Niagara Falls Reporter
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July 29 - Aug 06, 2014

Touma Can Rescue Garbage Plan
Residents Entitled to More Than 64!

By Frank Parlato

July 29, 2014

Andrew Touma, called upon to fix garbage problem.


For some unexplained reason, the proposed Niagara Falls disposal ordinance crafted by Mayor Paul Dyster, scheduled to come up for a vote in September, does not allow residents, no matter how large their family, to fill more than one 64-gallon refuse tote per week.

The 64-gallon tote will permit about four-to-five 13-gallon kitchen garbage bags, less than what many families need, even families who recycle faithfully.

Last week, Councilman Andrew Touma acknowledged that this is a flaw in the plan and he was going to try to find a way for residents to be able to get extra totes or buy 'Pay-as-You-Throw' garbage bags.

Lockport offers extra totes for around $50 per tote per year. They also have Pay-as-You-Throw bags available for $2 each.

It had been considered, as part of the Dyster plan to allow extra totes for residents if the DPW Director approves it. While Director David Kinney might not refuse a needy family an extra tote, it should not be at the discretion of a mayoral-appointed department head or any bureaucrat.

Touma agreed and said he hopes to come up with a better plan.

It strikes us that the only plan is to trust the people.

If residents want a second tote, they should get one, or more.

Mayor Dyster, the author of this confused, but fixable, plan, has shown a sort of disdain for the people: At the root of this "you get 64 and no more!" is a kind of government ideology that thinks quite a bit of itself and very little of the people.

Dyster is saying in essence, "You get one 64-gallon tote for refuse and a larger 96-gallon recycling tote, so you better learn to recycle! Then, if my administration decides, you may be entitled to a second one, if you petition us. Then we will decide if you are permitted to have one."

Instead Dyster could promote the good in people and encourage them to recycle.

That means trusting their judgment. If they say they need more, give it to them.

To do this - to encourage recycling, not force it -- would mean Dyster would have to mix among the people and wade through their needs and listen to their voices.

He has been stubbornly adamant about this "64 and no more."

Perhaps there is another man willing to listen to the people.

Andrew Touma can singlehandedly save the Dyster Disposal plan.

He will more than likely have the deciding vote, since Council member Kristen Grandinetti votes the way the mayor tells her, and Council member Charles Walker seems to vote his own best interest.

Touma should vote for a plan that allows people to get extra totes on demand.

The City could, to encourage recycling, and promote fairness in sharing of the costs (if you dispose more, you should pay more) - charge a nominal fee and have a provision for exemptions from the fee in hardship cases.

With this change, the Dyster garbage plan begins to look attractive in a bizarre way.

The odd switching of tote sizes - with the larger 96-gallon tote (normally used for refuse) being used for recycling and the smaller 64-gallon tote (normally used for recycling) used for refuse - might bring Niagara Falls to the vanguard of recycling communities, leading us from the lowest recycling community to the highest.

But we must not be forced.

Touma can withhold his vote until a provision is in place to permit larger refuse disposal for anyone who wants it, not granted by government, but by the right of the people to have what they need, when they need it, based upon their decision that they need it.

Touma can fix the whole problem.






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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina