I wish to respond to all the recent accusations that Public Works threw the Tea Party recycling in the garbage, and was uncooperative with the volunteers. I will start with Terry Hunters’ statement that a volunteer arrived at the public works yard Monday morning and was told by employees at the yard that bags of recycling she was planning to count had been thrown away.
The volunteer was told by the employee the truck was still at Willows Beach because we hadn’t finished cleaning up and emptying all the totes yet. She was asked to come back in the afternoon when the truck would be in the yard.
Our staff worked with the volunteers throughout the Tea Party, supplying large, clear plastic bags, emptying the recycling and organic totes throughout the park, and placing the contents in our truck. This is a two compartment truck, with garbage on one side and recycling on the other side. Cardboard was loaded into a separate truck and placed in the recycle area of the public works yard.
After we finished the clean up, the truck was brought to the public works yard in the afternoon. The contents of the recycle side were emptied on the ground in the yard. There was some plastic mixed with the organics because a bag had broken open in the truck. This had to be separated again.
The volunteer returned to the yard Monday afternoon to view the volume of recycling and was disappointed at the amount. She returned Tuesday with the contractor to collect the contents. In the meantime we had found six more bags of recyclables that were still in totes at the beach. We added these to the pile already in the yard.
The volunteer appeared happier on Tuesday as the amount of recycling had increased. They loaded the contents into the contractor’s vehicle and left.
At issue is what happened to two bags of plastic and approximately five to six bags of corn cobs the volunteers say was collected. I don’t have the answer, but it is possible they may have ended up in the garbage. If they did, it was a mistake, and not done with malice. We have learned from this year and will improve the system for next year.
As far as Terry Hunter requesting a formal apology from the municipality, I think it is the municipality that deserves the apology from Hunter, and others that were quick to judge the Public Works Department without knowing the facts.
Phil Barnett Superintendent of