Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 20, 2014

HAMILTON: Casale, Owens talking trash about recycling

Niagara Gazette — Like so many other Niagara Falls businessmen, Joe Casale, owner of Buffalo Avenue’s Casale’s Tavern and Motel, was talking trash — but not as much as you might think.

As you should know, the city is changing the way that it collects the trash and recyclables from curbside in plastic bags or your own trash containers, along with city-issued, blue recycling bins to residential garbage collection done with two totes — one large one for recyclables and a smaller one for regular trash. 

The idea, so says City Administrator Donna Owens, is to recover more than the mere 4 percent of the recyclables from the city’s trash collection and getting it closer to a range of other cities. The benefit, she says, is that residents may be able to return up to $500,000 into the “city’s” coffers.

For many, if not most of the city’s residents, the change means nothing; as most residents don’t recycle now, nor will they likely recycle thereafter. But, just “who” or “what” is the city anyhow?

Remember when “the city” spun off the water department and made it into the Water Board? 

The city hall “city” said that we would save millions of dollars in removing the water department’s debt off of “the city’s” books, transferring it to the water board and allowing the city to borrow money at much lower rates. As the city cleared debt off its credit card so that it could borrow more for less, your water rates were adjusted so that you, the citizens of the city, got less for more.

Will this collection system end in the same way?

Now it’s small businesses’ turn to get even less for more — as if the two-tier tax system isn’t already killing them. 

Many of them will now have to contract out their garbage services. As their costs go up, so goes your prices and possibly your kid’s job. 

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