Part 5 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election
Vaitla Suggests Return to RoundUp Use in Davis Parks.

Part 6 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election

Sierra-club-yolano

Waste Management and Financial Contributors

Introduction - As has been our custom for over 20 years, the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares a wide-ranging questionnaire and presents it to candidates in races of interest to our local membership. The questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council race received answers from all 5 candidates in the 2 of the 5 City Council Districts for which an election is held in November, 2022.

The candidates, listed in alphabetical order by their first name, are:

District 1 (West Davis): - Bapu Vaitla, Dan Carson, and Kelsey Fortune

District 4 (East Davis ) - Adam Morrill, Gloria Partida

Questions were asked in the following general categories :

Part 1 - Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development

Part 2-- Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing

Part 3 - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Part 4 - Transportation Management

Part 5 - Toxics in the Environment and Other Environmental Issues

Part 6 - Waste Management and Financial Contibutors

Parts 1 through 5 in this series can be viewed by clicking on that article's title above which is linked to the earlier publication.

This is the 6th in the series of articles and focuses on Waste Management and provides candidate responses to the following questions:

Question #1 - Recyclable or Compostable Take-out & In-Restaurant Food and Drink Containers

Davis has adopted a Zero Waste Resolution striving to achieve zero waste by 2025. As part of this program, all food service industry tableware and drink containers must be reusable, recyclable or compostable including a ban on all Styrofoam containers. All waste must also be segregated by organics, recyclable, or landfill but few fast food or other restaurants are currently doing so.

What should the City do to enforce this Ordinance?

Question #2 - Proposed Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling and Food Waste Collection

The City of Davis waste management plan also now requires mandatory commercial and multi-family segregated recycling and segregated food scrap collection but this City has yet to roll-out these mandatory programs on a widespread basis?

 

Do you support these measures and why or why not. If yes, how should the City go about rolling them out and enforcing them?

 

Question #3 – Financial Contributors

 

How much money have you collected overall to date and from which unions, developer or real estate interests, or other entities doing business with the City of Davis? Will you accept all contributions from any of these interests?

______________________________________________________

 

Part 6 - Waste Management and Financial Contributors

 

Question #1 - Recyclable or Compostable Take-out & In-Restaurant Food and Drink Containers

Davis has adopted a Zero Waste Resolution striving to achieve zero waste by 2025. As part of this program, all food service industry tableware and drink containers must be reusable, recyclable or compostable including a ban on all Styrofoam containers. All waste must also be segregated by organics, recyclable, or landfill but few fast food or other restaurants are currently doing so.

What should the City do to enforce this Ordinance?

 

Responses from District 1 Candidates

Bapu Vaitla - Contamination monitoring (lid flip, cameras on trucks, or other container monitoring technology) and periodic bin inspections would help identify businesses who violate the ordinance.

The first response to violations should be noncompliance outreach; businesses should have an opportunity to remedy their behavior. Subsequent infractions should be met with gradually increasing fines.

Dan Carson  - The city is now in a much stronger position to ensure diversion of organics materials from the waste stream through its implementation of SB 1383, which includes penalties for entities that do not comply with its requirements.  In addition, the city, in coordination with Yolo County and other neighboring cities, is moving forward as state law mandates to divert food waste from our county landfill.  I supported city action to move forward with these compliance actions. 

The plastics waste issue will be addressed I believe much more effectively than a local ordinance ever could by a new California law requiring all packaging to be recyclable or compostable, significantly cutting plastics use. The legislation strengthens the state’s recycling system and shifts the burden of plastic waste from Californians to the plastics and packaging industry. All packaging in the state must be recyclable or compostable by 2032, plastic packaging must be cut by 25 percent in 10 years, and 65 percent of all single-use plastic packaging must be recycled in the same timeframe.

In my role as a member of the council subcommittee on legislation I have supported legislation such as this that makes it easier for cities to comply with state requirements to reduce the amount of materials going to landfills, such as by providing state grant funding for implementation.

Kelsey Fortune -  I would first suggest encouragement campaigns. The best thing the city can do is provide free positive advertising for those businesses that comply. The public is supportive of these initiatives, and I believe that they will choose to support businesses in compliance.

Second, I would suggest engaging businesses in conversation about these requirements to see if there are things that need to change for them to successfully comply. In speaking to business owners, I have learned that many with shared receptacles find it difficult to recycle and compost because bins are already full. We must address these issues.

Third, I would issue a warning to any noncompliant businesses. Warning businesses that significant fines are coming will provide additional incentive to comply with this ordinance.

Finally, I would resort to recurring monthly fines on businesses that continue to remain noncompliant.

Responses from District 4 Candidates

Adam Morrill - As an employee partly responsible for enforcing this ordinance, I can say that SOPs are already in place for enforcement.  Much of the guidance for enforcement and education is prescribed in state law and city employees are well versed in these laws and regulations.  Additionally, Recology conducts regular waste audits of businesses, restaurants and multifamily residential.

Gloria Partida - The city has a plan to audit our not only our business but also our residents to ensure compliance with SB1383. Education and outreach is always important. Understanding takes much of the resistance out of new endeavors.

______________________________________________________

Question #2 - Proposed Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling and Food Waste Collection

 

The City of Davis waste management plan also now requires mandatory commercial and multi-family segregated recycling and segregated food scrap collection but this City has yet to roll-out these mandatory programs on a widespread basis.

 

Do you support these measures and why or why not. If yes, how should the City go about rolling them out and enforcing them?

Responses from District 1 Candidates

 

Bapu Vaitla - Yes, I support these measures. For commercial businesses, the first infraction should trigger noncompliance outreach. Subsequent infractions for commercial businesses should result in a gradually increasing fine. There is no realistic way for the City to monitor and enforce this ordinance over the individual residents of multi-family developments. Instead, the City should mandate that developments which are in violation must adopt best practices in behavioral change outreach, e.g. redesigning their recycling and food scrap collection facilities, providing positive reputational or monetary incentives for residents with a record of compliance, and expanding signage. 

Dan Carson - Actually, the city is actively implementing SB 1383 on a widespread basis under an ordinance initially approved by council on November 16, 2021. I voted to adopt the ordinance. The state legislation mandates organic waste diversion and recovery of food waste and requires the implementation of penalties for noncompliance. 

In my role as a member of the City Council’s legislative committee the City of Davis has successfully partnered with other cities to advocate for substantial state grant funding that is critical to the successful local implementation of SB 1383.  I have consistently and repeatedly supported the city’s SB 1383 implementation measures as the council has considered this matter. .

Kelsey Fortune - I support the proper disposal for waste to limit the amount we contribute to landfills as well as maximizing the amount recyclable material. Offering complexes positive advertising for compliance and instituting recurring fines as with businesses for noncompliance. I also believe that encouraging compliance through increasing the rate differentials for various refuse container sizes to match our priorities will be helpful across all users. For example, a 35 gallon garbage bin is only $5 cheaper than a 65 gallon bin. Allowing customers options for less frequent pick up to save on fees could also create better incentives and create cost savings.

Responses from District 4 Candidates

Adam Morrill - As an employee partly responsible for enforcing this ordinance, I can say that this program has already been rolled out to commercial and multi-family housing and that SOPs are already in place for enforcement.  Much of the guidance for enforcement and education is prescribed in state law and city employees are well versed in these laws and regulations.  Additionally, Recology conducts regular waste audits of businesses, restaurants and multifamily residential.

Gloria Partida - The city has a plan to audit our not only our business but also our residents to ensure compliance with SB1383. Education and outreach is always important. Understanding takes much of the resistance out of new endeavors.

______________________________________________________

Question #3 – Financial Contributors

 

How much money have you collected overall to date and from which unions, developer or real estate interests, or other entities doing business with the City of Davis? Will you accept all contributions from any of these interests?

 

Responses from District 1 Candidates

 

Bapu Vaitla - We have collected $13,500 to date, none of which has come from unions, developers, real estate interests, or other entities doing business with the City of Davis. We will accept money from union members, but not from developer or real estate interests or other entities with a financial stake in City of Davis policy 

Dan Carson - I have not accepted funding for my council campaign from Davis developers.

Kelsey Fortune - My donors are all individuals. I have excepted zero funds from unions, developers, real estate interests, or any entity doing business in Davis. I am working with local business owners to build to them up as I campaign, but these partners are providing their services at their normal prices.

Responses from District 4 Candidates

Adam Morrill - I have collected approximately $2200, $150 of which is from DCEA.  I make no promises to any individual or group.  I present the same platform to everyone I meet.  If they chose to support me financially, that is their choice, but that does not change what I believe should be priorities for managing the city.

Gloria Partida - I have collected $2000 dollars to date. None from any unions, developers or real estate interests that I am aware of. I will accept all contributions.

______________________________________________________

The Sierra Club Yolano Group is a local Sierra Club group comprising members in all of Yolo and small parts of Solano and Colusa Counties. We can be contacted at sierraclubyolanogroup@gmail.com.

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