INC NEWS - any cuts just has to hurt somewhere...
res1m28r at verizon.net
Mon Jun 9 09:47:08 EDT 2008
Should and could Durham in concert with greater Triangle Region (Raleigh,
Cary, Chapel Hill, etc.) develop and implement a Zero Waste policy through a
reclamation and recycling program?
Waste is a tremendous resource.
A community investment in recycling programs could returns many millions of
dollars to the region as well as jobs and a better environment. My opinion,
our community and our leadership should begin to redefine its attitude to
waste if we are to see human generations, beyond our children go on to live
fulfilling and sustainable lives. Sustainability and waste cannot co-exist.
Our region could become a model for Zero Waste.
"Zero Waste envisions a world where all materials are reintegrated back into
the economy or harmlessly into nature. It starts by designing waste out of
the system and integrating actions all the way down the supply chain for
maximum materials efficiency. It challenges unsustainable patterns of
production and consumption. It's a whole system approach to a whole system
Reclamation usually consumes less energy than producing new materials.
Reclamation cannot only reduce pollution but it also saves and conserves the
consumption of energy.
North Garrett Road Committee
----- Original Message -----
From: "RW Pickle" <randy at 27beverly.com>
To: <inc-list at durhaminc.org>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 4:57 AM
Subject: Re: INC NEWS - any cuts just has to hurt somewhere...
>I have no reason to retain paperwork or figures from the past. We (a group
> of citizens representing the PAC's/INC and the administration from Solid
> Waste at the time) were successful in our goal of figuring out how to roll
> yard waste out across the entire City. Some of the citizens who were also
> part of that group (as I recall) were David Harris, Harold Chestnut, Mike
> and Cheryl Shiflett. A key representative from Solid Waste was Randy Smith
> (who still heads up the Yard Waste Program as well as the transfer station
> now) as well as the folks running the administration during that time. Any
> of them can confirm this fact. What the actual numbers were is probably
> something none of us will still have. But simple math says that figure was
> more than a million dollars at that time. It was breaking even according
> to the Solid Waste administration. And that was why we felt it was time to
> increase service (as well as having City Council desire the same thing).
> So we had a lot working on our side.
> Move forward in time to today where this larger yard waste plan, to roll
> the service out across the entire City, made it into the current budgetary
> process (if passed, it'll roll out in October of this year). It's hard to
> see how it makes any sense at this point since we are paying $39.50/ton
> for disposal in VA. At that time, we had our own yard waste disposal site.
> But I was assured recently by our Solid Waste Director that a new yard
> waste facility permit will return here shortly (prior to the October roll
> out). Time will tell... We need it for more reasons other than the yard
> waste. Urban Forestry has a lot of organics they are now having to pay for
> disposal of, so it'll save all the taxpayers some money if we can keep it
> here. It also offered compost and wood mulch for our City Parks and
> buildings (and irregularly for the citizens when there was an
> Additionally, a huge financial commitment will be necessary in cart
> purchases alone. Originally (back when we were all sorting this out), that
> figure was almost $2M and we felt for sure that Council would not support
> spending that much on brown carts. Heck, it's been hard to even keep green
> carts because of budgetary tightness. But the answer Solid Waste has come
> up with to address that expense is to lease the carts. That'll bring down
> the initial cost to below $1M. Leasing is always cheaper to get started
> with but ends up costing more in the long run. But if that is what it
> takes to roll out the program, that's what it takes.
> As I understand it, the trucks are on order for the roll out. I really
> never understood why we needed so many more trucks (and the manpower to
> operate them). When we were looking at this originally, if we rescheduled
> yard waste pickup to an every-other-week pick up, it required no extra
> manpower or trucks. This was according to the man who ran the program.
> There are currently 18 Yard Waste routes in the City and splitting it in
> half (9 this week and 9 next week), it would all get done. It's not the
> same level of service we are accustomed to (as subscribers who helped
> build the service we currently have), but it was something we felt we
> could live with. It may mean individuals who generate a great deal of yard
> waste from week-to-week would need to get an extra cart or two. But that
> was an easy fix since individuals could buy them. The only problem in the
> bi-weekly pick up was in the fall when leaves are the big issue. But we
> also looked at implementing a "leaf sucking program" like Chapel Hill has
> to help with that heavy yard waste event.
> In a recent conversation about our current solid waste usefulness, it was
> thought that the same crews who pick up the green carts (and finish up by
> 1pm daily) could just turn back around and do the yard waste routes to
> fill up the rest of their day. We operate 40 trucks a day and breaking up
> the 18 routes into smaller routes could be done fairly quickly. But there
> is a great deal of resistance (at least I felt that) from the Solid Waste
> administration to try something like that. Solid Waste still works on the
> "task system" (remember that... get the job done in a hurry and go home
> early but still get paid as if it took all day; we haven't heard much
> about this since Stith left the Council but it's still in place). That
> way, we wouldn't need any more trucks or manpower...
> So why is recycling our yard waste important? Not because of mixing it
> with trash became illegal (we're mixing it today as it goes to VA in the
> same truck; at times, your trash and yard waste are even picked up in the
> same truck which I think makes great sense!). NC mandated recycling
> measures across the State. Glass, cans, newspapers are included in the %
> figure municipalities are set to achieve. By recycling yard waste in
> Durham, it adds to our total % we were able to declare. It increased our
> recycling (and decreased our dependency on landfilling it).
> We aren't charged for recycling the glass, cans, newspapers, etc in the
> same manner as we have been with yard waste, but we are charged. It's one
> of those hidden fees we pay with our taxes. So it appears free, but we are
> actually paying for it. I may be wrong, but as I recall it's about
> $2/household per month (regardless if you put recycling out to be picked
> up or not). It's a contract we have with Tidewater Fiber (TFC). It'll be
> the way yard waste appears if we roll it out across town to everyone;
> it'll be absorbed into our tax base. So we'll still be paying for it one
> way or the other...
> As far as yard waste dumping, sure it happens. But much of the issues
> associated with clogged storm drains, any debris in Ellerbe Creek, or any
> other of the associated things that are commonly attributed to not having
> a yard waste program for all, is a mistake. Much of the debris found in
> the storm drains and in our creeks come from trees that line our streets
> (and the leaves wash down the street into the storm drains) and the
> forested buffers that line our creeks. Gravity causes all the debris to
> fall and it get washed downhill. It's not dumping of yard waste that is
> creating these problems. Street sweeping helps this to some degree, but it
> all depends on the leaves falling and the rain (or maybe wind) washing
> them downhill. Because downhill is where you find all storm drains and
> The trash you mention cleaning up in the creeks is a whole different
> issue. That's litter (and not organic matter) and yes, it's a problem. But
> it's not part of this particular problem of yard waste. Trash is a problem
> everywhere. I have said for a number of years (and told the Director of
> Solid Waste last week to his face) that we will continue to have a problem
> in our community with trash until, as a City, we decide and make it known
> that we want your trash. Our problem is we have never wanted all the
> trash. We make it hard to even get rid of some of it. So until we become
> "the City who wants all your trash", there will always be a litter and
> illegal dumping problem.
> 27 Beverly
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