Plastic Bags on the Way Out?
Would you support a ban on plastic bags in our state?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Plastic Bags on the Way Out?
The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., announced last week that it will reduce its plastic shopping bag waste by about 33 percent by the year 2013, which could result in the elimination of more than 135 million pounds of plastic waste worldwide. To meet that goal, reports the San Diego/Union Tribune, Wal-Mart will give out fewer bags and encourage shoppers to use reusable ones.
This announcement “also comes amid a global push to curb the use of plastic bags, which environmentalists say can take up to 1,000 years to disintegrate and pose threats to marine life, birds and other animals,” reports the Tribune.
In West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin and the WV Legislature must have the courage and the will to be pro-active in banning plastic retail shopping bags. At Wal-Mart and Kroger's, locally, the cloth bags are $1.00 each. They are easy to carry and fit nicely in the trunk of your car.
Would you support a ban on plastic bags in our state?
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Old Main Corridor Project is Underway!
The Old Main Corridor project is intended to enhance 4th Avenue between 8th Street and Hal Greer Boulevard, and the first phase of construction is underway between 8th and 10th streets. This very first phase of the project involves replacement of sidewalks, construction of two pedestrian plazas, all new street lighting similar to the Pullman Square area and the repaving of 4th Avenue.
I'm posting these links to the http://www.createhuntington.com/ website for all who want to know the history and details of the project. Click on these links to learn about:
The Overview of the Project:
The Project Design:
The Marshall University Student Survey:
Learn About Architects and Communities:
After viewing these data, tell us what you like about the project, or give us your ideas for additional elements that should be added within the project. (Just click on "Post Comments" at the bottom of this posting and have your say.)
Strategic Plan - Resolving Litter/Solid Waste Issues
Although our city streets are somewhat cleaner, because of the many volunteers who donate their time while keeping their block picked-up and free of litter and cigarette butts, the reality is - if they were to stop, their streets, within hours, would again be covered with blowing solid waste. I would like to put forward a strategic plan for resolving this issue.
First, modify the pertinent City of Huntington Codified Ordinance (Article 951.02 - Keeping of Garbage and Rubbish on Premise Prior to Collection) to eliminate the practice of allowing rubbish to be placed out in plastic bags for collection. Instead, household refuse must be disposed of in a plastic bag and placed in an "approved container". Article 951.01 should define an "approved container" as one that is "portable, watertight, and equipped with an attached "pelican-type" lid. The ordinance would establish the style, size and capacity.
Second, the City of Huntington should seriously consider privatizing its Sanitation Division immediately, in order to provide quality service, reduce personnel costs and the inherent cost of benefits for that division. The contractor would be required to hire all present sanitation workers. The commercial hauler who is the successful bidder on the contract would be required to furnish each customer with the number of receptacles required to hold their weekly accumulation of trash and garbage. The contractor could add a small surcharge to customers’ monthly billing to recover the cost. Compactor trucks, capable of lifting up and emptying the containers, must be supplied by the contractor.
Third, enforcement is critical. If any person shall violate any provision of Article 951, they shall receive a Refuse Collection/Littering Notice of Violation and given ten (10) day to correct the violation. If not corrected, the owner and/or occupant of the property will receive a notice of the date they must appear in Municipal Court. If any person shall violate, or cause to be violated any provision of Article 951 - they shall be subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) and/or up to thirty days in jail.
Fourth, pedestrian and automobile littering is endemic in Huntington. Initially, we must take action to ensure that litter receptacles and cigarette disposal units are available within a very few feet of the main entrance of every business and commercial establishment in all parts of the city. The city ordinance requiring the placement of each unit by the owner would establish a model, size and color for the units, in order to maintain a uniform appearance throughout the city. Additionally, the City of Huntington should pay for, place and maintain litter receptacles and cigarette disposal units on every street corner in every neighborhood throughout the city and at every TTA bus stop. Could TTA fund those? Could the waste hauling contractor pay for and service the receptacles, and charge the City of Huntington a monthly fee? Could the City sell advertising messages on the receptacles to recover the cost of the contractor's service?
Fifth, having placed the receptacles and disposal units - thereby, eliminating the main excuse individuals give for throwing down litter, including cigarette waste - we can then concentrate on enforcement. Individuals, who blatantly throw down their waste, after an announced date-certain and an initial warning citation, would be cited and ordered to Municipal Court.
Sixth, the formation of a volunteer citizen’s’ police unit, established within the City of Huntington Police Department, would monitor the various business districts and residential neighborhoods to identify individuals and property owners/tenants who are littering. The special units would be empowered to issue a warning notice to the violator. In the event the same individual is a second time violator, the special unit member shall be empowered to communicate the offense, possibly by cell phone, to the regular police officer on duty in that sector, so that the violator can be served with an official citation instructing them to appear in Municipal Court. Upon appearing in court, the Municipal Judge could order the violator to perform community service, in lieu of a fine and/or jail time. The Day Reporting system would administer the required community service.
This strategy would eventually resolve the critical issue of endemic littering and improper solid waste collection and disposal. Our city’s future economic growth and “quality of life” goals require that we first "take a shower and dress-up” our city in order to encourage people to live, work, study and play in Huntington. If we are to capture new businesses and industry, we must commit to presenting a clean, green and progressive city. All we need do is recapture our sense of pride in our city and demand that our city administration and council representatives have the will and take the actions necessary to produce results.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Create Huntington History
Create Huntington began in 2006 when Mayor David Felinton, Dr. Stephen Kopp and a group of citizens came together to discuss the best way to improve Huntington’s economic future. Five focus groups were selected to review economic trends and discuss a direction. The focus groups convened around the topics of Family Life, Technology, Culture and the Arts, Community Development and Tourism. The process was designed to learn what citizens care about, our strengths as a community, and how Huntington fits into the future of the global economy.
Three basic themes emerged from these discussions:
A community-wide forum was held in November 2006 to share the forum results with the community. At the same time, Huntington was learning that Warner Brothers would film portions of the “We Are Marshall” movie in Huntington. These factors, combined with the success of the Pullman Square Development, began to catalyze citizen engagement in new and exciting ways. But some of the work was being duplicated. Participants were struggling in their efforts without adequate resources.
With the grant funds, Create Huntington has been able to explore the successes of other progressive communities and bring in experts to prepare for the visioning process.
Community forums will be held in the fall of 2008 to begin work on the plan. Three committees have been formed to carry out the requirements of the grant and membership is open to the community.
Want to have input into the plans for creating the Huntington of the future? Become a member of our conversation forums. Only positive ideas and comments will be posted. Go to http://www.createhuntington.com/ and register as a member so that you can share your ideas for creating Huntington's future.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Recycling is critical to Huntington's/Cabell County's Future
Lots of folks in our county have a positive attitude about the importance of recycling solid waste, but are asking where they can take their recyclables. I hope this information is helpful.
Places That Recycle:
Allied Waste - 525-1631. Find out about City of Huntington's new incentive program.
Goodwill Industries - 525 W. 19th Street (next to Redman Bingo Hall) - They accept Aluminum cans, cardboard, magazines, phone books, catalogs, all paper, bubble wrap, plastic peanuts and electronics.
In Barboursville - Depot Street - They accept paper, cardboard, plastics 1 and 2 (look on the bottom for the classification number).
Allied Waste - Route 2 - They accept Paper, steel cans, aluminum cans, plastics 1 and 2.
Empire Metals - 111 E. 22nd Street, Huntington - Aluminum Cans and scrap metals.
Taylor Iron and Metal, 1st Street and 3rd Avenue, Huntington - They accept Aluminum cans and scrap metals.
WV Waste Paper Recycling Company, 1751 7th Ave., Huntington - They accept cardboard and paper.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
If you don't vote, don't complain!
Just a few days until the general election. The most valuable right we have as American citizens is the right to elect our government leaders.
The citizens of Huntington and Cabell County who choose not to register to vote and participate in our elections are the same ones who complain when government fails to provide quality public services. In short, if you don't vote you have given up your right to complain.
I challenge every citizen of our county to recommit to good citizenship by participating in the election process. If you need transportation to the voter registration office, or to your polling place on election day, call me at 304-523-7902. I'll pick you up and take you to register to vote and to your polling place on election day.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Citizens and City Cooperate on Public Event
Thought you might like a sample of the efforts for the Guyandotte cleanup in preparation for Swine Fest.
The materials provided by REAP, litter-sticks, gloves, and bags were a big asset in the successful cleanup. Around 100 people were involved and they worked in spite of the rain. Pictured are a student group and a fraternity from Marshall.
The City of Huntington employees were great and really took the job seriously. It was encouraging to see everyone working together for a great community cause. Thanks to the Mayor and Chuck Cornett there were 2 dumpsters which got filled and an end loader that made dumping volumes of trash into the dumpsters possible.
There was assistance also from the Day Report Center and those 4 guys worked very hard. I don't know how to contact them but if you can, tell them a big "Thank You".
Friday, September 05, 2008
What is the real cost of plastic Bags?
Local neighborhood advocate, Jay Bowen, sent me this information today. As he said, "Everyone in the world should have to read this."
Here is the link. I hope you will take the time to give it some thought:
(Use the scroll bar on the right side of the images to move down through the presentation.)
What is the real cost of plastic bags?
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
What is "Create Huntington"?
What exactly is Create Huntington? If you want to be part of creating the Huntington of the future, click on this link to read all about the most important initiative to come along in fifty years.
Here is the link: http://www.createhuntington.com/history.php
Get involved! Together we will accomplish anything we can imagine!