News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
20th May 2008

Decision on recycling imminent…

posted in City Life, Environment, Local Groups |

A subcommittee meeting tonight, May 20, at 5 pm in Council Chambers may determine the fate of recycling efforts in Lowell, according to an update from my husband Jay Mason, who is a member of the Citizens Action Committee (CAC) for recycling. Interested folks should attend the meeting because even though it looks like the recycling program will continue—at least for now—how that happens has not been decided yet. The manager and council must modify the program, which has been costing the city millions, to see whether residents will improve recycling from the current rate of 10% up to 30% at least. The CAC advocates a plan that combines an increased base fee with a pay as you through (PAYT) program. The base fee would increase from $100 to $150 per year, and residents would pay $1.50 per bag for trash disposal. Even with this plan, however, Lowell’s recycling program will not pay for itself, but the city’s cost would plummet from a $4.4 million deficit to a $200,000 deficit—a major step in the right direction. Also, depending on ordinances for bulky items and electronics, the city could do better financially. The increased base and PAYT system will offer citizens a disposal program that incentivizes recyclers, makes those who don’t recycle pay for it, and provides an affordable way for the city to be environmentally responsible. How can we not do it? Note: Earlier posts on this topic can be found here, on Dick Howe’s blog, as well as on LiL.

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