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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

PMUA annoys 48,000 Plainfielders without lifting a finger

There isn't a week goes by I don't have to defend the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) to someone.

Knowing that elected officials just never have the political stomach to invest in maintaining the infrastructure that manages our waste water and solid waste, I never for a moment thought it was a bad idea. Still don't.

But Lord knows, the PMUA doesn't always make it easy to stick up for them.

Take today, for instance, when the PMUA managed to annoy 48,000+ Plainfielders without lifting a finger. Maybe I should say exactly because they did not lift a finger -- in advance.

Today is first Wednesday. Should be bottle and can recycles, right?

Well, it would be if the old calendar was simply extended.

And no new one has arrived yet, so -- as Julia Child used to say -- 'what would you do?'

Like me, you probably lugged your blue container with bottles and cans to the curb last night, so it would be there for pickup this morning.

Except that the PMUA decided to switch Wednesdays -- meaning today would be papers. It's their prerogative. No problemo.

Well, except the PMUA didn't actually TELL anyone until it was too late.

I got the word via an email FORWARDED to me by its recipient mid-morning.

I emailed the PMUA staffer who sent out this 'press release' immediately, asking for confirmation and advising I would put out the word upon hearing back from them. As of this evening, no reply.

However, the Courier did post the news online at mid-day, and a reader sent me the link (along with the comment they posted to the story).

Herewith the Courier's reportage --

PLAINFIELD: Recycling schedule has changes for 2008

The Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority will collect paper products on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, under a change to the recycling schedule for 2008.

The change is effective Wednesday.

Additionally, co-mingled recycling will be picked up on the second and fourth Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 9. This includes cans, bottles, plastic and glass.

City residents can refer to their PMUA 2008 alternate recycling calendar for more information. (Online story here.)

'Alternate recycling calendar'?

If you haven't yet got your recycling -- or your alternate recycling -- calendar, join the crowd.

It's probably in the mail.

You think your PMUA bills should cover timely notice of service changes?

Picky, picky.

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

Oh what a suprise!!!! to find the following week after paper is not glass and plastic - we are responsible to get the right stuff out on the proper day but pmua can not inform us about their change. after all we do pay though the ___. I have many unsatisfied neighbores, I think, we should consider a private concern. If you are interestered, respond to this comment an I will research other sources.

Anonymous said...

Semi correction: PMUA handles Sanitary Sewerage you know from the toilets and sinks. Elizabethtown Water Co [Now American Water] insure our Potable [drinking] Water is SAFE. Therefore, yes by carefully sending the raw sewerage to treatment plant in Sayreville, NJ they do indirectly protect our fresh and potable water supply.

Dan said...

To clarify: PMUA handles waste water, City handles storm water, and London-based (UK) American Water owns our drinking water...

Our sewerage flows westward and is processed at the plant Plainfield used to own as part of the Plainfield Joint Meeting -- west of us, in Middlesex Boro. It's now part of PARSA, the Plainfield Area Sewerage Authority.

Towns to the east of us, except for Fanwood and part of Scotch Plains, belong to the Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority.

As for going back to private haulage...why? Check the prices out and you'll find you're not saving anything. (Remember that part of your fee is sewer tax, which is owed regardless of who picks up the trash or recycles.)

Anonymous said...

Its just sheer incompetence. I moved to Plainfield 3 years ago and the services are just not getting any better (while the taxes increase and the fee's for services are increasing). While I fully respect and appreciate the hardworking people that are on the front line of the PMUA. A simple, one-time per year task such as getting the calendar to residents on time would be appropriate given that we are the customer. In my neighborhood across from the Cook School there are OVERFLOWING blue cans with recyclables. After the holiday season, a reasonable man would assume that there is not only tons of paper, but also tons of bottles and cans from party s and family gatherings. I feel as if the municipality is sleep at the wheel. And I am concerned that we are not being treated as taxpayers and customers, but as second-class citizens by the agents that we pay to do work for us. This would not be tolerated in other towns, and we need to stop tolerating it here in Plainfield.

Anonymous said...

I don't think PMUA followed their own schedule because I live on Randolph Road and I also put out glass and plastic. The only difference is PMUA picked up my glass and plastice. When I got home from work my blue can was empty. Who would have thought!

Anonymous said...

So, now that PMUA has picked up our glass and plastic (albeit a day late), are we to assume (dangerous, that!) that next Wednesday they will pick up paper? Or should we put out glass and plastic again? Maybe both? This is such fun!

Anonymous said...

So, after our rants on the blog, it appears that magically, everyone who left their recyclables out over night got them picked up. We pay these guys quarterly, we dont pay "dark ages" prices....why are we operating that way? post the schedule on line for chrissakes (can you tell that I am not satisfied?) I think this was the first of many municipal blunders that we will see in 2008. More to come folks...and by the way. Higher taxes.