Through a series of snafus, our "new" recycling program got off on the wrong foot. The city’s recycling program is set to kick off on February 24 and the news broke on Facebook of all places. Snafu No. 1
A comprehensive news release should have been issued immediately when the program "brochures" were released to the City Council. Did anybody really think they were going to keep the news under wraps? So the brochure ended up on Alderman Rick Anderson’s Facebook page.
Jake Sandlin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Maumelle resident scooped of all the other media with an article in the January 26 newspaper. As far as I can tell, no announcements were sent to the media, including this paper, and Mr. Sandlin had to find out the details on his own. Snafu No. 2.
Again, it was up to one of our more communicative alderman to explain the program, which should have come from either the mayor’s office or the public works director, Roger Cogdell.
I did notice that I, and I assume most of you, got a bright green brochure sent via "trash can mail" explaining the new recycling program, except that the information is incomplete and it’s not the same recycling program that was proposed last year. Snafu No. 3.
Once again, Alderman Preston Lewis comes to the rescue with information. Here is Lewis’ explanation of the program, taken from his Facebook page:
1. The expansion of the program will be at no additional cost. Previously the City had explored the possibility of partnering with Waste Management, but ultimately it was more equitable to continue the service in-house with our current personnel. The possibility of a $3-a-month charge went out the door since we would keep it in house - a positive indeed. 2. Collection will include almost all recyclable goods with the exception of glass. It would have been great to have had glass in the mix, but when it comes to sorting recyclable goods glass is difficult and cost prohibitive. 3. Glass will still be accepted at the transfer station.
4. You will continue to use your current bins. And you may request an additional bin. For those who expressed a concern over the rolling bin, you should view this as good news. Others have expressed concern over the smallness of the recycling bins and worried they will not have enough room. I’m told that you may have up to 3 bins at no additional cost. Please keep in mind that these bins are not unlimited in supply and you should only request one if you need it.
5. Recycling pickup will continue to be once a week. This was also an advantage of Maumelle keeping the program in-house. Waste Management’s service would have been every other week. 6. Feb. 24th is the start date.
This has information you can’t find anywhere else, not even on the Mayor’s recent "MauMail" Facebook post. He did, however, put a link on the MauMail where you can sort through all the information and eventually figure it out.
I have one reader who thinks I refer to Mr. Lewis too often, but he is one of the few in city government who comes forward with complete and accurate information. One note: according to Lewis, we have can have up to two additional blue bins, which is stated nowhere from nobody.
Who Stole the Flags?
Evidently we have our own revolution going in Maumelle. Someone took the American, Arkansas and Maumelle flags from City Hall! What sort of conspiracy lurks? Who are these subversives who dare tread on this sacred turf? Why did they want them?
The mystery still hasn’t been solved but I’m sure the NSA, FBI, CIA and the FDIC are all on it. You can’t just steal a city, state and country’s flag and get away with it. Please report any leads to Chief Williams at Maumelle PD.
We had a wreck last week involving underage drivers in a golf cart. They took out a brick mailbox. I told you it would happen. It will happen again. See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore is COE (Chief of Everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. If you have a community concern or if you’re just irritated about something contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.