Of course, I think it is important to make the new garbage and recycling program a smooth and easy transition for residents of Niagara Falls.
Now the Dyster Administration wants to spend almost $59,000 dollars of casino money for a program to educate taxpayers on how to recycle. They will create a team of people who will follow the garbage trucks and see how people put out their garbage and try to teach them how to throw out less garbage and recycle more.
The real problem is far larger than mere education.
Mayor Paul Dyster and City Administrator Donna Owens chose to undersize the garbage containers and oversize recyclable containers - a recipe for disaster.
Understand this: the Dyster administration has signed a contract for larger (95 gallon) recycle containers than regular garbage containers (65 gallon). This is the opposite of every other community in the area.
Ask yourself even if you try to recycle: Do you really recycle more than you throw out garbage?
In Amherst for instance they uses 95 gallon containers for garbage and 65 gallon for recycling.
Like everywhere else.
No community that I know of has larger recycle containers than garbage containers.
The city consultant on this contract Dawn Timm, who is also the acting Director of the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District, said that the plan should be inverted: the garbage totes should be larger than the recycle bins.
In fact, she said that she knew of no community that has larger recycle bins than garbage containers.
Niagara Falls presently has the lowest residential recycle percentage in the region at 4 percent recycling and 96 percent garbage. Does Dyster really expect that Niagara Falls is going to go from last to first overnight?
There is another problem.
I have been told that there may be more than 500 small commercial accounts that currently have city garbage service that lost their service in the contract which begins in August.
The new contract apparently does not give these 500 + businesses service anymore.
I am told that Mayor Dyster is aware of this yet has chosen not to tell these small businesses - along Pine Avenue, Main St and all over the city.
At the end of the day, as the August start date of the new contract gets closer, Dyster may realize that this will be a political nightmare for him and tell Modern to pick up the garbage for these businesses anyway. Modern will most certainly up charge for this since it is not in the contract.
Unless Dyster expects these 500+ small businesses to contract and pay for their own garbage service on top of the high taxes they already pay.
When the contract was first signed, Dyster said that the city would save some $500,000 compared to what it had been paying for garbage collection before, without disclosing where the savings came from- in part the discontinuance of service for some.
On top of that, the alleged savings are based on having a lot more recycled tonnage than what is being recycled at preset and less garbage tonnage. Although the goal is laudable, it may not be possible.
Based on the 95 gallon recycle bins versus 65 gallon garbage totes, the Dyster administration is basing their plans for savings on going from 4 percent recycled tonnage by city residents to a far higher percent of recycled tonnage almost overnight.
To throw $59,000 of Casino money towards following Modern's garbage trucks to try to teach people to recycle more seems like just a waste of money for a flawed program and another example of mismanagement by the leadership of Niagara Falls.