Niagara Gazette — City residents and business owners are only just beginning to adjust to new refuse disposal and recycling standards.
Starting this week, those who fail to follow the new protocols could get a visit from members of a new team designed to spread the word about the proper use of garbage totes and the dos and don’ts of recycling.
A pair of neighborhood inspectors who are part of the city’s new Sanitation Waste Education Enforcement Team, or SWEET, received orientation and training last week. They are expected to hit the city’s streets for the first time today.
Earlier this year, city council members set aside $60,000 to support the team, which also includes a clerk who will assist with record keeping. The initiative, which is expected to last at least six months, is intended to help residents learn the proper methods for trash disposal and recycling.
Department of Public Works Director David Kinney said the goal of the program, at least in the initial stages, will be explaining the new rules to property owners so they understand how best to follow them.
“They are out there to educate people,” Kinney said. “If people are doing something wrong, the will be able to say ‘you need to do this, this and this.’ They’ll be out there explaining to people what they did wrong and how to correct it. Hopefully, this will clarify things.”
The refuse contract, inked with Modern Disposal earlier this year, runs from May 1 through April 30, 2019. Supporters, including Mayor Paul Dyster and members of his administration, have maintained that new collection methods covered by the agreement will lead to improvements in the city’s woeful recycling rate, which according to an analysis by the online news site, Investigative Post, hovers around just 4 percent.
The city’s supplier is now in the process of delivering new 64-gallon trash bins and 96-gallon recyclables totes to property owners throughout Niagara Falls. Some residents and business owners have expressed concerns about new procedures they will be expected to follow under the program and whether the new bins will meet their household needs.