News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
4th June 2008

Recycling field trip—councilors dampened, spirits high

posted in City Life, Environment, Local Politics |

Four Lowell city councilors and their fellow passengers met with a wet end when their bus broke down on Route 495 today after an instructive field trip to see how Worcester manages its recycling and trash disposal program. The ten-member crew, which included Mayor Bud Caulfield, councilors Rita Mercier, Rodney Elliott and Alan Kazanjian, as well as city staff, involved citizens and a state recycling coordinator, had to wait in the rain for about 25 minutes after their bus started blowing oil just before exit 32. As luck would have it, the bus, an LRTA Road Runner used primarily for seniors, ran well enough to get the crew to Worcester and tour the streets so its passengers could observe trash and recycling pickup as well as visit the city’s recycling center. Despite the wet ending, the trip was deemed successful since the group saw firsthand how Worcester, a city serving twice the households as Lowell, generates half the trash (23,000 tons compared to Lowell’s 40,000 tons) due to effective recycling. With 15 years of experience, Worcester provides a good model of how Lowell can do a better job of reducing trash disposal, and the council will be deciding how to move forward with improving its recycling program soon. Now if we can only do something about that bus…

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