Norwalk has myriad trash problems. Foremost, because soylent green is people, is that too many people think that its just a-okay to put trash bags out on the street for collection. Apparently they are oblivious to the vicious garbagerous birds that tear the bags, spilling contents out onto the street. Then there’s the dumpsters that fill up and somehow people think its a-okay to just place garbage bags next to the dumpster, exposed to the same birds and various critters that roam these stinky spots for food. Add wind and rain and various bits and pieces of the trash float all over the streetscapes, which then encourages people to toss things onto the ground. A vicious cycle. Remember this?
Meanwhile, Norwalk’s DPW is planning to resolve the CRRA trash problemo. From The Hour:
City Carting & Recycling, Inc., the Stamford company that has picked up recyclables in Norwalk since 2004, next year might also be responsible for hauling away trash and other solid waste.
Harold F. Alvord, the city’s director of public works, is recommending that City Carting succeed Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority as the city’s contracted disposer of municipal solid waste.
“The proposal is to, beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, lease the Meadow Street transfer station from City Carting and operate that as a city of Norwalk transfer station. The only operations at Meadow Street will be commercial,” Alvord said Tuesday afternoon. “Crescent Street will be expanded for resident drop-off only. We’re going to expand and increase the number of things residents can drop off there.”
For several years, city officials have searched for a successor agreement to its existing contract with Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. The 25-year contract, which expires Dec. 31, has become increasingly expensive for the city, in large part due to increases in tipping fees charged the city.
Alvord said the city has spent roughly $4.5 million a year “dealing with garbage” and has been able to recover only half of that amount. That translates to $2.1 million in annual losses and, potentially, more than $3 million annually, if the city were to continue with CRRA. While the proposed agreement with City Carting wouldn’t eliminate such losses, it would stem their amount, according to Alvord.
“Under this proposed negotiated agreement, we would have an unrecoverable cost of $1 million (annually) … that’s a conservative estimate,” Alvord said. “We’re cutting losses in half — $2.1 million to $1 million — and we’re expanding services to residents and expanding recycling.”
As part of the expansion, residents would be able to drop off oil, batteries, electronics, household hazardous wastes and different types of plastics at the Crescent Street location. The city would lease and operate the Meadow Street facility with a city weigh master working the scales, according to Alvord.
Under the current CRRA contract, garbage is weighed at the Crescent Street transfer station and hauled away to be burned at the Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. plant in Bridgeport. Under the proposed agreement with City Carting, garbage might be hauled away and burned there, or at other burn facilities in Connecticut. Or, it might hauled by rail to landfills in Ohio or Pennsylvania, according to Alvord.
But that’s not all the trash news of the day. Over in the Courant we have the story of trash mogul Galante’s plea deal:
The case started with federal authorities recording James Galante’s associates warning garbage-hauling competitors not to “[expletive] with Jimmy.” It ended Tuesday with the Danbury trash magnate pleading guilty to offering no-show jobs to hockey players and stealing money from a garbage transfer station.
Galante, 55, admitted to charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and defrauding the Internal Revenue Service. He faces 70 to 87 months in prison when he sentenced Aug. 22 by U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Bree Burns.
Galante also agreed to forfeit his stake in 25 trash hauling and recycling companies to the federal government, and promised to never work in the business again.
When the government sells the companies, estimated to be worth $100 million, it will return $10.75 million to Galante as a portion of his share of more than $40 million in loans he and his wife, Roseanne, made to the businesses over the years.
Galante also agreed to forfeit a horse farm he bought for a former girlfriend in Southbury, six racing cars, a racing trailer and $448,000 in cash that federal agents seized in 2006. He also must pay at least $1.6 million in back taxes to the IRS.
Acting U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy said the government “was satisfied with the plea agreement.”
Galante and his attorney, Hugh Keefe, left court without commenting. Keefe later said the negotiations that led to Tuesday’s plea were some of the longest and most intense he has ever experienced.
“This was an extremely complicated negotiations because of all his business entities and the value of his companies,” Keefe said. “I’m sure there are some people who will believe he got off easy, but he has to do a substantial amount of time no matter what anybody may think.”
Galante’s plea is the latest and the biggest in the more than two-year investigation into the garbage hauling business in western Connecticut and Putnam County, N.Y. Only three of 33 people who have been indicted or charged remain free.
source: The Hour, City officials mull consolidation of waste, by Robert Koch, June 4, 2008
source: Courant, Galante Admits Guilt; His Trash Empire Crumbles, By DAVE ALTIMARI, june 4, 2008