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Wednesday, May 24, 2017
MoCo's epic recycling pick-up fail in Bethesda continues
The Montgomery County Council has spent much of its time on bizarre issues like teenage tanning beds, pesticides, Styrofoam, "healthy vending machines," and divesting from energy investments. But based on our jammed and pothole-ridden roads, declining schools and 911 system failures, they are utterly inept at providing the basic services citizens expect when paying their outrageously high taxes. The latest Council humiliation? The streets of Bethesda, lined with recycling bins and yard waste, week after week. That embarrassment continues this week.
On Tuesday, the recycling trucks didn't bother to show up again in Bethesda. As night fell, recycling bins in neighborhoods counted their 24th hours at the curb, where residents placed them the night before. Naturally, those residents assumed the bins and earth-saving yard trim collections would be, you know, picked up on Trash Day.
Ironically, the County had done a lot of talking about recycling pickup on Tuesday, just very little actual picking up. They apparently forgot that 80% of success in life is showing up. As they say, "you had one job."
As recycling bins cluttered the roads, the County was talking. And talking. New contractors! Effective May 30! Just for Silver Spring!
But they weren't collecting.
Their efforts were mainly an attempt to look busy. Who wrote the contract for recycling collection? Does it have no penalties for simply not bothering to provide service? How many firms bid on this work, given that there have been issues with this contractor going back several years, such as labor disputes?
Why is the Council impotent on this issue, as they are on so many other critical issues? Will residents' trash and recycling fees be partially refunded for the unacceptable service? How does this keep going on, week after week?
Recycling contractor Potomac Disposal has made campaign contributions to councilmembers Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal, according to the Maryland Campaign Finance database. It's unclear if those donations also get them a free pass for frequently dropping and smashing glass bottles they were supposed to pick up, and then driving away, leaving broken glass shards to puncture taxpayers' tires.
I particularly like how the official announcement yesterday said that, if your recycling isn't picked up, "leave your material at the curb. The contractor will collect missed items as soon as possible."
Don't call us, we'll call you.
It's time for the County Council to be put out at the curb, for quick pickup on Election Day 2018.