A lot of people are fed up with the Department of Sanitation Director Veronica White's refusal to consider resuming curbside recycling. A lot of people feel that her reasoning is absurd. And a lot of people wonder why she gets to make the final call. As Lolis Eric Elie has recently pointed out in the Times-Picayune, the City Council's Sanitation Committee, headed by
Cynthia Willard-Lewis, is responsible for representing the interests of local residents regarding the issue of curbside recycling; however, it appears that they've never discussed the issue because Willard claims it's managed under the Recovery Committee. And as Elie points out, it appears that the issue of curbside recycling has never been added to the Recovery Committee's agenda.
Two weeks after Elie's published request that "[Willard's] committee actually oversee the Sanitation Department and its plans for recycling," and "solicit citizen input into the nature and timing of any future recycling program the city engages in," the City Council is holding a public hearing tomorrow, Fri. Nov. 2, at 1:00 pm at the City Council Chambers to discuss curbside recycling.
"In the end, the way we're going to get recycling back in New Orleans is through public pressure, and only through public pressure," said Council Member Shelly Midura at a recycling forum held last Friday at Tulane's Law Center. " I want you to know I want recycling back...you'd think, 'well wait, why aren't you making it happen at City Hall, don't you have the power to do that?' I have some power but not enough. The first step that we have to take in order to get recycling back is to have from the legislative side of the house, to actually have a sanitation committee meeting to take this issue up and to put some pressure on and get the discussion started. Stacy Head and I are members of the sanitation committee but we're not the chair of the committee. Probably for the last six months we have requested that sanitation committee meeting be held to discuss recycling, Phoenix, debris managment just a lot of issues and we have not been able to get a meeting scheduled. So our next step is to ask that the discussion take place before full council... In the end the only way we're going to get anywhere is to put this on the council's agenda."
Currently, residents who are interested in recycling can either hang onto their recyclable materials and transport them to a recycling drive held every three months, or they can subscribe to Phoenix Recycling Service for a once-a-week pickup at the cost of $15 per month. For more information on subscribing see www.phoenixrecyclingnola.com