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E-M:/ Recycling in Flint Update

Enviro-Mich message from AuntScarey@aol.com

Hi friends,
I am very sorry about not getting this update to you sooner.  I was just 
simply burned out (and I'm still a little crispy around the edges.)  I just 
spent last week and a half finishing up my masters thesis, so now I can 
return to troublemaking again, tee hee!  So here's what's happening in 

Curbside Recycling in Flint:  Donít Drop the Bin!

	Curbside Recycling is a key issue in the upcoming mayoral race in 
Flint, thanks to Nepessing Group Sierra Club activists.  On June 17 we 
sponsored a community forum at Mott Community College as experts discussed 
workable solutions for making curbside recycling a reality in Flint.  About 
100 attended the forum and submitted questions that indicate people are not 
only ready for their local government to act, they are growing impatient.
	Panelists included David Ready, City of Flint Administrator; Jim 
Frey, Director of Resource Recycling Systems in Ann Arbor; Marty Seaman, 
General Manager of Saginaw Solid Management Authority; and Mary Alyce 
Stickney, a volunteer appointed to the Mayorís Recycling Advisory Committee.  
Paul Rozycki, Professor of Political Science at Mott Community College, 
expertly moderated the forum.  We thank these guests for their generosity and 
for taking serious the need for responsible use of our resources.
	Administrator Ready proposed a co-mingled plan at the forum, which 
other panelists discouraged, as it leads to contaminated materials that end 
up in the landfill.  The co-mingled plan is also extremely expensive, and Mr. 
Ready provided no date for start-up, or other details.  On June 29, Mike 
Keeler met with Mayor Stanley to urge him to hire a consultant such as Mr. 
Frey, who discussed 3,000 successful recycling programs his company has 
arranged.  Mike left the meeting unconvinced that the mayor will provide a 
workable solution.  
	In mid-June, mayoral candidate Scott Kincaid held a press conference 
to discuss his proposed curbside recycling plan, which sounds like an 
efficient and cost-effective program.  He recommends using a specially made 
truck that would pick up recyclables on the same day yard compost is 
collected.  Candidate (Rep.) Vera Rison, who has indicated support for 
curbside recycling, has not responded with a specific plan.  Recycling is an 
issue especially appropriate to the Nepessing Group of the Sierra Club, since 
one-third of our members live in the City of Flint.  Even those who donít 
will be affected in the future by rising landfill costs.
	The forum resulted from six months of work by the recycling 
committee.  We are now considering further actions to take.  If you would 
like to get involved, please call (810) 767-9904.  
	Volunteers distributed 500 yard signs and 2000 educational fliers, 
and some even obtained donations.  We went to City Council meetings, the Art 
Fair, Farmerís Market, the Flintstones Parade, the City Yards, neighborhood 
groups and talked one-to-one with residents.  We didnít have to do much 
convincing -- there is overwhelming support from residents city-wide for this 
service long enjoyed by our suburban neighbors.
	People responded by signing 1300 postcards to send to Mayor Stanley 
and by writing letters to the editor.  WJRT-TV12 interviewed us, and The 
Flint Journal has published an editorial and various news stories about this 
community movement. 
	We join citizens all over the U.S. who are debating the issues of 
recycling.  Costs and benefits, short-term and long-term, must be considered. 
 The issues involve jobs, city services, use of resources and community 
image.  Complying with future federal mandates will be more expensive in the 
long run.  And no one wants an incinerator or landfill in their backyard.  
People want to act responsibly, and young people are aware of the problems 
they will inherit.  
	Similar sized cities such as Saginaw, Lansing, Warren and Ann Arbor 
already enjoy successful curbside recycling.  These progressive cities know 
that curbside recycling is one of the small, but important quality-of-life 
considerations that a city provides. 
	The citizens of Flint are ready.  Will our city government step up to 
the challenge?

-- Sherry Hayden

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