On Monday July 5, 2010 The City of Charlotte's much hyped recycle roll out bins will be put to use. The 12 Million dollar price tag was justified by Charlotte's City Council and Mayor who explained it will save the city 12 million dollars over the next five years. See The Charlotte Observer from February 9, 2010 here.
Charlotte city leaders show how to use the new larger roll out recycling bin.
As well as Solid Waste Services staff:
"These improvements represent a major change to the current recycling operation," said Victoria O. Garland, Solid Waste Services key business executive. "Changing the operation will have several environmental benefits including reducing the waste going to the landfill and reduced emissions as a result of a smaller vehicle fleet. We will also be able to reduce costs by approximately $12 million over the next five years." The Complete text is here.
First that was just plain stupid, but even with that simple fail of the time value of money concept those in Govco pressed on. Later Charlotte's Solid Waste Services Department would claim that the savings would be more around 43 million. But that includes the estimated saving of the prior recycling program. In other words smoke and mirrors.
Soon after the green containers began showing up, it was learned that each container included an embedded "spy chip" which is coded to your house. WBT's Tara Servatius, Creative Loafing, Cedar Posts, Meck Deck and others sounded the alarm that sent homeowners in search of the hidden RF chip with box cutters and hammers.
The City later sent out a notice claiming that the concerns raised were unfounded. No reply when CP asked why the City had not be more forthcoming prior to local media's discovery of the chip. Makes ya wonder doesn't it?
Keep in mind the the State of North Carolina recently passed a law making it illegal at put plastic types 1 and 2 as well as aluminum into your regular garbage. But the state says they have no plans to enforce the law. Makes ya wonder doesn't it?
The "roll out" of the roll out container has been less than impressive. The numerous instructions and calendars mail out were just as confusing as is evidenced by the number of neighbors who roll their recycle bin to the street every week only to roll it back the next day just as full.
The calendar was supposed to be color coded, orange or green, but apparently the printer misplaced the green/orange square which made the calendar useless. The City of Charlotte would have done better by mailing out the Charlotte Knights Baseball schedule. Have a look at the still confusing calendar here.
The other big selling point promoted by the city was that they will be able to recycle more recyclables. That is except, pizza boxes, plastic grocery bags, styrofoam take out boxes, paper plates and napkins and plastic food trays and boxes.
I'm sorry I live in a dual income home, as I suspect nearly 1/2 of the city does and pizza boxes, take out plastic trays, styrofoam and grocery bags are my life.
In all, other than a cool new garbage can in my garage it seems to be a complete waste of taxpayer money, a time confusing burden and just another reason to throw out the current members of Charlotte's City Council.
Cedar Posts Update:
Charita Curtis tells the Charlotte Observer that the new rollout program will save the city an estimated 15 million over the next five years and 43 million over the next decade.
Solid Waste Management Director Bruce Gledhill also tells the Observer that new equipment was installed in December at a cost around 7 million.
Based on available information Cedar Posts is left to assume that the 7 million is in addition to the 12 million spent on the new roll out containers.
Seems that Charlotte's Solid Waste, the Mayor and City Council are pretty loose with the numbers and facts. A little surprising considering the fall out over the Mecklenburg County DSS accounting earlier this year.
You can read the full Observer article here.