Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 5, 2014

GUESTVIEW: Making a change in the city for the better, together

Niagara Gazette — It has been an honor to serve as your councilman in our great city of Niagara Falls for the last six months. Working cooperatively, we continue to work to improve the quality of life of residents, grow our tax base through economic development, and create an efficient city government.

It is my belief that the greater the problem, the greater the opportunity for change. Folks, we have a refuse and recycling problem in Niagara Falls. It is time to improve the cleanliness of our city, improve our 4 percent recycling rate (the worst in Western New York), and rid ourselves of rodent concerns. There is no question that closed containers and a higher recycling rate are good for the city of Niagara Falls.

The recycling program will be rolled out very soon, perhaps more quickly than some of us would have preferred. However, as your representative on the city council, I feel it is my responsibility to provide you with as much information about the program as possible, to increase the chances of this program being a success.

For the last 15 years or so, Modern Disposal has picked up the garbage in Niagara Falls. They have billed us by the ton, with no oversight on the city’s behalf, and picked up an unlimited amount of garbage at the taxpayer’s expense — all this despite the fact that we’ve had an ordinance on the books for years that limits the amount of garbage a property can put out to the curb.

In other words, we’ve been paying to pick up unlimited amounts of garbage without enforcing the ordinance that would keep costs down. It is not prudent for the city to continue in this way. We are committed to enforcing our refuse and recycling ordinance and to holding people accountable for placing their trash inside their tote.

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