Monday, March 21, 2011

City Recycling Discussed at Last Meeting

In attendance: Michael Hughes, Maurice Loridans, David Aubry, Oliver Jenkins, Brian Salvatore, Jon Soul, Loren Demerath, Steph Pedro. (Other regular members with dogs were at a rally for the dog park at the park near Stoner Boat Launch being held at the same time.)


Salvatore asked about access to the nature trail on Savier St. by Montessori and wondered about the lock, but Soul said that's just to exclude motor vehicles, the entrance is around the post with a small sign there. It was noted that the ownership is not known of certain sections. Most of it is owned by the city, and all of it was likely navigable in 1912, which would mean the state has rights over it; the city established a right-of-way shown by the manholes that access sewer lines. Some if it is in Bossier Parrish; the school board has some of it; and there are two others private owners that own the slope that goes to the bottom and possibly a small amount of the flat portion that is the trail; one of those private owners is now Community Renewal. About the liability issue: anyone can use unimproved land for recreational use and there is an immunity to liability suits unless you just about build a trap to hurt people; if you make improvements on your land it's a different question and you can be sued for not considering potential harm that could come from using your improvement.

The mountain bike trails by the Stoner Boat Launch can't be signed by the city as an amenity without policing them and putting up netting and warning, etc. It was noted, though, that there is kayaking and four-wheeling in parks where there's no one supervising. But, you can't stop people from suing the city; accidents will happen. How much investment would it take in liability safeguards and warning signs and proper structure for the city to be able to claim.


There was discussion of the front page article in the Sunday Shreveport Times on the Arlington Hotel interviewing Jody Harms in California; it was noted she'd only been to Shreveport once in her life. She wants the windows of the Temple it is said, because they're very valuable.


For the record, Hughes and Soul reported that Saturday's cleanup resulted in 9,540 lbs of scapmetal salvaged, not including the trash that the city picked up in tires and glass and other materials. Not much large scrap metal left; but probably another ton of trash that was picked up.


The problems were noted first: there's no market for the glass; after sorting the glass out, Pratt sends it to the landfill. They say there's no market for the plastic but we don't know what they're doing with it. There is a market for metal and paper. There's a market for some of the plastic but not all of it.

Hughes, Jenkins, and Michael Corbin had talked at length about this some time ago. You can mix certain kinds of plastics together and find a market for it. Pratt has two separate facilities; a recycling side and a paper mill side; there was so much in one container, it was probably only 30% glass and the rest was plastic and other materials. Corbin called Hughes to see if there is a way to move the glass. Pratt's glass is so mixed with so many other materials no one would accept it as it's currently processed. But if Pratt segregated their glass into three colors it could be moved to a place within 200 miles easily. Hughes would need a facility to handle it; it's not very profitable, but it could be moved. Labels and metal tops don't matter. Places where its not sorted by color are not worth it; they don't pay enough for it. The cost of transporting and depositing in the land fill has to be considered.

Hughes said for a commercial enterprise he would transport it if it was sorted. When the contract is renegotiated the city could add someone like Hughes to be involved in that way. There's no margin for the glass the way they have it today. In the future they might be able to sort it in such a way that there is a market. Unless you've been in the business you won't know what they can do, necessarily. Hughes can help educate the city as to what's possible and give information for the next contract negotiation.

Loridans noted that when the city first announced the contract many of us were delighted. It was known to be a single stream system and there were disadvantages to that. For a while glass was marketable. It was noted that Pratt was clear in stating that it wasn't recycling glass in the Times and it was written up several times. But it was also noted that the implication in the practice of taking the glass is that it's being recycled. People that would prefer to have it recycled could take it to a place like Hughes Recycling at 1105 Fullerton St. instead of leaving it for Pratt's curbside pickup.

Pratt has recycling facilities up north that recycle glass, but it must not be economically feasible to take it there.

Jenkins noted that more people are doing recycling now than earlier; and that progressively more have been since the beginning of recycling curbside pickup; but we've also seen a decrease in the volume of recycling; that's what Allied reports that picks up the recycling for Pratt. That's reduced the load on the city trash pickups. Maybe people know more now about what's recyclable and what isn't. Maybe we're consuming less in newspaper, etc. Hughes has had people take stuff to him with comments that they're doing it because they don't think it's all being recycled at Pratt. Hughes' numbers have gone up exponentially. What he received in one year when he first started (just before Pratt) he now does in one week. Hughes also processes materials that aren't economically profitable just to keep them out of the landfill. Hughes said much of what is said to not be recyclable is recyclable. This is a step; we're better off than we were.

Jenkins and others supported the idea that things that don't fit in the bin could paid for with a fee that could go on your bill.

The next meeting (March 21st) will concern property taxes, and the meeting after that (March 28th) will be on adjudicated properties.

1 comment: