June 24, 2009
CITY OF LOCKPORT: Recycling preview to be staged during Canal Concert Series
City residents will get a preview how easy it can be to recycle during the Canal Concert Series.
A number of beverage-container collection bins will be placed around the Ulrich City Centre courtyard on Friday nights during the shows, possibly starting this week, thanks to a collaborative effort of the resident recycling committee, Niagara County Division of Environmental/Solid Waste Management and the city youth and recreation department.
The bins, known in the recycling business as “clear stream event containers,” can be used to dispose of plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
The bins are coming to the concert series and other large, public events this summer courtesy of the county’s solid waste division. Director Dawn Walczak obtained 55 of the special bins on a state grant and will have them staged at county parks and other public places during special events.
Since she’s also an adviser to the city’s resident-led recycling committee, which currently is laying the groundwork for a full curbside recycling program, Walczak thought it appropriate that the special bins make their debut at a city event.
“For the city, it couldn’t be a better marriage. It shows the efforts of the committee ... since last fall. They’ve worked hard trying to get recycling into the city,” she said.
Terms of the grant require the county to let not-for-profit causes cash in returnable containers, so it’s teaming up with the youth bureau on concert-based recycling.
Youths or department employees will take away bags of containers after the shows and sort the contents, then deposit plastic bottles at city-rented recycling Dumpsters at the county landfill — and cash in the nickel deposits on beer cans as a department fundraiser.
How well the fundraising will go remains to be seen. Concert garbage was picked up early Saturday after every show last year and according to Mike Hoffman, superintendent of streets, the loads seemed pretty light on cans. “Scavengers” apparently plucked them out of the trash ahead of collection, he said.
Mayor Michael Tucker hopes to see some of the special recycling bins set out during the downtown Arts & Crafts festival this weekend as well, he said.
The recycling committee — composed of residents Jeff Tracy, Kristen Cook, 1st Ward Alderman Richelle Pasceri, Hoffman and Director of Engineering Norman Allen — is awaiting return of bids on two proposals it put forth for full, curbside recycling citywide.
The bids, due July 10, are expected to inform the Common Council how much it would cost to hire a private collector versus equipping the city to manage in-house collection of glass, plastic and metal for the first time.