It’s Not Easy Being Green

April 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Lowell | Leave a comment
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(Ed. Note: This is one of those posts that will bore our non-Lowell readers.  But that’s your own damn fault for not living in Lowell.)

Last week, City Manager Bernie Lynch told Lowell residents that the city may dump its recycling program in order to cut budget expenditures

Apparently, less than 10 percent of the city’s trash gets recycled, and as a result, the program costs us $800K while only bringing in $250K.

This discussion about Lowell’s disinterest in recycling coincided with Lucy the Dog’s own ill-fated initiative to recycle. 

Because we live in a condo complex, we are not eligible for the city’s curbside pick-up.  Therefore, the only things that we generally spare from the trash are cans and bottles that can be turned in at redemption centers.  Recycling paper, newspaper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and non-refundables has been, quite simply, too inconvenient.

But a couple weeks ago, I bought some plastic crates for sorting, and got very excited about creating a home recycling station in our garage.  All I needed was a place to bring this junk.  No problem.

The logical place to start seemed to be the city’s Recycling Department.  I went to its web page, hoping to get information about collection centers.  But if any such information is there, I couldn’t find it.

So instead, I called the department and explained my situation: that I don’t get curbside but I want to bring my stuff somewhere, etc.  The Recycling Coordinator said that rather than read the list of drop-off locales over the phone, I should e-mail him and he’d email me the list.  Easy enough.

I e-mailed him immediately and waited a few days for a response that never came.  Then, on April 13, I e-mailed him a second time, asking if he did indeed receive my first e-mail.  Again, a response never came.

Around the end of last week, I called the Coordinator to confirm whether he’d gotten my e-mails.  He had, he said, but he’d been very busy.  He then ‘promised’ to send me the list before leaving the office that day.  And I am still waiting for the list.

Perhaps I’m being unreasonable here.  And I don’t want to play the disgruntled taxpayer role or toss out the cranky “I pay your salary!” card.  But whoever you are, public sector, private sector, wherever.  If you say you’re going to do something, then do it.  Otherwise, don’t say you’re going to do it.

And if you can’t provide simple information to a resident who is eager to recycle, then it’s no small wonder that your program is failing.  So you might as well dump it and cut your losses.  I bought my own friggin’ plastic crates, for Christ sake!  You can’t even reply to an e-mail?

It’s just so silly and frustrating.

And in related news, I never heard from the Red Cross either.  Fuckers.


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