Niagara Gazette — The first batch of the city's new garbage and recycling totes has been delivered.
Mayor Paul Dyster and Councilman Andy Touma rolled the green and blue totes into a Stephenson Avenue driveway during a press event Friday morning, marking the start of a distribution campaign that will stretch out across Niagara Falls in the coming weeks.
Dyster, standing with city officials and residents living in the Evershed neighborhood near 56th Street in LaSalle, said the delivery of the totes signifies the beginning of a transition that will see the city begin to improve its woeful 4 percent recycling rate while making neighborhoods cleaner as well.
"Today, we're taking a very positive step in order to help the city of Niagara Falls transition to the cleaner, greener city that we want," Dyster said.
The city chose the Evershed neighborhood as a starting point for the tote delivery to highlight the efforts of residents who worked to deal with a rat infestation last summer, Dyster said.
"Over the course of the last year, the residents of this neighborhood have fought a very determined battle against a waste-related issue," Dyster said.
The implementation of the new refuse disposal and recycling collection system is part of a new contract with Modern Corp. that was approved by the city council in April. It has drawn criticism from some residents and business owners in recent weeks.
Many residents have expressed concerns over the size of the new totes, worrying that the 64-gallon garbage bins won't be big enough to handle all of their household trash. Some residents also have suggested the city would have been wise to use the larger, 96-gallon recyclable totes for garbage instead.
Dee Curtis, a longtime 60th Street resident, was on hand for Friday's event. She admits to being worried about the size of the garbage tote and whether it will meet the needs of her household.