Thursday, November 19, 2009


Now is the time for all good Kingstonians to say NO TRASH TAX. 
The aldermen are proposing to charge ALL city residents for TRASH PICKUP.

The following article appeared in the Kingston Freeman last Friday.

Kingston lawmakers debate trash payment plan

Published: Friday, November 13, 2009

By Paul Kirby
Freeman staff

KINGSTON — City lawmakers remained at odds Thursday night over whether a new trash collection program it is estimated could generate $1.3 million in revenue can be approved in time for the money to be included in the 2010 budget.

During a session of the Common Council’s Finance/Economic Development Committee, panel members differed on opinions about a proposed “pay as you throw” program.

Some such as Alderman Ronald Polacco, R-Ward 6, were against it saying, “It is just another tax.”

Still others such as Alderwoman Ann Marie DiBella, D-Ward 5, said she likes the program but didn’t think there was enough time to educate the public on it.

DiBella said she was particularly concerned about rental units and whether landlords and tenants would comply with a new trash pickup regulation.

And then there was Alderman Thomas Hoffay, D-Ward 2, who said he believes that a majority of the council “will come on board” with it before the council adopts a 2010 budget.

Alderman Charles Landi, D-Ward 3, who is the committee’s chairman, held out that “there was a possibility” movement could be made on the proposal before a budget vote.

The program has long been bantered about by members the Common Council and has been supported by Mayor James Sottile in the past.

But the program has never gotten off the ground as it languished in committee.

It was in March 2008 that Environmental Educator Steve Noble first suggested the idea for the program.

On Thursday night, Noble pitched the program again, this time suggesting that he could educate the public in a month, with an all-out blitz.

Noble said residents would purchase the number of garbage bags they use in a week or perhaps just stickers to place on bags. Either way, the cost would be $1.25 per bag or sticker, much less than the $4 charge some other municipalities have levied, Noble said.

Noble has estimated the selling of the bags would generate about $1.3 million for the city.

Noble said that individual households would pay only for as much garage as they generate. He believes the program would encourage less trash output because residents would not have to buy as many bags if they generate less waste.

The program would be similar to the city’s water and sewer programs which charge households based on usage.

Noble has estimated that the program would likely reduce the city’s landfill costs by $200,000 because people would separate more recyclable material from their trash and compost food waste to save on bag purchases.

Sottile said that in order for his proposed tax rate increase to go from 10 percent to zero the council would have to cut or find revenues of $1.3 million.

Hoffay has said the pay as you throw program garbage bag or sticker purchases would generate just that amount, cutting the tax rate hike to zero.

However, that is only accomplished if 28 employee layoffs are still in place, including six police officers and three civilian dispatchers.

In order to save those positions, Sottile said, another $600,00 in revenues or cuts need to be found.

On Thursday, the Finance/Economic Development Committee suggested no changes to the mayor’s proposed budget.

Another budget session is set for Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.


Ralph Mitchell said...

This is BREAKING NEWS for City of Kingston residents. This morning on Kingston Community Radio (KCR) on WGHQ radio, I asked Al Teetsel, Kingston Ward 1 Alderman, What is the likelihood of the Kingston Council passing this year, the new TRASH TAX on ALL city residents. Al said he felt it was reasonably likely. He said the estimated annual costs for TRASH PICKUP is about $190 per year. NOW IS THE TIME for Kingston residents to call their alderman and tell them VOTE NO on the TRASH TAX.

Anonymous said...

I believe this is a good thing because all the not for profits will have to pay their fair share finally. Right now everybody else pays for them. I do fear that there are those people (like those who don't pay their taxes)that will start throwing garbage everywhere in an effort no to pay for the bags. Commercial dumpster will become overloaded from all the freeloaders.

Ralph Mitchell said...

To 9:44AM,
With respect, I believe the item you fear will outweigh the collecting from non-paying not-for-profits. Of course, the amount of illegal midnight dumping will dramatically increase making the streets of Kingston look like the aftermath of Woodstock 94.
By the way, I am told by people in the Kingston Business Alliance that most not-for-profits already pay private haulers to pickup their garbage now. The new revenue potentially collectable from smaller not-for-profits is small. This not-for-profit revenue argument is just a TROJAN HORSE or BAIT AND SWITCH argument for collecting the TRASH TAX from every Kingston City resident. Ask your aldermen to quote an estimate of not-for-profit new garbage revenue. The answer would be very small.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like this is the first step to firing all the trash workers. Cut out the middle man (the city)and just pay waste management to do it. Better start picking up all the trash faster boys!
Stint work isn't coming back.