4. Agenda Item 4. Special Guest. A motion to suspend the rules in order to accommodate special guest Stacey King was made, seconded, and passed. Stacey King of the College Park Public Works department introduced herself and gave a presentation. Public Works collects refuse, recycling, and yard waste, plows the streets during snowtorms, maintains city landscaping and rights of way, paints most of the street lines and maintains street and parking lot signs, and maintains city properties, including the parking garage. There are important changes in the rules regarding parking during snowstorms. In the past, residents were asked to use the odd/even system. Now, Public Works is asking residents to park on the even side of the road when inclement weather is predicted. An exception is if you live in an odd-numbered house and the area across the street is undeveloped—in that case, you can keep your car on your own side of the street. The City’s trash tonnage has been decreasing pretty substantially over the past several years. A big reason for this is the recycling program. There has been a general upward trend in recycling. There was a small dip in recycling during 2009, but that was probably due to people not making as many purchases during the bad economy. The City sent almost 16,000 tons of material to be recycled in 2011. Recycling saves space at the landfill and saves money on tipping fees, thereby saving taxpayers money. We received a small amount of money for our recyclables. We pay $59 per ton at the landfill for trash. In 2007 the City switched to single stream recycling (i.e., you no longer have to separate different kinds of recyclable materials). For glass, you can recycle clear, green, brown, or amber glass, including pasta jars, beverage bottles, baby food jars, jam/jelly jars, olive jars, pickle jars, and salad dressing bottles. Items that cannot be recycled are ceramics, window glass, mirrors, Pyrex or baking dishes, blue glass, and light bulbs. Metal items that can be recycled include pet food cans, canned meat cans, soda and drink cans, soups cans, and vegetable and fruit cans. You used to not be able to recycle aluminum foil and single use aluminum pans, but now you can. But please clean them as well as possible first. Metal items that cannot be recycled are aerosol cans (unless they are completely empty), containers for hazardous materials (gasoline, pesticides, oil), pots and pans, electronic components, fencing, loose metal (hangers, paper clips), and metal scraps.
Paper that can be recycled includes all non-waxed boxes, including corrugated paper, paperboard (cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc.), gift tissue and non-metallic wrapping paper, books, catalogues, magazines, mail, envelopes, and newspapers. Items that you used to not be able to recycle but now can are boxes for milk, juice, soy milk, broth, frozen food packaging, and shredded paper (the latter should be tied in a clear plastic bag first).
Additional items that cannot be recycled are carbon copy and laminated paper, cups, plates, napkins, towels, greasy pizze boxes, photographs, waxed paper, fast food wrapping, food service items such as coffee cups, plates, napkins and towels, and loose shredded paper. (Public Works offers document shredding in October.)
Plastic items that can be recycled are narrow and wide neck containers with the recycling triangle symbol #1 through #7, such as bottles for shampoo, drinks, yogurt, sour cream, medications, milk, plastic cups, rigid plastics, totes, crates, toys, lawn furniture, coolers, plastic bags, and cling wrap. Red plastic cups are also acceptable.
Other items that cannot be recycled are containers without the #1–#7 recycling symbol, compostable plastics, bubble wrap, snack packaging, wrappers, anything foam, loose plastic bags (if you put plastic bags in the recycling container, please tie them all up in a bigger plastic bag), motor oil bottles, six-pack rings, CD cases, hinged take-out clamshell type containers, and pastic utensils.
Please rinsse your containers first. This reduces bad odors and pests, and helps the City avoid a fine and get the best possible reward from the recycler for delivering clean recyclables.
Non-recyclable items should be thrown away in your regular trash can. Do not bag recycling – the only thing that should be bagged is shredded paper and plastic bags.
Berwyn is on the City’s automated recycling route. The driver pulls the truck up to the cart and pushes the truck’s arm out, which empties the container into the side hopper—it’s a one-person crew. You can help the automated truck by placing carts with the handles and wheels away from the street, and placing the trash and recycling containers 3 to 4 feet apart from each other and other obstacles.
If you have cardboard, please break it down and put it in the cart. The truck’s arm can’t pick up boxes that are left next to the cart.
To recycle other items that aren’t accepted in the City’s recycling program—such as electronics, appliances, tires, recyclable metal such as filing cabinets, and brush and yard waste—call the City and request a special pickup.
November 15th is America Recycles Day. The City may organize an event.
Before too long, the City will be providing recycling containers in public space areas— high-traffic areas such as near bus shelters.
Since the City switched to single-stream recycling, a number of residents have complained that their recycling cart isn’t big enough, and their regular refuse cart is too big. The City has plenty of new carts, so if you need one, call Public Works and request one.
If any questions, visit www.collegeparkmd.gov and click on the Public Works link on the left-hand side, or refer to your resident information guide, or e-mail Public Works at email@example.com, or call Public Works at 240-487-3590, or just stop by 9217 51st Avenue, Monday through Friday, between 7:30am and 4:00pm.
Somebody asked Ms. King if the City picks up recycling from local businesses. She replied that if it’s a small generator of recylable materials, such as Smile Herb Shop, they do. There are about 30 small businesses (including churches) that they pick up recycling from. The businesses are charged $400 for a trash cart.
Someone asked what residents could do to avoid snowplows plowing snow into areas that the residents have already shoveled. Ms. King replied that the drivers are asked to avoid doing this when possible. Public Works does not switch the drivers’ routes because the drivers know where the hydrants and other obstacles are.
Someone asked if the City could send a smaller frontloader to remove snow for single seniors. Ms. King responded that in the past the seniors department used to make a list of younger people who would be willing to go out and shovel driveways; she doesn’t think that exists anymore, however. It would be a good idea to pair up people who are willing to
shovel snow with those who need snow removal. Residents should feel free to give the Public Works department more feedback about snow removal.
7. Agenda Item 7. Councilmen Reports. Councilman Bob Catlin reported that the new City Council is getting off to an interesting start, with two difficult planning cases. One of the two is the Cafritz property, which is slated to be a mixed use project, with a Whole Foods, a hotel, about 1,000 units of detached houses, but also quite a few townhouses. The rezoning came before the Planning Board this past week—the hearing lasted 9 or 10 hours. Four cities are involved. College Park was the only city to vote to recommend against the rezoning, by a 6 to 2 vote. Riverdale Park and Hyattsville unanimously supported it, and 7 council members in University Park supported it. There’s a tiny piece of the Cafritz property that is in College Park. The City has to hire a new attorney to represent it because its current attorney also represents the other cities. The second interesting planning case is the student housing project on the Maryland Book Exchange site. At first, the developers planned to build a 90,000 sq ft building. It was modified; now, the back of the building will be four stories tall instead of six. There will be one level of parking underground. The Planning Board staff supported the City’s position, but the Planning Board itself approved the project. The architecture leaves much to be desired—it’s basically a six-story rectangular building that’s designed to house as many students as possible. Both the Gazette and the College Park Patch have covered this project. In essence, the developers told the City that they could build whatever they want and the City can’t stop them. The project for the Koons Ford property is expected to come before the Planning Board sometime in late summer or fall. The Koons people want to build a 150-room hotel and a lot of retail, including restaurants. Bob Catlin told them that he thought we had enough restaurants already, so now Koons is thinking of putting in a drugstore there. CVS has expressed interest in the University View property. Councilman Dennis Monroe said he plans to pay special attention to the traffic impact on Route 1 of the Koons Ford property development, and quality of life issues in general. There was some discussion about non-resident parking in the neighborhood, such as on Pontiac. Mr. Catlin believes Looney’s doesn’t have enough parking for its employees and customers, so some of the parking in the neighborhood could be attributed to that.
Part of the Koons Ford property is actually a City right of way; the recently erected traffic light was put on the right of way. The City might put some parking on the rest of the right of way. Permit parking is probably the best way to solve the non-resident parking problem.
8. Agenda Item 8. Other. President Young announced that he had received a communication about a vision meeting for the Purple Line to take place on February 1st, on Kenilworth Avenue. There will also be a meeting February 8th at the Hyattsville Library on Adelphi Road about the west campus Purple Line station. President Young announced that there will be a no parking zone on the south side of Greenbelt Road at the intersection with 49th Avenue. This should help with the problem of cars entering the Village Pump liquor store from Greenbelt Road without being able to see whether there are cars waiting to exit 49th Avenue right there.
Dan Blasberg will come next month. A breaking and entering suspect was caught on Route 1. The homeowner had been home at the time; the perpetrator entered by breaking a window. The homeowner gave
chase. Please keep Bob White in your thoughts and prayers. There was an interesting article by Steve Pearlstein in the Washington Post about
development in P.G. County. If he’s accurate in his predictions, we may be able to walk down Route 1 in the future. Businesses aren’t locating in Germantown and far suburbs like that; they’d rather locate inside the Beltway, in some of the older communities that are less developed.
9. Agenda Item 9. For the Good of Berwyn. Someone in the audience asked who was in charge of the street signs at the intersection of Adelphi and 193. President Young responded that it is probably the State Highway Administration, but he will call Steve Halpert of the City to find out. Someone in the audience asked if there were any negotiation updates about the Berwyn town center. President Young responded that the land dispute at Rhode Island Avenue in Berwyn has been on the back burner for the past decade or more. The property owner and the City Manager and their respective attorneys sat down and talked. Mr. Catlin believes that the issue is scheduled to be on the City Council’s work session agenda next month. President Young stated that he hopes the issue will be resolved and that Berwyn can get its commercial district in tip-top shape. FishNet is doing well.
We have a Neighborhood Watch list that residents can join.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:35pm.
Meeting Attendees (from sign-up sheet):
Jerry Anzulovic Doug Hunter
Gordon Breighall Larry Knox
Bob Catlin Liesl Koch
Monroe Dennis Daniel Meola
Marina Dullnig Harry Pitt
Larry Garnes Forrest Tyler
Michelle Garnes Sandra Tyler
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.