Tag Archives: Westport Public Works Department

A Semi-Shoutout For Starbucks

Recently, Starbucks moved across the Post Road. It exchanged comfy, friendly digs with limited parking near the diner for cold, unfriendly digs with equally limited parking — but a drive-thru! — near Bank of America.

Fairly quickly, customers noticed that the coffee chain with the green logo was anything but environmentally green. The outside was a mess — though that’s been cleaned up a bit.

starbucks-garbage

The new Starbucks, a few days after opening.

Meanwhile, inside there was no way for customers to separate paper and plastic goods from everything else.

Robie Spector had spent years trying to get managers at the previous Starbucks location to recycle. Facing defensiveness and obfuscation, she stopped going there.

Robie gave the new place a try. She was distressed to see no recycling.

She tried again. Again, she got the same lack of answers and “a dash of odd vibe.”

She contacted Starbucks corporate. A district manager called back, blaming the landlord.

Robie contacted the first selectman’s office, who told her to call Public Works. They had good news: State law mandates that businesses recycle.

However, there are no inspectors. So companies do what they want, unchecked.

As they chatted, Robie and Scott Sullivan of Public Works realized that Panera by Home Goods does a great job of recycling. Robie set up a meeting with Sharon, the general manager, who was quite helpful. She emboldened Robie to keep pressing Starbucks’ district manager.

She did. Finally, Robie says, Starbucks is recycling.

starbucks-recycle

At least, it seems that way. Of course, it could all end up in the same place out back. (Thankfully though, that trash has been cleaned up.)

As Thomas Jefferson sort of said, eternal vigilance is the price of a grande iced sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk.

(New) Notable Trees: The Sequel

For years, Westporters wondered what’s up with the very unsightly sawed-off telephone polls planted in concrete on the Jesup Green median across from Matsu Sushi:

(Photo/Google Street View)

(Photo/Google Street View)

Turns out, about 30 years ago a public works director got angry about garbage trucks backing over the median strip to get to the restaurant and business dumpsters.

He planted poles. We’ve been stuck with the eyesore ever since.

Our long Jesup Road nightmare is over.

As part of Westport’s beautification process, Public Works is sprucing up the median. They’re adding soil, and planting trees. Tree warden Bruce Lindsay is supervising the tree work.

Jesup Green median

Sure, there are lots of plans for re-imagining Jesup Green.

But change comes slowly to Westport. By the time we’re ready to reconfigure the area, there may be an outcry to save the median trees.

Because, of course, they’ll have “always” been there.

Westport: An Attractive Dump

Alert “06880” reader Lisa Hofmeister writes:

As a Westport resident for over 4 years, I have had an issue with Westport Waste Management for a while. After today’s incident I thought “06880” could broadcast it, and hopefully get some notice.

As I disposed of my trash I saw a white unmarked van with New York license plates pull up. Two 25-year old-ish men dressed in work clothes started to remove trash bags, a bathroom sink and countertop, dry wall, wooden baseboard, etc., and throw it all into our dump. There was no one nearby, so I went to the hut by the entrance to report them.

Westport transfer station

For a town that is so strict on summer beach passes, deer rights over residents, prohibiting dogs on the beach 6 months out of the year and making residents get approval to remove any vegetation on their property if wetlands are involved, I wondered why we are not more strict with our trash removal — something residents pay directly for.

It could be as simple as picking up a sticker for your car — just like the beach. Benefits would include reduced tax dollars, as residents and the town would not pay for non-resident trash removal. The town could also track how many residents use it versus private contractors.

I checked the town website (Public Works Department). Two sentences address who is eligible to use the transfer station: 

Westport residents are allowed to dispose of a variety of household items that includes furniture, carpeting, lamps, televisions and many other similar items. An area has been set aside for recycling household electronics.

The transfer station is frequently used by contractors working on Westport homes.

And, of course, by others. Including guys in vans with New York plates.