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WINSTON-SALEM CRACKS DOWN ON RECYCLING VIOLATORS
The city of Winston-Salem will implement a recycling education program that will include restrictions on recycling for those who do not follow the rules. The program comes in response to issues the city has been having with contamination. Assistant city manager Greg Turner said the city will have the right to withdraw recycling services to those who discard improper items.
“What this program is going to allow us to do is to better control contamination of recyclables that get into the system that negatively affect not only the machinery but also the revenue and the benefit or the usefulness of the recycled materials,” he said.
Councilman Dan Besse noted that Winston-Salem has a lower contamination rate than most cities but it has been rising with the increasing amount of people recycling.
“This is a method for getting a chance to reinforce our educational effort,” he said. “The specific provision provides that if a notice of violation of the ordinance of what you can put in recycling is given to a location three times within a 12-month period, they can be discontinued at that location.
Besse said there is a difference between those who recycle something incorrectly in good faith and those who are negligent.
“This particular tool is aimed just at the folks who won’t listen,” he said.
Councilman Robert Clark said there are some people that are recycling diapers.
“What we’re talking about is people who are throwing their trash in the recycling,” he said.
Councilwoman Denise Adams said it is important to remember that there is not only an environmental incentive for recycling, but a financial one as well.
“What everybody needs to understand is we’re talking about an income stream that we receive from waste management towards the general funds of the city of Winston-Salem, so there’s another reason why we’re so proactive about this,” she said.
FOCUS TO REMAIN ON MINORITY CONTRACTS IN 2015
Greensboro’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise program was a mixed bag of success in its first year, according to an update given to city council members last week.
The city’s M/WBE coordinator, Gwen Carter, told council members that her office was fully operational now, following a year of organization and planning.
Carter and M/WBE specialist Tiffany Jones are now full time with the office, with a second construction specialist expected to come on board in April to coincide with the start of construction season.
The city’s M/WBE office was created at the behest of city council following a disparity study that showed large gaps between the capacity of local firms owned by minorities and women and the amount of city contracts awarded to such firms. The program seeks to give minority-owned firms “equal opportunity for participation” in order to promote economic inclusion and the development of locally owned businesses.
Carter reviewed contract statistics for council at a work session last week. The city tracks contracts in three categories: professional services, goods and other services, and construction. The city fell short of even its own modest goals in two of three categories, meeting them only in the goods and services sector.
The city issued $16 million in professional services contracts in 2014, and had goals of 6 percent minority and 5 percent women-owned businesses receiving such contracts. Contracts of five percent and three percent were realized, Carter said. Those totals amounted to contracts worth $687,855 and $518,608, respectively.
Contracts worth $1.1 million went to minority-owned firms for goods and services, which equaled more than 16 percent of the $6.86 million issued in 2014. The city had a goal of five percent in this category, and three percent for women-owned firms, which actually realized 7 percent, or $446,073.
Construction contracts fell well short of their goal in the first year, Carter said, primarily because 58 percent of the contracts issued were for water and sewer work, a broad category that locally owned minority firms have not specialized in. With goals of 8 percent minority and 7 percent women, the city realized only 3 percent and 5 percent in 2014. A total of $38 million in construction contracts went out, with only $2.7 million going to M/ WBE firms. !