John Wardlaw is a Raleigh native who retired from the military in 1987 and returned to Raleigh to work with his father’s life insurance agency. John has been active in City issues since the time of Mayor Avery Upchurch.

He spoke at the July 5 City Council meeting and has given us permission to publish an edited version of his remarks.

I am here tonight to request that the City prepare a study to re-open the Jaycee Park Recycling Center at Wade Ave and to hold a referendum, at the next city-wide election, to allow Raleigh residents the opportunity to vote to re-open the Jayce Park to receive “Allowable Recyclable Items.”

The Jaycee Park facility was opened in the 1980s as a CONVENIENT central site for Raleigh residents to learn to recycle. Currently the population of 472,500 residents plus businesses in the area used the Jaycee site. Forty-plus years later it became an important and dependable resource.

The few times I went to recycle items, the bins were being used. The last time I went the cardboard bin was almost completely filled. The site was used and not neglected.

Problem – “Bad City Dumpsters” (BCDs) – the people who polluted the area with items that were not allowed to be recycled in the bins, causing City workers to have to remove the items. The BCDs did not stop. Thus, because of a few actual and unknown number of BCDs (“bad apples”), the City shut down the site which was a convenience to Raleigh citizens.

Note that Raleigh allows free pick-up of acceptable items for special collections from a resident’s street every 90 days if the item will fit in the back of a pick-up truck. Thus, some of the items dumped at Jaycee Park could have been picked up FREE, at their residences. And assuming they were aware of the City’s policy of free pickups.

It is possible that the cost to the City to pick up items at a residence would be equal to the cost of disposing of the improperly dumped items at the Jaycee Recycling Center.

The City reportedly used surveillance cameras and police patrols but could not stop the dumping. Were the videos reviewed by law enforcement personnel to identify license tags and faces?

There are eleven areas across Wake County where residents, including Raleigh residents, can drive to drop off their recycling and trash. I used the “WAZE” app to calculate the distance from the parking deck of the Municipal Building to these locations.

Jaycee Park was 3 miles and 9 minutes away. Of the 11 sites, the next closest was 6.6 miles and 16 minutes away. The farthest was 22 miles and 29 minutes one-way.

In the future, I would like to work with my council representative, Mary Black, and City officials to gather the data regarding the costs to the City of maintaining the Jaycee Recycling Center and to learn how to effect a referendum at the next election to re-instate the Jaycee Recycling Center.

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