Update: A comment posted by Mike Lowery indicated that funding for recycling bins had been found. Additional email documentation adds further detail to Lowery's comment.
Department of Public Works Director Don Ouellette learned this week that Wayland's Highway Department had received a $20,000 reimbursement from the state related to Tropical Storm Irene.
That money, according to an email chain, went directly to Wayland's Highway Department, and Ouellette said in an email that he wants to use a portion of that money to purchase 100 blue recycling bins.
Ouellette reached out to Recreation Department Director Nancy McShea about the possibility of splitting the cost -- an estimated $7,500 -- to purchase the bins. A return email from McShea indicated that the Recreation Department can "pitch in" half of the cost.
The bins, according to the email chain, will feature lettering indicating they are for Town of Wayland recycling only. Ouellette said a previous order took five weeks for delivery.
Original story posted Thursday, May 3 at 4 p.m.:
Recycling at Wayland’s public places continues to be in the discussion but without a clear plan in sight.
At Monday’s Board of Public Works meeting, representatives from Wayland’s Green Team spoke with board members about the possibility of the town implementing a recycling program at Wayland’s parks.
Natick resident Pat Conaway has, for about two years, been collecting recyclable containers from Wayland’s Cochituate Field. Last August, he appeared before Wayland’s Board of Public Works to discuss ways for Wayland’s Department of Public Works to begin taking over the program.
“I’m trying to nudge Wayland to get involved in this and get the town DPW to take some responsibility,” Conaway told BoPW members last August. “I do feel that communities … we need to get going on this.”
At that August meeting, concerns about costs and manpower were raised even as members of the board expressed support for the program.
That discussion concluded with the expectation that DPW Director Don Ouellette would look at options for taking over the program and present a proposal at a later meeting.
Monday, Conaway and Green Team member Christina Veal were once again before the BoPW members to discuss progress toward that goal as the prime season – April through September – gets underway at Wayland’s parks and fields.
Ouellette explained that overages in the Hannah Williams Playground renovation project ate up the funds he wanted to use to purchase recycling bins that are compatible with the town’s existing equipment.
Over the past several months, Ouellette said, the town has put out several bins, but it doesn’t currently have the funds to fully implement a program of putting out the bins and also collecting them. There is a particular style of bin that the town’s existing trucks can pick up and empty; therefore, that bin would save considerable time and manpower.
“I’ve gotta find a way to come up with 7,500 bucks,” Ouellette said.
Veal said the Green Team plans to approach Stop & Shop about purchasing recycling bins, but it is unknown whether the grocery store will be willing to purchase the style of bins Wayland needs.
When the Board of Public Works last year agreed to try and implement the program, the members were under the impression that they had control over a particular set of funds that are actually under the control of the Recreation Commission.
“We have the responsibility to maintain the fields, but we don’t have the priority over those funds,” BoPW member Michael Wegerbauer explained. “We made a commitment last year not knowing that we didn’t have full control of those funds.”
BoPW member Jon Mishara agreed to join Ouellette in speaking to the Recreation Commission about using some of those funds to implement the program. He also encouraged Conaway and Veal to meet with the Recreation Commission themselves.
“This is a very, very important issue,” Mishara said. “Your efforts are very much appreciated.”