times and we believe it has been because of your questions and
concerns about this contract. We hope you will continue to voice your
opinion, because it matters a great deal. In the end, if the majority of
the decision-makers determine that it is not in the best interests of
the city to use Eureka Recycling, then so be it. Obviously, this
wouldn't be the end of the world or the end of recycling or the end of
Eureka Recycling's involvement in Minnneapolis' recycling program. We'll
be around to monitor this contract closely and report on it to those of
you we know care deeply about it.

We are glad to have provided a competitive atmosphere for Minneapolis'
processing contract because we have been able demonstrates the true
cost/benefit of recycling. However, we believe that this process is
flawed. It is flawed because the reason put forward by decision-makers
for their aversion to selecting Eureka Recycling is because we are
smaller and we have less money. Minneapolis, like Saint Paul is supposed
to hold a preference for small businesses and minority businesses but it
appears that the process itself eliminates these businesses from getting
contracts with the city.

Eureka Recycling offered the city the best proposal from the start,
providing the city of Minneapolis with the best revenue share for
materials as well as floor price protections for bad markets. Now, as
questions have surfaced regarding our financial assurances, Eureka
Recycling is being characterized as a "risk." This appears to be an
effort to discredit our proposal in order to justify the selection of
WMI or BFI on something other than price. And, this indicates that the
city is reluctant to work with smaller, local organizations and favors
the deeper pockets of multinational companies like Waste Management and

We could provide counter information on our stability, our 17 year track
record, etc., but it is all just debate. What is important and what
should change is the city's process and criteria for making these
decisions. The current process for evaluation in contractor selection
does not allow for consideration of the greatest assets of organizations
like Eureka Recycling's or the thousands of others in the metro area
that have been or will be shut out of this process. These assets
include: being locally owned and operated, having a proven track record
of protecting the environment and a commitment to keeping all of the
assets (including money) in the community.

Then perhaps the question we residents must help our elected officials
answer is what, besides a company's gross revenues, is important in the
evaluation of a contractor proposing to supply services to the city of

Thanks for your support.

Resourcefully Yours,

Eureka Recycling

Mayor R.T. Rybak City of Minneapolis
Council President Paul Ostrow Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Paul Zerby Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Don Samuels Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Barbara Johnson Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Dean Zimmermann Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Lisa Goodman Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Robert Lilligren Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Gary Schiff Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Dan Niziolek Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Scott Benson Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy Minneapolis City Council
Council Member Barret Lane Minneapolis City Council
Metro columnist Doug Grow Star Tribune
Enviornmental Reporter Tom Meersman Star Tribune
Reporter Michael Metzger Southwest Journal

Email addresses in order of names above...

Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle, Inc
Boulder, CO

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