Council Comments On Issues With Recycling

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Published: July 9, 2013 @ 10:40 PM EDT
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Members of governing body, with the exception of Mayor Joseph Accardi and 3rd Ward councilwoman Tanya Torres, offered comments on the problems with recycling in order to better communicate issues that arose. Extensive delays came about due to residents not being aware that they had to separate their recycling into plastics/bottles/cans and paper/cardboard/periodicals starting this month and the contractor having to separate the recycling material slowed their schedule which was finally completed today, six days after it was supposed to be done. For the past year, residents were able to co-mingle their materials (July 4, 2012 Article: “Borough Moves To Single Stream Recycling Pick-Ups”).

“It’s all our fault,” Council-At-Large Carl Hokanson stated, placing the blame on the governing body, offering further explanation on the issue, “The bids for the new contractor came in after the mailer went out. Only one person can change information on TV-34 and she was away. There were problems and we are working to correct them.”

The Council-At-Large added that new color fliers were going to be delivered to residents, providing more explicit and simpler information on recycling, vegetative waste, and leaf pick-up. A copy of that flier is available below this article for downloading and/or printing.

First Ward Councilman Andrew Casais – who was away on vacation during the pick-up – remarked, “I personally want to apologize to my residents for the inconvenience with this pick-up. Holiday closures only compounded the mistakes that were made and the matters that followed. Information on the Borough website will be corrected as soon as possible and additional information will be distributed to Borough households.”

Second Ward Councilwoman Charlene Story commented, “We are going to get more information on exactly how this happened because obviously this should not have happened and I don’t know where the ball was dropped. The stress was being put on getting the situation in order but hopefully we can get to the bottom of this so that nothing like this happens again.”

3rd Ward Councilwoman Tanya Torres said she would reach out for a comment but none was ever given.

4th Ward Councilman Modesto Miranda stated that, fortunately, his ward did not experience most of the delays and confusion that the rest of the Borough had.

“There’s a number of issues. One, when I looked at the flier, I didn’t see the difference in the [recycling] change. It should have stood out more,” 5th Ward Councilman Michael Yakubov said, “The biggest thing is, and I’ve said it from the very beginning, we have to improve our method of communication to the residents. By sending out a huge flier that’s jumbled with a ridiculous amount of material on it, you inundate [people] with too much information. If you don’t put the most important message on there prominently, people are not going to read through it. Bottom line, the publication was very poorly done. It needs to be more direct and smaller. There needs to be better communication.”

When reached for a comment, Mayor Accardi responded by stating, “No comment.”

As of this date, no official word as to who was responsible for not informing the governing body nor the residents of the change from single-stream to dual-stream pick-up and no comment by Mayor Joseph Accardi on how or if it will be corrected. As a point of reference, previous initiatives to improve communication and accountability by the mayor have not come to fruition, such as a Borough Newsletter which was supposed to go out on March 22nd, a community distribution system of residents to deliver that newsletter as well as other important information, and a ‘Lessons Learned’ report which was promised when problems arose during 2012’s bulk pick-up but was never publicly nor – according to sources – internally completed.

2013 Recycling Calendar (July-December)