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FW: Recycling in PW

See the article forwarded below from Philly¹s Daily News.

David Biddle, Executive Director-GPCRC

> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: "Christine Knapp" <knapp@no.address>
> Organization: PennFuture
> Reply-To: "Christine Knapp" <knapp@no.address>
> Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 09:51:26 -0500
> Waste Not, Want Not
> Few qualified candidates have applied to head up Philadelphia's recycling
> office.
> by Gwen Shaffer <mailto:gshaffer@no.address>
> Local environmental advocates say it's not completely shocking that few
> qualified candidates have applied to serve as Philadelphia's recycling
> coordinator since the position opened up in early August.
> After all, Philadelphia has one of the lowest curbside recycling rates in the
> country, with just 5.5 percent of materials collected. The city violates its
> own recycling ordinance by ignoring provisions that require plastic and yard
> waste be recycled. And federal prosecutors indicted Philadelphia's last
> recycling coordinator after his own boss turned him in for allegedly misusing
> public funds. As of last week the Streets Department had received 43
> applications for the job, including only "eight or nine" from candidates who
> possess the minimum qualifications, say recycling advocates. Deputy streets
> commissioner Carlton Williams provided them with the information. None of the
> applicants appears to be a good fit for the position, Williams reportedly
> said during an Oct. 25 meeting with members of the city's Recycling Advisory
> Committee.
> The department plans to continue looking-possibly with the assistance of an
> executive search firm, he says. Members of Philadelphia's environmental
> community say they're disappointed by the low interest in the $75,000-a-year
> job. "It's not surprising that the city has yet to find a qualified
> applicant for recycling coordinator, given that the position has historically
> lacked real power to implement a successful program, and that the city's
> recycling rate is atrociously low," says Emily Linn, program director for the
> Clean Air Council. "What qualified recycling advocate would want to work in a
> department that's hostile toward improving recycling rates?"
> The position would be far more effective-and attractive to candidates-if the
> city transferred the recycling program to the managing director's office,
> environmentalists say. Maurice Sampson served as Philadelphia's recycling
> coordinator from 1985 to 1987. He says history demonstrates that working for
> the Streets Department is a dicey career move. The past three recycling
> coordinators left under less than ideal circumstances, he notes. "Why would
> anyone who values their career and their reputation risk taking this job?"
> Al Dezzi resigned in January 1998, soon after then-mayor Ed Rendell folded
> the position into the Streets Department. Dezzi's successor Joan Batory left
> after a year without another job lined up. The Streets Department hired David
> Robinson in November 2000. He pleaded not guilty to federal charges this past
> August, following an investigation reportedly initiated by a tip from streets
> commissioner Clarena Tolson. Deputy commissioner Williams didn't respond to
> an interview request. But Streets Department spokesperson Keisha
> McCarty-Skelton confirms that the city is continuing its search for a
> qualified candidate. "This position is critical to our department," she says.
> "We're trying to be real careful in our selection."
> According to a classified ad now running in Recycling Resource Magazine, the
> city is "looking for a highly motivated leader with new and innovative ideas"
> to boost Philadelphia's recycling program. The "ideal candidate" should have
> a bachelor's degree, as well as about seven years experience in the recycling
> and solid waste disposal industries, the ad reads. An audit conducted by
> city controller Jonathan Saidel this past summer concludes that boosting the
> residential recycling rate by 1 percent could save the city about $540,000
> annually. Gwen Shaffer (gshaffer@no.address) writes about
> Philadelphia Gas Works' LNG hopes on p. 16.

------ End of Forwarded Message

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