SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 25, 2013

Council set to vote on mandatory recycling

SALEM — Despite concerns that a proposed regulation smacks of “Big Brother” and carries potential fines, city councilors appear ready to support Mayor Kim Driscoll’s mandatory recycling program.

At a recent Committee of the Whole meeting, councilors voted to move a mandatory recycling ordinance before the full council for a vote, most likely this week.

While expressing displeasure with the word “mandatory” and fears about potential fines for residents who don’t recycle, some councilors also sounded excited about a program that could save the city money while helping the environment.

“I love this program,” Ward 3 Councilor Todd Siegel said.

Siegel rattled off figures from other communities that have mandatory recycling, showing annual savings of more than $90,000 in one town that was able to reduce its trash tonnage.

Under a new trash contract expected to take effect July 1, Salem will save $61.50 for every ton of material not sent to a disposal site. In other words, the more the city recycles, the more money it can save.

Under the city’s dual-stream program, residents can recycle aluminum containers, paper, metal, glass and some plastics.

The average Salem household generates about a ton of trash a year, according to material supplied by the city.

Several councilors appeared more comfortable supporting the measure after being told they could adopt an implementation plan that makes it clear there will be a long grace period, that residents will be provided with numerous educational materials and multiple notices, and that fines would be a last and, hopefully, seldom-used resort.

The ordinance calls for a written notice for a first violation, a written warning for the second, and a $25 fine for third and subsequent offenses.

Driscoll, who brought the proposal to the council, agreed that the goal is not to take money out of residents’ pockets. Financial penalties are only included, she said, because the city is required to do so in order to receive a $50,000 state grant to hire a mandatory recycling coordinator.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Comments Tracker