Archive for January, 2020

The Woodlands Township Board meetings January 15

Posted on: January 20th, 2020 by Catherine

The Woodlands Township Board meetings January 15

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS – The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held its regular meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at The Woodlands Township Town Hall, 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard in The Woodlands, Texas.

At the start of the meeting, the Board of Directors recognized The Woodlands Christian Academy Cross Country Teams for exceling in athletics and winning the 2019 TAPPS 4A State Championship. To celebrate this accomplishment, the Board of Directors proclaimed January 15, 2020, as The Woodlands Christian Academy Cross Country Team State Champions Day in The Woodlands, Texas.

Before addressing agenda items, President/General Manager Don Norrell recognized The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department for winning four awards from the Texas Recreation and Park Society including Maintenance of the Year Award for Town Green Park turf, Innovation in Park and Facility Development for Texas TreeVentures and Photography at Mariposa Pond Park and Texas TreeVentures.

The Board of Directors took the following actions on the Consent Agenda:

  • Received Administrative Reports from Township departments.
  • Approved an Interlocal Agreement for Law Enforcement Services with Harris County.
  • Approved March 2020 Special Meetings.
  • Approved a Resolution for Adoption of Prevailing Wage Rate Scale for Construction Projects.
  • Approved the 2020 Operating Hours for the Boat Houses, Texas TreeVentures and Recreation Centers.
  • Approved the release of a Request for Proposals for Transit Planning and Consulting Services.
  • Approved the release of a Request for Proposals for Design Consulting Services for the major park renovation of Falconwing Park.
  • Approved the release of a Request for Qualifications for the redevelopment of an inclusive playground at Bear Branch Park.
  • Awarded a bid for sportsfield maintenance services.
  • Awarded a bid for pool deck refurbishment at Sawmill Park Sprayground and Shadowbend Pool/Sprayground.
  • Awarded a bid for playground equipment replacement services: Misty Dawn Park, Wimberly Park and Bantam Woods Park.
  • Approved a renewal notice to Simple Recycling for the service agreement for residential curbside collection of textile recycling.
  • Approved a renewal of an annual Accela software license and maintenance agreement.

The Board of Directors then moved on to take the following actions on the Regular Agenda:

  • Took no action on Incorporation Planning Study matters.
  • Approved a Trail Maintenance and Development Agreement with the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA).
  • Received an update on feral hog abatement efforts and approved funding for the development of a Wildlife Management Plan to include a comprehensive plan for the control and management of feral hogs and other nuisance wildlife.
  • Approved the release of a Request For Qualifications for a comprehensive construction plan of the facilities at the Emergency Training Center and The Woodlands Fire Department Fire Stations 3, 4 and 5.
  • Discussed The Woodlands Fire Department squad program and approved two full-time equivalent firefighters and the purchase of one medical squad vehicle.

The next Board of Directors regular meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 6 p.m. For more information on The Woodlands Township, or to view the meeting in its entirety, please visit, or call 281-210-3800.

The Woodlands Township Board of Directors proclaimed January 15, 2020 as The Woodlands Christian Academy Cross Country Team State Champions Day. Pictured above, left to right.

PHOTO: The Woodlands Township Board of Directors proclaimed January 15, 2020 as The Woodlands Christian Academy Cross Country Team State Champions Day. Pictured above, left to right.

Back row: Treasurer John Anthony Brown, Director Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Secretary Dr. Ann K. Snyder, Madison Frey, Fern Shirley, Lindsay Worthington, Chesnie Russell, Josh Mueck, Caleb Bigler, Joshua Hardy, Chairman Gordy Bunch and Director Bob Milner.

Front Row: Ellie Johnson, Ellie Catron, Ryan Rohrlich, Lucas Trevathan, Ben Shearer, Zachary Bagnoli, Head Coach Tom Earle and Director Brian Boniface.

The Woodlands Township Board of Directors also held an Incorporation Planning Session on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, to discuss future governance.

The Board of Directors discussed the following incorporation-related matters on the Regular Agenda:

  • Reviewed decision points for the Non-Law Enforcement Incorporation Study Financial Model.
  • Reviewed the Law Enforcement Study and related decision points for the Incorporation Study Financial Model.
  • Discussed next steps and adopted the upcoming planning session schedule.

Incorporation planning sessions are held at The Woodlands Township, 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands, Texas 77381, typically on the same days as the Board’s regular business meetings. The next Incorporation planning session is scheduled for Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 6 p.m. For more information on The Woodlands Township, or to view the meeting in its entirety, please visit, or call 281-210-3800.

Source: The Woodlands Township

Stamford Celebrates Productive Year in 2019

Posted on: January 20th, 2020 by Catherine

STAMFORD, CT – Stamford Mayor David Martin commended City staff for completing key projects and initiatives throughout 2019. Many projects completed by the City of Stamford reflect Mayor Martin’s commitment to responsible City management, planning for the future, and modernizing Stamford.

“My administration has implemented better efficiency in many City departments, ensuring City Staff can address important projects in addition to day-to-day responsibilities,” said Mayor David Martin. “The City runs better every day, and our community continues to attract more residents as our local economy grows and brings in new businesses.”

Below are some of the accomplishments made by the City of Stamford’s departments.


Efficiency optimization within the Department of Operations has ensured the continuation of vital initiatives continue and completion of key projects on-budget and on-schedule.

· Transportation, Traffic, and Parking

o Completed intersection redesign of Boxer Square on Stillwater Avenue converting the area into a community space. The majority of funding for this project came from a State of Connecticut Community Connectivity grant.

o Completed road realignment and installation of sidewalks along Oaklawn Avenue. Roughly 90 percent of this project’s funding came from a Federal Highway Administration and Connecticut Department of Transportation grant. Additionally, the City coordinated a public-private partnership to add sidewalks to Halpin Avenue, allowing residents to walk to Bulls Head.

o Implemented a citywide traffic signal synchronization — the first signal synchronization since 1991 — reducing morning commute times by 14 percent.

o Received a Stamford 2030 award from Fairfield Business Council for work completed on Boxer Square, Oaklawn Avenue and traffic signal synchronization.

o Introduced a new boot and scofflaw device resulting in the collection of $400,000 owed to the City by repeat parking offenders.

o Installed new parking meters capable of accepting credit cards in addition to cash and Parkmobile application payments.

o Completed the City’s bicycle and pedestrian plan adopted by Stamford’s Planning Board.

· Sanitation & Recycling

o Received $570k federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to replace garbage/recycling trucks.

o Implemented Simple Recycling Pink Bag residential collection of textiles, reducing overall weight of garbage collected and saving costs.

o Introduced “Pouraway” garbage containers in all public schools and the Government Center, reducing weight of garbage and costs.

o Began pilot program for composting at Katrina Mygatt Recycling Center.

· Highways Department

o Paved over 7 miles of road across all of Stamford.

o Allocated $5 million in additional paving projects for 2020 as a result of the reported surplus in fiscal year 2018-2019.

o Routinely responded to Fix It pothole repair requests, over 90 percent of requests are resolved within 7 days.

· Engineering Department

o Received an energy efficiency Stamford 2030 award from the Fairfield Business for the new Stamford Police Headquarters. The headquarters opened in June 2019.

o Completed Phase 1 of Veterans Park, with plans to open the park to the public once lightning is installed.

o Completed Holly Pond Sea Well repairs.

o Completed roof replacement/repair projects for Toquam Magnet Elementary School, Rippowam Middle School, and Scofield Magnet Middle School.

o Waterproofed Stamford High School’s courtyard.

o Supported American Disability Act compliance by adding handicap accessibility to the Government Center Lobby’s restroom.

· Land Use

o Filed first part of comprehensive overhaul of zoning regulations (known as “Omnibus Text Change”).

o Lowered federal flood insurance premiums for Stamford residents by completing FEMA’s Community Rating System.

o Eliminated walk-in limit for zoning permits.

· Cashiering and Permitting

o Recovered $250,000 in unpaid parking tickets as a result of a program launched in June. Total unpaid amount is estimated at $1 million.

o Implemented stricter enforcement of illegal dumping and illegal signage. No illegal posters have been posted in Stamford since May 2019 after Cashiering and Permitting issued sixteen warnings and collected $600 in fines.


o Completed $2.6 million upgrade of Dyke Lane Storm Water Pump Station with new electrical equipment and emergency power generator.

o S&P reaffirmed AA+ credit rating and updated outlook from “stable” to “positive. Issued $15.7 million in revenue bonds with true interest cost of 2.97% in June 2019.

Economic Development

Significant business and housing activity continued throughout 2019 as more companies and residents choose to move to Stamford.

· Several expansions and lease renewals, including:

o World Wrestling Entertainment’s 16.5-year lease of 677 Washington Boulevard,

o Sema4 Lab’s expansion to 333 Ludlow Street,

o Indeed’s expansion to 177 Broad Street,

o Charter Communication’s expansion to 400 Atlantic Street,

o As well as other smaller businesses opening across Stamford’s downtown and commerce-heavy neighborhoods.

· More than 700 housing units opened this year, including:

o Opening of Urby at 57 Greyrock Place,

o Affordable housing at Garden Homes at 82 Franklin Street,

o Single-family units and townhouses at 159 Colonial Road.

Stamford’s continued expansion of housing and businesses reflects its stable financials and reliable economic growth.

Public Safety, Health, and Welfare

The Department of Public Safety, Health, and Welfare oversaw significant investments throughout its department.

· In October, the City of Stamford secured a $500k federal grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for additional school security and equipment dedicated to keeping Stamford’s children safe.

· Public Safety partnered with the State of Connecticut and Metro North to address homelessness as a result of closing Stamford’s Metro North stop during late evening/early morning hours.

· Stamford’s Police Department

o Hosted a public open house for its new Police Headquarters over the summer, attracting hundreds of residents interested in learning more about the new facility and what resources are now available to officers.

o Solved all 5 homicide cases in Stamford this year and arrested four suspects while one suspects remains at-large.

o Recovered over 8 kilograms of fentanyl as the result of a federal wiretap within Stamford.

o Hired 15 new officers and promoted several officers throughout the year.

· 911 Communications

o Public Safety hired Director of 911 Communications Joseph Gaudette earlier this year, who immediately began improving standards and systems within the department.

o As of the last quarter of 2019, 90 percent of 911 calls are picked up within 10 seconds or less — well beyond the state’s minimum standard for cities’ 911 communications.

o 911 Communications began updating its software for emergency calls, implemented a texting option for 911, and continues to utilize data analysis to improve processes within the department.

· Stamford Fire Department

o Oversaw effort to deliver water to households with minimal hydrant access. Redesigned water access to incorporate new portable pool tanks that reduce traffic lane intrusion, and conducted a large-scale water shuttle drill which was touted by state officials as the best in Connecticut.

· Stamford’s Social Services Department

o Assisted 1,722 households’ insurance appeals, spend-downs, and unpaid medical bills,

o Successfully enrolled 825 households for health insurance plans,

o Assisted 1,685 seniors and disabled individuals processing renters rebate applications.

The City of Stamford is proud of the improvements made to City infrastructure and services. City staff look forward to continuing their work to attract more residents and businesses to Stamford and ensure the City continues to prosper for another year.



Posted on: January 10th, 2020 by Catherine

Posted on: January 9, 2020

simple recycling

Simple Recycling provides free curbside clothing and home goods recycling collection. They collect clothes, textiles, toys and even some small electronics/appliances like irons, radios and

Each household may place the bag at the curb on their normal refuse collection day for free pickup. When Simple Recycling picks up a bag, drivers also leave a new bag. Drivers in Simple Recycling vans collect bags on the same rotation schedule as normal garbage pickup, but they are separate pickups.

Items MUST be in Simple Recycling orange bags to be picked up. To request more orange bags visit Village Hall (20 S. Ardmore).

Swampscott introduces textile recycling

Posted on: January 7th, 2020 by Catherine

Swampscott introduces textile recycling    

Photo courtesy Jody WattsSwampscott residents can now use these pink bags to recycle unwanted textiles curbside on recycling day.

SWAMPSCOTT — Residents in town can now recycle their textiles curbside.

The town of Swampscott has partnered with Simple Recycling to offer recycling for clothing, shoes, socks, blankets, as well as small household items like jewelry or silverware, outside of their homes.

In December, all residents received a pink plastic bag in the mail. These bags can be filled with such items and left out with the recycling to be picked up on recycling day. New pink bags will be left for residents after the first bag is picked up.

The pink bags should be placed outside of recycling bins and visibly separated from the rest of the recycling.

“We all see the daily impact trash disposal has on our environment and our seacoast,” Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Programs like this help improve our environmental sustainability while supporting those in the region who benefit from the reuse of clothes and household items.”

On average, each household in the U.S. disposes of 85 pounds of textiles each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Roughly 9% of all recyclable material is truly recycled; most is instead put in landfills, the environment, or incinerated.

“Proper disposal of our Swampscott’s waste is a major priority for Swampscott,” Fitzgerald said.

Simple Recycling has offered this service at no cost to the town. They collect the pink bags and sort through them, separating reusable items to be either resold at thrift stores or processed for raw materials based on quality and condition.

Unwanted usable items can also be dropped off at the Big Blue Bargains Store behind the Swampscott Middle School at 207 Forest Ave.

For more information on what is accepted by Simple Recycling or to request more bags, visit, call 866-835-5068, or email [email protected].

Recycling ‘never goes out of style’: How old clothes can make a big impact

Posted on: January 7th, 2020 by Catherine

Don’t discard your garb. Local organizations can turn even raggedy clothes into riches.

Behold those pit-stained T-shirts, socks with holes in the heels and out-of-style paisley-patterned dress shirts taking up space in your closet.

If ever there were a scenario in which the cliche “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure” applied, this would be it.

“There is a value for most of even the rattiest of textiles that people tend to discard,” said Michael Csapo, general manager of the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, which manages recycling programs in nine metro Detroit communities.

Unfortunately, much of that value is never realized, even though charities and other collection organizations can find a use for virtually any old piece of clothing, Csapo noted. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 85% of textiles end up in landfills, and a 2018 study determined that clothing is one of the world’s fastest-growing waste streams.

Recycling advocates throughout Michigan are working to reverse that trend.

“Fashions might come and go, but reducing the amount of material that enters landfills never goes out of style,” said Emily Freeman, recycling specialist in the materials management division of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, known as EGLE.

Education for residents

In June, EGLE launched Know It Before You Throw It, a campaign to improve both the quality and quantity of recycling in Michigan.

With the Recycling Raccoon Squad serving as campaign ambassadors, EGLE aims to inform Michiganders about best recycling practices while doubling the statewide recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reaching 45% annually.

Although rules often vary by community, textiles are typically not accepted by traditional curbside recycling services, including the Recycling Authority.

Old clothing is, however, a welcome and important revenue stream for Michigan charities that collect donations at drop-off facilities.

And when it comes to textiles, there’s one overriding message that recycling specialists want to deliver: Leave the sorting to us.

While organizations that collect used textiles can’t take items such as gasoline-soaked rags, those holey sweaters and shirts bearing pizza grease stains that just won’t come out are perfectly OK.

“The trickiest part is educating people that we really don’t care about the condition of their clothing that they want to give us, as long as it’s clean and dry,” said Nick Carlson, vice president of donated goods operations at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids and a director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition. “We ask them not to edit their donations. Trust us to get everything into the proper market.”

Although technology for turning old clothes into new garments is advancing rapidly, at this time it’s more a matter of reusing textiles than technically recycling them.

But, like recycling, reusing also offers environmental and economic benefits.

The EPA estimates that textiles — mostly clothing but also items such as carpeting, furniture, sheets and towels — account for 8% of material going into landfills, providing a significant opportunity to conserve space.

“It’s also one of the higher-value items that goes into the waste stream,” said Adam Winfield, founder and president of Simple Recycling, a for-profit, Ohio-based company that provides curbside textile collection in 30 Michigan communities — primarily in metro Detroit but also in Lansing and East Lansing.

For example, in 2018, Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids turned the 600,000 individual donations it received into $25 million in revenue from sales at its network of retail outlets, Carlson said. The proceeds went toward funding the nonprofit organization’s various skills-training and rehabilitation programs.

There’s also a personal perk to donating clothing. Taxpayers who itemize can claim a charitable deduction on their federal tax return.

Worldwide market

There are essentially four markets for the used clothing that is collected by Simple Recycling and charities such as Goodwill.

Although figures can fluctuate, between 10% and 20% of donations are typically considered top quality and resold by American thrift stores.

The vast majority, however, is not resalable in the U.S. and is further sorted for international export or broken down for raw materials.

As much as 45% of the total collected is exported as secondhand clothing. Roughly 30% is converted into wiping rags for industrial or residential use, and around 20% is recycled into post-consumer fiber that goes into products such as home insulation, carpet padding or sound-deadening material for automobiles.

Only about 5% ends up as waste, Winfield said.

“So, you can see, clothing is a category of material that is highly recyclable and easily repurposed,” he said. “Our slogan is ‘Let your clothing be loved again.’”

Charitable endeavor

It was the lack of love shown to used apparel that gave rise to Simple Recycling, which test-marketed its concept in 2014 in South Lyon and Wixom, members of the Recycling Authority.

Usually, people must drop off their old garments at collection sites operated by charities or during special events staged by municipalities, an extra step that largely explains why most clothing is simply thrown in the trash, Csapo said.

Winfield figured that more residents would take the time to bundle clothing for reuse or recycling if they were offered the convenience of free curbside pickup — and the numbers have borne that out.

Simple Recycling now serves 250 communities in seven states. In 2018, it collected 183 tons of material among the nine Recycling Authority communities alone, which, beyond South Lyon and Wixom, are Farmington, Farmington Hills, Milford, Milford Township, Novi, Southfield and Walled Lake.

On residents’ standard recycling pickup days, Simple Recycling trucks follow behind the Recycling Authority’s vehicles to collect the clothing set out in bags supplied by the company and drop off empty bags for future collections.

“We make it simple and convenient,” Winfield said, adding that the service is free to communities. In fact, for every ton of materials it collects, Simple Recycling pays $20 to municipalities, which also benefit by sending less waste to landfills and therefore paying fewer fees.

Both Winfield and Csapo stress that Simple Recycling is meant to supplement, not replace, charitable giving.

“First and foremost, we want residents to donate clothing to charities,” Csapo said.

Said Winfield: “We’re after that 85% that otherwise would get thrown away, not the 15% that is donated to charities.”

Actually, Csapo said, there’s at least anecdotal evidence that charitable donations of clothing increase in areas where Simple Recycling operates because residents become educated about the market for old textiles.

“Folks see there’s an opportunity to make sure things go back into the value chain instead of into the trash,” he said.

Carlson echoed those sentiments.

“Looking at it as a member of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, anything that improves sustainability, I’m in favor of,” he said. “But I’d really urge people to first consider donating their old clothes to a local charity because that helps boost the local economy. Material donations are the lifeblood of Goodwill.”

To learn more about how to recycle clothing and other items in Michigan, visit

Free curbside textile recycling begins

Posted on: January 3rd, 2020 by Catherine

Danvers residents with curbside trash and recycling pickup can now also recycle unwanted textiles outside of their homes.

The town’s Department of Public Works is providing this new service, free to residents, in partnership with Simple Recycling.

Residents can bag any unwanted textiles and leave them at the curb on their regularly scheduled recycling collection day.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 84% of old clothes, shoes, belts, handbags and textile items end up in a landfill or an incinerator. On average, that results in approximately 68 pounds of textile items per household each year. As a result, textiles comprise more than 6% of all the residential and municipal trash in the United States, and more than 8% in Massachusetts.

Simple Recycling aims to change that. The company provides free curbside collection and recycling of unwanted textiles to communities across the United States. All items collected are reused or recycled into new products.

Residents should have received mailers that explain the process, along with two free pink bags in which the textiles should be placed.

Bags should be placed curbside, three feet from recycling bins, and should be put out before 7 a.m. on pickup day. Simple Recycling’s trucks will pick up the bags for free and leave a new bag behind for residents to use next time.

Residents can recycle all types of used or new clothing (men’s, women’s and children’s), coats/jackets, jewelry, shoes, purses, hats, small toys, blankets, sheets, drapes/curtains, pillows, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. A list of all items can be found online at

For more information, more bags or missed pickups, call 866-835-5068 or visit Residents may also contact the Danvers DPW at 978-777-0001 ext. 3011.

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