Utilities employees were on hand to talk more about the upcoming incentive recycling program during a meeting of the board Tuesday.
The staff members gave answers to questions presented by the board about the new program. The staff has complied a frequently asked questions list, which is still being finalized. It will be released to the public closer to the start of the new program. David Leathers, BPU general manager, said there is still work to be done on the program before it starts, which is currently projected to be in March.
Gregory Rabb, BPU board member and City Council president, asked if a presentation on the new program could be given to City Council members during a work session meeting prior to the program starting. Rabb said the more information city officials have about the program the easier it will be to get information to the public before it is instituted. Rabb also asked why March is the projected start date for the program. He said doing it later in the spring may be better with warmer weather and, hopefully, no snow. Leathers said the intent was to roll out the new incentive recycling program as close to the start of 2014 as possible.
The reason why the program is being done was also discussed by the board. The new program is being started to lower the amount of garbage being taken to the landfill. The more garbage BPU trucks take to the landfill, the more they have to pay in tipping fees. As for recyclables, the BPU currently gets paid for its dual-stream program. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi suggested that BPU officials should come up with a mission statement to be included with information on the incentive recycling program so customers know why there is a need for the new program. Teresi also said that board members should continue coming forward with questions and suggestions on the program as the start date gets closer.
Under the new incentive recycling program, rates would increase to $20 a month for those who do not recycle at least once during a billing period. If a customer does recycle, their bill will drop to $10 a month. The rate for waste disposal is currently $12.10. How one qualifies for the $10 rate was discussed during the meeting Tuesday. Leathers said it is important to note that customers who recycle once during a billing period - and not specifically each month - will receive the discount.
The board has been discussing the new incentive recycling program since September. In November, the board passed a resolution instituting the program and to purchase $237,000 in new equipment. The new equipment includes 16,000 recycling bins with radio frequency identification tags, and software and hardware to read the tags.
Under the new incentive recycling program, rates would increase to $20 a month for those who do not recycle at least once during a billing period. If a customer does recycle, their bill will drop to $10 a month.
In other board business, Dr. Len Faulk, BPU board member, said he will no longer serve on the board when his four-year term ends at the end of the year.
"I've taken great satisfaction in being part of the BPU team," Faulk said.
The next BPU board meeting will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. The board is scheduled to vote on the electric and water budgets for 2014.