Reducing the amount of daily waste is a priority for many Westporters. But although we want to do the right thing, we don’t always know how.
Wakeman Town Farm does.
This Monday (January 13, 7 to 8:15 p.m.), the Cross Highway sustainability center hosts an environmental awareness event. The multi-generational roundtable will offer information on how Westport schools combat waste, how we can incorporate initiatives into our own homes, and what we can do to help government effect greater changes.
State Senator Will Haskell will moderate the discussion. Participants include Stacy Jagerson Fowle and Ashley Moran, elementary school teachers who have helped lead the district’s push toward composting and zero waste; Bedford Middle School 7th grader Samantha Henske, a student leader in the fight for climate justice, and RTM member Andrew Colabella, who helped implement Westport’s plastics ban.
Monday’s event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register.
So glad to learn we’re concerned about the environment. Last I knew, the 5,000 yards of arsenic and DDT laced fill that we illegally dumped in what had been a meadow in Barons South Park is still sitting there – exposed to the public and subject to run-off.
If you believe there is a problem that no one in Westport town government is paying attention to, you might try CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection rather than simply commenting on Dan’s blog. Not that your comments are a bad thing, but they don’t appear to be getting the results you want.
From the CT DEEP website:
“If you have concerns regarding environmental issues in your community or work place that have not been resolved by your local officials and would like to notify DEEP about them, you may contact the Department at the telephone numbers listed below.”
The link gives you contact info and list of details that you can provide to help them investigate. You can even do it anonymously.
Thanks very much for the info, William. Just to clarify, I didn’t state that our local government isn’t paying attention. Rather I suggested that it was possibly indifferent to the implications of what it did. After sifting through roughly 1,700 Westport government (and other) emails related to this incident obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, I feel reasonably comfortable with that characterization.
Whether it is not paying attention or indifference, the non-action you suggest seems to be the same end. That would suggest a similar solution if there is really a problem. As your neighbors is Fairfield have found out, nothing like DEEP poking holes in the ground to light a fire under folks. Maybe even getting the perpetrators arrested (though the investigation took awhile).
If there’s a problem and the town is indifferent, there is an alternative avenue for resolution other than Dan’s blog.
In order to shave $45K from its (then over) budget Senior Center expansion project, town officials made the decision in 2018 to dump the dirty fill in a meadow near the construction site which was outside the approved site plan. Astonished residential abutters were told by the project manager that the enormous dump was a “privacy berm” and that the town would “plant trees on top of it.”
In early 2019 a concerned resident began asking questions of town officials. After a period of curious silence from the town officials, the story broke on 06880. On Earth Day.
Town officials were furious and freely expressed their opinions -using their government email accounts – (not recommended, btw) about the resident who had outed them. Some wrote about ways in which they could counter the embarrassing story by planting a story of their own on 06880 explaining that the dump “was actually sustainable”.
In May of 2019, one of people who placed the dirty fill in the meadow was then also placed in charge of overseeing its testing it for toxins. The unhappy results of the test were discussed at a Board of Selectman meeting that Spring.
Yes. I understand. I’ve read some of your other comments referencing the matter but this clarifies it.
However, respectfully, if “5,000 yards of arsenic and DDT laced fill that we illegally dumped in what had been a meadow in Barons South Park is still sitting there – exposed to the public and subject to run-off” and no one in town is doing anything about what you believe is an illegal environmental hazard, why are you telling me/us and not law enforcement, CT DEEP and/or the EPA?
William, you’ve made the assumption that I have disclosed the full outlines of this story. And that’s understandable. What I will chose to add is that I feel you’re incorrect about the effectiveness of 06880; if Dan had not provided the platform to air this issue last year, it never would have gotten the attention that it did. As a consequence of the 06880 Earth Day story – and the torrent of withering public comment it produced – the First Selectman was obligated in November of 2019 to announce (before the full RTM) that he would have a plan to remove the contaminated fill from the park in 60 days. The 60 days is up on January 15th. Let’s see what happens. One thing is for sure, the contaminated fill, per DEEP standards, cannot stay where it is. And every single official in the Town of Westport knows it. If the contaminated fill is indeed eventually removed AND the park is restored, it is the passionate, ever alert 06880 community – and especially Dan – who deserve the thanks.
Morley. Thanks. It is always helpful to have the full story rather than cryptic bits and pieces. I take it, then, that your first comment was a shot across the bow reminder of the upcoming deadline to the administration rather than simply whining. And congrats to Dan’s blog for making it happen.
In the case of Fairfield, they didn’t have the same venue, but it was the concerted efforts of concerned residents that finally forced the town to come to grips with the issues. Perhaps if there was an 06824/5/8 blog it would have been dealt with sooner and some of the issues avoided.
See my response above, Kevin.
You must find it a bit ironic that the question you asked had already been answered….
“He has ALREADY answered the question.”
Just don’t let it bother you.
Rest….it’s all good.
In Kevin’s defense, I mistakenly responded to the previous poster when I had intended to respond to Kevin’s query. Thus it looks like Kevin was asking about something which had been already addressed when it was really my incompetence that was caused that impression. My bad.
The event is sold out. I am wondering if there is a way for them to tape it and replay on the town website.
Why separate? China stopped accepting your recyclables – where do they go now? There are some great documentaries on Netflix. Save yourself the trouble and throw it all in one can – it’s not going anywhere anyways.