Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trash- Boom & Bust!


The never-ending discussion continues. Kind of reminds me of a soap opera. New facts emerged last night. It seems that the Council Prez Rodrigues is now saying that the program was never expected to balance itself- at least in the short term. And you know what they say about the long-term- we'll all be dead.
The program was also termed a success. Of course, that's narrowing your definition to 50% of what the program was supposed to accomplish- no town costs. It's a bust in that regard. As for recycling- that's much improved. Typical good news-bad news scenario.

It's time to look at the facts. The fact is that the Council (Rodrigues, Mello, Santos, DiPalma, & Barrows) repeatedly promised costs only to the users. Yeah, we forgot to ask when this would happen. And they forgot to tell us. What we heard was that you paid for what you threw away & recycling was free. This was always a stretch & a questionable promotion. Recycling is NOT free. That's why you can't just put out recycling items (DiPalma wants these residents to STOP).

So this program is going into debt with fingers still crossed- maybe summer residents will use the system. And maybe they won't. How many households would this be? 40%? Still no decision on how/who's paying for the shortfall or for how long. But bag costs won't go up. So I guess everyone pays.
This program forgot one important requirement in its adoption: "And then a miracle occurs." I couldn't even get a 95% participation rate if I offered a free treat one day only at "The Freeze."

I evidently left before the rather tumultuous ending (Projo). Rodrigues evidently called Sylvia a liar & asserted that everyone on the Council was aware there would be program monetary shortfalls for awhile. Now the Prez knows of whence he speaks calling anyone a liar. While not usually inclined to bring up past shortcomings (which we all have, BTW), he is the only one who was ever accused of publicly lying during his campaign & then decided to fess up (about his sis- the Senior Ctr. Dir.). He then lost an election.

It's all a matter of semantics. Anyone reading the recent reports regarding trash could figure out that there was a problem. But lost $ wasn't given. However the press and the Council supporters focused on the recycling sucess. Now when someone actually brings the whole program into focus and wonders where the shortfall costs are going to come from- like the users who are supposedly supporting the system or the taxpayers, suddenly heads go in the sand and intimidation rears its ugly head.

I don't care if you don't like each other. I don't care who "the decider" is. Stop with insults and play nice. So you don't all agree. Shocking. Who cares? But let's get some answers for the contuing shortfalls. If we're all going to pay anyway, why not a program that everyone can live with?

The assertion by the Prez, et al, that you need to force residents to recycle by offering them money incentives, is just wrong, Daddy. Newporters recycle almost as much as we do with no incentives. Some businesses do the same with no commanding laws and no monetary incentives. That's because we're not all blooming idiots.

If you gave me the choice of "easing into" the program by letting me begin to recycle at my own pace & comfort level by not punishing me with increased costs (and very small bags), I would happily use the town program and I believe everyone else would too. So charge me a fee already. I'm a big girl and get it (although I'm smaller than I used to be after losing 50 lbs.).

Newport's program works. It's not necessary to re-invent the wheel. Renegotiate the contract. BTW, I didn't realize that we had given up 3 or 4 yrs. of recycling income. So what is it? It is our money, right? Monies given up are monies lost.

I've really had a belly full of the in-fighting. It'd say it's juvenile but that's insulting to juveniles. So some of the Dems don't like Sylvia & Silveira & have no plans to endorse them. Boo hoo. DiPalma is put out to pasture by leaving the Council & running for state office. So DiPalma is praised (at least for now) while the others are given the cold shoulder. One doesn't even pronounce Silveira's name correctly.
This trash system needs a conclusion. How much longer can this agony drag on? You'll never balance the system out, so why pretend? Don't tell me it's what works best for everyone, because it's just not true. It's a complex, confusing program. Even users, let alone non-users have problems with it. That's why some trucks now have cameras and periodically all the trash needs to be inspected for proper bag use.
Please don't tell me the State cares. It only woke up to the fact that there was a landfill problem a year or two ago. The Resource Recovery also has very limited recycling compared to what it could/should be doing. It also made pretty free with our money with its many varied charitable donations.

Hey, they shoot horses, don't they? Half of the system works, half doesn't. So fix the half that's not working rather than insulting the bearer of bad tidings. Even the cowardly lion finally found "the nerve" and the scarecrow found his brain. Neither really needed "The Wiz." This ain't rocket science.
Thanks to Projo's Meaghan Weems who stayed longer than I did.
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