Ex-Garbage Workers and Trees

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported that some of the former city refuse workers, who kept city employment through bargaining away refuse collection as a city job, could initially be put on tree duties.

The end of city-run garbage collection Friday freed up about 10 employees for other assignments, and the city’s chief tree trimmer wants the Common Council to send some of those workers his way.

“If we had enough men, we could put a big dent in our trees,” said Joseph Kane, tree crew leader.

There are an estimated 70,000 trees on city property or along streets in the city right of way, Kane told the aldermen. Complaints about trees that are dying or need to be trimmed flow steadily into City Hall.

Yet the city has only four workers assigned to its forestry budget, said Richard P. Mullaney, city clerk and budget director.

“It would take an army to clean up our tree backlog,” said Alderman Andrew D. Chapman...
  Forestry departments are some of the easiest to cut from as the effects take a while to notice. A tree missing here or there is not noted. It is not until some decades go by and tree-less spots start to outnumber the ones with trees remaining. The next problem is that it will take decades to have mature trees back in those spots. 70,000 trees may sound like a lot but take notice as you drive (or hopefully walk) down Lockport sides streets just how many street trees are currently missing.

Here is a nice document on the 22 Benefits of Urban Street Trees ranging from increased property values, to structure shading / cooling , to vehicle / pedestrian safety, less drainage, etc. At least personally, nothing shows an area forsaken by a municipality than one with streets with no street trees left. I use it as a criteria when buying an older house.

A peeve of mine in the city is that when I have notified of a dead branch, the whole tree was cut down etc for 6 ft of the trunk which would remain for 3 years until the tree started growing again. I'd hope that we either have a certified arborist on staff or have one contracted. If the city is hardly planting anymore they better not be needlessly cutting them down.


Anonymous said...

As an example of why Allen/Tucker are terrible managers, you left out a telling quote from the article.
The employee only has a few days of garbage collecting to do but he stated that none of them knew what their new duties were going to be.

Don't you think a plan should have been in place and communicated what they were going to do with these obviously excess employees?

Xavier said...

I wouldn't take the former garbage guy's statement as law.
They will be assigned according to what is needed at the time.
Not one "tote" has been picked up yet (I don't think) so let's give them a little time to see how it goes. In the beginning I ASSUME that there will still be plenty of garbage related work to do - like picking up people's OLD garbage cans.
My garbage day is Tuesday. I filled the recycling tote to the brim, and that's a very good thing.

MJ said...

Received my bins yesterday. A lot of them were still street side when I arrived home and street looked 100x better than it usually does on garbage day.

I'm surprised how large the 94 gallon tote it. I does appear like it would hold 6 stuffed 13 gallon kitchen bags.

I did not fill up the recycling tote yesterday but it felt great to use it. Something about the tote that makes it a better "experience" than the open small bins that I had while in Lancaster.

Xavier said...

I filled my recycling tote to the brim. It was a bit difficult to get it out there - but I felt very good about doing it.
This morning I caught the Modern guy picking it up. What a breath of fresh air. ONE guy drives the truck and, at the end of the dump, makes sure the tote is back on the grass.
I'm not "into" garbage, but I was very impressed with how quickly it was done - with ONE guy doing it.

Xavier said...

My recycling tote is already filled up and my pick-up day is Tuesday. I now wish it was larger.
And, yes, the first week it held a bowling ball.
This thing is going to take off like wild fire to the point where not only will we NOT pay "tipping fees," we'll be making money. They look a hell of a lot better than bags and misc. containers at the curb. Pretty good if you ask me!!

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