"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

September 27, 2007

Revisting The Recycling Iniative On Main St.

Revisiting the recycling issue downtown...Read the original post here, and the follow up here.

It looks as if the squeaky wheel got a little grease...Namely, a request to the Parks and Rec. Dep't to replace the broken recycling barrels on Main St. with three of the new recycling bins Parks and Rec. are already in possession of.

Below, Karen Bouquillon, City of Northampton's Solid Waste Coordinator, responds to three questions posed recently via email regarding the issues I highlighted here earlier, and linked to above. (The following email responses were received Sept. 21. )

Northamptonist: Who is disposing of the contents in the recycling barrels downtown as of today?

Karen Bouquillon: I do not know. I have asked the Parks and Rec department to give the Parking Department three of the MassCor receptacles to replace the Windsor barrels that are not working...then the Pedal People will be emptying them.

Northamptonist: When can the residents of Northampton expect the new recycling bins you noted to be placed downtown? (EDIT: Those in addition to the three she requested for immediate use from Parks and Rec.)
Karen Bouquillon: The grant application went in last week. I expect to know if we got the grant by mid-October, order them immediately, and they should be in place no later than 6 weeks later.

Northamptonist: What is the plan of oversight for the new bins, regarding who will be responsible for their disposal, and what City Dept will have purview?
Karen Bouquillon: The Parking Division will have purview. The Pedal People will empty the bins as necessary. Alternative Recycling Systems will handle the recyclables.

And in response to my query as to why the City chose MassCor as the supplier, Karen wrote,

What I was looking for was a receptacle with the following characteristics (in no particular order):

Reasonable in price
See-through (to reduce contamination)
No liner required
Light enough to lift and empty
Heavy enough to resist blowing over
Resistant to the elements
Easy to maintain (no regular cleaning required)

The primary reason that I chose the MassCor product is because it meets these criteria... it is a unique design that works. The Parks and Recreation Department has been using 40 of these units for more than a year now, and are very satisfied with their performance...For more information about this, you could contact the City's Procurement Officer, Joe Cook, at 587-1246.
(EDIT: She also noted that there was nothing suspicious about using MassCor in regards to their bidding process, which allows the City to circumvent the regular bidding procedure, and she also wrote she was happy to support a business that provided prisoners with work experience and training.)

So there you have it. If the grant goes thru, the new bins should be in place by the end of the year, at the latest. I will be keeping up on this to see if everything comes to fruition, though I will let it rest for a bit now, as when city officials start responding to your emails with BIG RED CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!! you can reasonable assume you have exasperated them, and I don't like knowing I have done so. But truth be told, getting a factual and detailed response was a bit more difficult then I imagined, and it required me sending quite a few emails, making quite a few calls, and having quite a few conversations. Likely because different departments were unclear about what was going on elsewhere, and sometimes stated mistaken information to me, which required another round of questions to another round of people. But there they are above, the answers I was looking for straight from the City's Solid Waste Coordinator, for the public record. I like that.

LABELS: downtown, recyling, public policy, citizen journalism