February is the month of recycling, and Tempe Bulk Trash has joined the bandwagon. The company, which serves 90 residential communities throughout Maricopa County, Arizona, is part of a group of community management companies that are teaming up to ensure residents receive proper recycling programs. The group’s initiative is part of a broader initiative by the Arizona Department of Environment and Parks; the parks department recently held a workshop to coincide with the Earth Day celebration, encouraging citizens and businesses to embrace greener pastures.
In a rather unfortunate turn of events, the “green” initiative was attacked by the Arizona legislature for being in violation of the state Constitution. Apparently it meant that the department of environment and parks would no longer be able to issue guidelines or collect fees from businesses to handle green waste. This includes fees associated with the service of pickup. Tempe Bulk Trash has been an integral part of the waste pickup program for years, but now faces a ban of sorts. In light of this, and other similar incidents around the country, what should residents in Tempe do to legally proceed with their green waste management?
The February incident is noteworthy because it highlights the need for a change in how communities interact with one another regarding green waste. It also serves as a case study for environmental officials attempting to impose new regulations and rules. As the meeting between the parks and the community manager unfolded, many people were left wondering what exactly is involved in making a “green” program work. At first, the organizers of the event seemed open to answering all questions. According to a spokesperson for the parks department, the following day the department received “a call about the Waste Management plan” from a resident.
It appears the caller was pleased with the answer, and offered to send the department a photo of the billboard. Unfortunately for the community manager and her employees, Rebecca Mower, the parks department representative, had missed several meetings over the past year and a half that had been devoted to discussing and implementing a program that would replace the current bulk trash pickup with a green waste pickup service. At every meeting she had attended, she had offered that same billboard picture, only now with a large” *” painted message saying “No thanks” in bold red. When the community manager returned to the office, she was stunned by the reaction to her return phone call. At least for now, the mystery of the “*” has been solved.
On a bright spring morning, the citizens of Tempe woke up to the sight of a large “*” painted message on the bulletin board. Upon entering the building, the community manager noticed that all the street signs had already been replaced with words and pictures portraying “green” and “eco-friendly” actions and occurrences. There was a flyer on the wall advertising a “green” event taking place at the tennis club. On the invitation card, which hangs on the wall above the desk, there is a list of the events and activities planned for the coming February 8th through March 8th. Now the community manager realized. Maybe there was hope for a compromise.
The following day, while everyone was gathered for an ice cream social, Rebecca Mower, the community manager, offered a toast to “green” Tempe. Minutes later she received a call from the man who runs the tennis club. He informed her that the “*” had been erased due to complaints from the association. The “*” has since been replaced by a heart symbol, but Rebecca Mower is still holding her cup of tea.