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Waste & Recycling March 08, 2018 08:30:34 AM

EC Reports New Solid Waste Plan at Ann Arbor, MI City Council

Waste Advantage
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The Environmental Commission will hire an outside consultant to evaluate the plan’s current condition and ultimately draft a new, improved five-year proposal aiming for a zero-waste plan.
EC Reports New Solid Waste Plan at Ann Arbor, MI City Council

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): The Ann Arbor City Council convened Monday evening to provide an update on the status of the City of Ann Arbor’s Solid Waste Fund, which is currently at a sufficient balance. The Environmental Commission aims to hire an outside consultant to draft the Solid Waste Fund’s five-year plan this April. In a special session, the council also increased City Attorney Stephen Postema’s pay by 2.5 percent to $184,500.

The Solid Waste Plan manages a system for recycling collection financed by the Solid Waste Fund, an enterprise fund operating as a bsusiness. According to Councilmember Chip Smith, D-Ward 5, at a working session on Feb. 22, the council’s Environmental Commission provided an update of the fund to a healthy status, which contrasted the original concerning numbers.

“The Solid Waste Fund balance had been given many projections showing very dire circumstances, but going back through the audit, we have been given a revised figure that that fund is currently stable,” Smith said.

With higher recycling costs resulting from the shutdown of the Materials Recovery Facility, some voiced concerns about longterm stability. However, according to a January report by Craig Hupy, public service area administrator, average annual revenue from the Solid Waste Fund measures approximately $14 million, and barring an emergency, will not drop significantly. In January, City Administrator Howard Lazarus projected higher revenues numbers for the end of the fiscal year than Hupy.

“The end of year balance for the Solid Waste Fund is forecasted for the end of the fiscal year to be $22 million,” Lazarus said. “There’s a drop in what’s called the unrestricted fund balance, this is at $8.5 million, but that’s forecasted to rebound in the fiscal year of 2019 to go up to $10 million.”

Smith emphasized the Environmental Commission’s main focus in the coming months is to update the 2013-2017 Solid Waste Plan and draft a new five-year plan, which would aim to establish a zero-waste system for the city.

“But more importantly, we spent a lot of time at that work session talking about the upcoming five-year Solid Waste Plan and since we’ve all been very involved in the recycling situation particularly with the condition of the MRF, this is all going to be examined in pretty great detail in the five-year Solid Waste Plan update,” he said. 

The Environmental Commission will hire an outside consultant to evaluate the plan’s current condition and ultimately draft a new, improved five-year proposal aiming for a zero-waste plan. 

“The selected consultant will prepare financial models about the best ways to pay for these things, give us guidance on how to move forward with the MRF with or without regional partners and give us real direction on how to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves which is becoming more on a path towards zero waste in a financially responsible manner,” Smith said.

Courtesy: https://wasteadvantage.com

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