The BPU is continually working to improve its solid waste service.
During a BPU board meeting on Tuesday, Roseann Himes, BPU solid waste supervisor, presented a solid waste strategic plan update.
The solid waste division's objective is to provide low-cost, reliable solid waste service while promoting recycling efforts to maintain a healthy, aesthetically pleasing community environment.
At the beginning of 2012, the BPU began a dual-streaming recycling program. With the exception of glass, which is picked up every sixth week, all recyclables are picked up on a two-week schedule. Plastic and aluminum are picked up on yellow weeks and paper and corrugated cardboard are picked up on red weeks. This reduced the amount of sorting that BPU customers have to do to recycle.
"We began dual-streaming hoping that picking up the recyclables more often would be more of an incentive for people to recycle," said Himes. "I've got a lot of good feedback from the dual-stream recycling."
In April, the BPU began a tagging program to let people know that it is New York state law that all residents recycle. When employees found recyclables in with the regular trash at a residence, they hung a bright pink tags on their doors or their garbage can to remind them that recycling is mandatory.
The recycling tonnage per billed unit per day decreased from 15.22 lbs/billed unit in 2010 to 13.80 lbs/billed unit in 2011. However, Himes said that from January to May in 2011, the BPU picked up 447 tons of recycling and in January through May of 2012, they picked up 501 tons.
"So we are up 54 tons from last year to this year, and we didn't start the tagging program until April," said Himes.
If a resident doesn't have a recycling bin, the BPU will deliver one, and if residents would like more than one, they can also purchase additional bins. Collection calendars are available at the BPU office on 92 Steele St. or one can be mailed out, and the material of the week is always displayed at www.jamestownbpu.com as well.
IN WITH THE NEW
To lower its maintenance cost and take advantage of the latest technology, the division recently purchased a new 25-yard garbage truck, which is expected to be in service by July. It also plans to purchase two new recycling truck later this year.
Then to assure that pickup runs as smoothly and safely as possible, the BPU holds monthly safety meetings for its employees to ensure that if there are any issues, they are remedied. Additionally, customer complaints which are typically about missed garbage/recyclable pickup, employees being rough with containers or employees blocking street with truck, were reduced from around 300 in 2010 to about 200 in 2011.
In 2011, the BPU received two new commercial accounts and again two new commercial accounts so far in 2012. Himes said she expects three more within the next month of so. The BPU also added 25 new residential customers during 2011 and has already received 12 new customers in 2012.
"The numbers don't seem that high, but it makes a difference ... and the top line of revenues really is very close to what we budgeted. These efforts are really important to the health of the overall division," said David Leathers, BPU general manager.