ARG-166

The following is a recommendation from the city manager of Bridge Bay.


"Last year, the number of visits to our local beach in Bridge Bay was 50 percent lower than the year before. Early last year we ended our contract with Arko Trash Collection, a company that had serviced local garbage collection for the past twenty years. We switched at that time to Satellite Waste Corporation, another trash collection company. In nearby Ocean Harbor, where Arko has continued to provide garbage collection, the beaches are experiencing record levels of attendance. Meanwhile, in Bridge Bay, complaints about garbage on our beach have increased this year. Clearly, inadequate garbage collection on our beach by Satellite has led to the significant drop in visitors. Therefore, in order to restore visitor numbers to our local beach, we recommend resuming our contract with Arko as soon as possible."


Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.


In this letter of recommendation, the city manager of Bridge Bay (BB) recommends continuing the contract with Arko (A) to restore the number of visitors to the local beach. To support this conclusion, the author mentions that BB changed the garbage collection company from A to Satellite Waste Corporation (S), leading to reduced visitors to the local beach. In contrast, the nearby beaches under the service of A had record-breaking visitor numbers. Although the author’s arguments have some validity, some questions need to be answered. The answers to these questions will either strengthen or weaken the author’s argument.

First, we need to know the relationship between Company S and the decline in visitors and their complaints about the trash situation. Specifically, did the lack of work by Company S cause the deterioration of the litter situation at the local beaches? If the answer is no, for example, tourists became too clean, and their sensitivity to trash increased even though the level of trash remained the same. Also, the declining morals of tourists may play a role in bringing more litter. Therefore, we cannot attribute the increase in litter complaints to Company S, and thus the author’s argument would be weakened. Apart from that, is it possible that Company S is causing the decrease in tourists? Perhaps the number of tourists is not high per se, and even a 50% drop is not a significant drop in numbers and could be considered a natural decline, unrelated to the company. Alternatively, factors such as climate change and the competitive advantage of proximity to beaches are causing tourists to be reluctant to visit local beaches. If this is the case, the author’s conclusion would be overturned. However, if the above does not happen, then the author’s view is strengthened.

Second, should we attribute the record-breaking number of visitors to the adjacent beaches to Company A? the local beaches may be too underwhelming, causing customers to naturally choose nearby beaches. In addition, a record number of visitors does not mean that the number of visitors is really high, and this does not mean that Company A is competent. If the above happens, the author’s conclusion will be weakened. Otherwise, it is shored up.

Finally, even if Company S is not able to work and the neighboring beach has a rise in tourists because of Company A, it is still necessary to know the feasibility and effectiveness of the option of restoring the contract with Company A. For example, it is possible that Company A’s treatment of the local beaches also led to a decline in the number of visitors or complaints about trash, and that is why the contract with Company A was terminated last year. In addition, even if Company A did manage the local beaches effectively before, some objective factors (local climate, quality of tourists, competition from other beaches) may make it impossible to do anything even if Company A is returned. If any of the aforementioned scenarios are true, the author’s conclusion is still weakened. Otherwise, the author’s conclusion will be strengthened.


To sum up, while the author’s recommendation may be valid to some extent, there are a number of questions regarding his lines of reasoning that require further analysis. The argument could end up being pretty convincing or invalid in the end, depending on the answers to those questions.

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