Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recycling - City of Charlotte Out of Control

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.


JAT said...

For me the deceit starts with calling this a recycling improvement plan when clearly it is a recycling REDUCTION program.

As I've pointed out before, if you recycle three or more red bins each week now, you'll have to recycle less with one 96-gallon bin every two weeks.

Plus the city has never made clear what it plans to do with the fleet of sorter trucks it will no longer need with the new system. Is there any cost associated with that change?

recycle85 said...

Make recycling beautiful.

Anonymous said...

we should all swap bins and tell the city where to stick their chips.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cedar you will get a laugh out of this your old pal "Dandy Andy" Dulin just tweeted this,

@adulin New recycling program rolling out - via @addthis #cltcc privatized recycling and thats good:)

Please remember this when concil admits the new "improved" program is way over budget and he trys to tell everyone he was against it.

Anonymous said...

Give it up Cedar! To you everything is a vast plot to rip off the taxpayers. I'm sure you are the type that believes in UFOs, Area 59 and even the Kennedy assassination conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Cedar are you one of those "black helicopter" guys? Just asking?

Anonymous said...

anyone can be a "sheepie" (A term leaders call the people that blindly follow the leader without a clue as to what they are following)if thats what they choose to do, but should you not at least be thankful for the people that are willing to look beneath the surface to keep things honest? Meck co. has had very few people willing to this for so long, which is why people in power have been caught doing so many outrageous things recently. personally, I prefer to have people watching out for my interests if I am not looking.

Certainly, the amount of money spent on these bins deserves to be questioned. I would also like to know if any jobs were cut because of the decreased pick up. If that has anything to do with how they will recoup the money, it would be a shameful decision at this point in our economy and bad for the city due to all of the additional issues created by income losses.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but, i believe we need to question actions and decisions of govt to maintain the balance of power.