Boston City Council OK's recycling measure
Commercial waste haulers working in Boston could lose their licenses if they don't start offering recycling services to their customers, according to a measure passed today by the Boston City Council.
Proponents of the ordinance said the new requirements would improve recycling efforts among businesses in Boston, which some local officials say has a poor rate of recycling compared to other major US cities.
The measure was approved by voice vote and now goes to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who helped craft the law and is expected to sign it.
"If there's an area that we can improve in, it would be recycling," said Michael P. Ross, who drafted the ordinance and who is expected to become the council's next president.
Ross said he was spurred on a by a discussion two years ago with a longtime acquaintance and one-time restaurant owner.
"He said, 'Mike, make us recycle.' And I said, 'What on earth are you talking about?'" Ross recalled yesterday. "And what I found out was that his waste company wasn't offering recycling."
Under the proposed ordinance, haulers permitted to work in Boston would have to:
-- Offer customers a recycling option.
-- Provide information materials about their program, as well as educational materials about recycling.
-- Give the city numbers on how many customers they have, how many opted to recycle, and how much recyclable waste they collected annually.
Those haulers who don't comply would first be fined -- $150 for a first offense and $300 for a second -- and then could lose their ability to work in Boston. The ordinance would reinforce a state ban on recyclable materials from landfills.
(By John Drake and Erin Ailworth, Globe staff)