Ann Arbor train station estimate off by $5,000,000 MLive, 10/18/17
I voted against a consulting contract that will cost the City $250,000.
The consultant will update the City’s solid waste plan, a document that in the past has been prepared and updated by resident-populated committees with assistance from City staff. The consultant will make recommendations across the entire scope of City solid waste issues, including trash, recycling and composting. The previous solid waste plan ran from 2013 through 2017. The failure to begin the process to update that plan before it lapsed is inexcusable. Similar to the failure of our contractor’s operation of the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), we did not respond to a problem until it became a crisis. The MRF is an essential part of our recycling program that will not be restored in the near-term.
The $250,000 solid waste consulting contract is only minimally related to the downtown trash problem. I struggle to understand why it took so long to address the one downtown alley trash problem. This is not an isolated or new problem. Downtown merchants have concerns about trash pick-up in many alleys. An additional problem downtown is the lack of compost pick-up. Restaurants generate large quantities of food waste which is particularly suitable for composting. Currently, that food waste ends up in a landfill.