Tag Archives: Westport transfer station

Roundup: Texas Law, Transfer Station, Paulie’s Push …

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A grassroots group has quickly organized a protest against Texas’ new abortion law.

A rally is planned for 10:30 this morning (Sunday, September 5), on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen (Post Road) Bridge downtown. All are welcome.

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“06880” reported yesterday on the uncharacteristic mess at Westport’s transfer station.

The cause was a perfect storm (pun intended): the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, closure of the facility on Wednesday for scheduled repairs, and the unexpected breakdown of the trash compactor (belonging to a sub-contractor).

The staff — as usual — sorted it all out (pun also intended).

Fortunately, says Pippa Bell Ader, the food scrap program ran smoothly. They continue to be brought to an industrial facility, and made into compost.

Food scrap recycling. (Photo/Pippa Bell Ader)

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The Post Road has been the scene of Olympic torch relays, motorcycle rides for veterans’ causes, and people running, walking and powering wheelchairs cross country.

But until yesterday, there was never a man pushing a beverage cart from Boston to New York.

Paulie Veneto is a former United Airlines flight attendant. His route — from Logan Airport, where one of the 9/11 flights took off, to Ground Zero — honors the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

It’s also a way to raise funds for victims’ families, and alcohol rehabilitation. Click here for Paulie’s Push page, to help.

Paulie Veneto pushes through Westport. (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

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Mozy — the Westport-based manufacturer of weatherproof lower body wraps — perfect for autumn picnics, campfires, sports events, outdoor concerts and the like — has added 2 new products.

A lightweight soft fleece Mozy is great for autumn days and nights, with nips in the air. A heavier nylon version is best for colder temperatures.

A Mozy can be worn at the waist, sealed halfway down, or fastened snugly to shoes. For more information, click here.

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As Westport youngsters are back in school — well, they will be again on Wednesday — the Police Department offers these safety tips:

Drivers

• Watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.

• Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.

• Be alert! Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.

• Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.

• Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists on both sides of the roadway must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Children

• Get to the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

• When the bus approaches, stand at least 3 giant steps away from the curb, and line up away from the street.

• Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it is okay before stepping onto the bus.

• If you must cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 5 giant steps ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.

• When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps are not caught in the handrails or doors.

• Never walk behind the bus.

• Walk at least 3 giant steps away from the side of the bus.

• If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.

• Follow instructions given by school crossing guards. Do not cross until they have stopped traffic completely and have advised it is safe to cross.

(Hat tip: Meg Barbour)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a group of horseshoe crabs, huddling together.

(Photo/MaryLou Roels)

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And finally … Buddy Miles was born today. The drummer/singer/composer/ producer played with Electric Flag, Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. He had his own band — the Buddy Miles Express — in 1969, which included 16-year-old Staples High School dropout Charlie Karp.

Dump!

Once upon a time, it was called “the dump.”

For many years though, the place where Westporters drop trash has been called — more elegantly — the “transfer station.” Systems and procedures — not to mention huge, dedicated areas for a variety of refuse — make it a much more orderly place than one simply piled high with garbage.

Yesterday though, it looked once again like a dump.

Was it post-Hurricane Ida refuse? Bad timing? A sudden onset of rude behavior?

The transfer station is a place to deposit — carefully — our unwanted “stuff.”

It’s also a community center — a place to meet neighbors, and chat for a moment or two.

The employees there are helpful, friendly, efficient and knowledgeable.

Let’s clean up our act!

(Photos/Pam Barkentin)

 

Roundup: Homeless, Speed, The Brook …

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A Westporter who asked for anonymity writes:

“Yesterday I saw 2 people that I believe are homeless.

“One was asking for money in front of Fresh Market. After I gave him some, he showed me his injuries from overseas military assignments. I then stayed in my car watching, as many Westporters passed him by.

“The second individual I saw yesterday morning walking in Southport towards Westport (see photo).

“I wonder: What is Westport doing to help these people?”

Walking toward Westport.

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“06880” readers know Caryl Beatus for her insightful comments, on a broad range of subjects.

The Longshore Ladies Golf Association know her as a friend.

On August 31, they’ll celebrate 60 years of existence with a luncheon. (A year late, because of COVID. Good things come to those who wait.)

Caryl — an original member, when the organization was formed in 1960 — is an important part of those 60 years.

In 2017, the LWGA recognized her service by naming its annual member/member tournament after her.

Caryl has served the LWGA in many capacities. She oversaw the creation and revision of its by-laws, was tournament chair, and for many years organized biannual luncheons.

She has put in countless hours, and always made herself available to help move the organization forward.

Patty Kondub, a past president and coach of the Staples girls golf team, says that a decade ago, when she and Caryl were both injured, Caryl convinced her to serve with her as a “co-hostess.” Every week early in the morning they greeted members, explained the tournament, and introduced players to each other to build camaraderie.

Patty notes that Caryl is a “good luck charm.” Many LWGA members have shot their best rounds while playing with Caryl in their Tuesday tournaments.

Congrats to the LWGA for 60 (61) years — and to Caryl Beatus for all she has one, during those 6 decades.

Caryl Beatus (right) and Anne Krygier, enjoying another day on the links.

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Longtime Westporter — and North Avenue-area resident — Carl Addison Swanson shares an email he sent to 1st Selectman Jim Marpe:

“Last year, over 100 children died and another 25,000 were injured on their way to school.

“In Westport, where I grew up and have been associated with this town since 1952, North Avenue is used as a commuter route for those living in Easton, Weston, Wilton, Fairfield and Southport. Drivers drive too fast. A recent study, using a radar gun, clocked 72% of drivers exceeding 45 m.p.h. on the road.

“What makes this issue more critical is that 4 schools are situated on North Avenue: Coleytown Middle, Coleytown Elementary, Bedford Middle and Staples High School. And while a traffic guard is used to direct traffic, they are not there when, many times, children cross before and/or after school hours due to sports or extracurricular activities. Further, many adults use these crossways to take a walk or bike ride at odd hours.

“I have written to the Westport Police Chief with return comments such as we do not use traffic lights to control traffic,’ and the placement of little green men cones (as seen on Riverside and downtown) are too expensive. Really?

“In every other jurisdiction I have lived in, from Texas to Vermont, the state and town protects their children by blinking lights, a speed limit of 5 mph during peak times, and strict enforcement by the local police on each and every school.

“For a town that bases its importance on the education of their youth, you seem to yield to the flow of traffic rather than the safety of our residents?  A grassroots effort by concerned Westporters to change this is now being organized.”

Carl Addison Swanson would like to see — at the minimum — signs like these near our schools.

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Speaking of school:

Tracy Porosoff spotted this near Shake Shack.

“Am I the only one confused?” she asks.

No.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for first responders, frontline workers, teachers, and community groups to attend “Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse.”

The 3 nights of concerts by Broadway artists Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress), Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon) and Brandon Victor Dixon (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Hamilton) will be taped August 31 through September 2, for a future national television broadcast. There are 2 shows each night: 7 and 9 p.m.

For complimentary tickets, Jennifer Carroll: jcarroll@westportplayhouse.org.

The public can buy tickets, starting at $20. Click here for more information.

Gavin Creel

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A former Westporter used to frequent the Brook Café with a friend. For his birthday, she wants to give him some memorabilia — perhaps a box of matches, glass or napkin with the bar’s name on it.

If anyone has any souvenirs from “the Brook,” please email me directly: dwoog@optonline.net. I’ll connect you with our reader.

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The transfer station will be closed to residents next Wednesday (August 25) for repairs. It will be open though for private residential and commercial haulers.

Transfer station will be closed Wednesday. (Photos/Ernie Lorimer)

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Upcoming Westport Library events  of note:

Food and travel writer Alexander Lobrano — a Weston High graduate, and former Westporter — sits for a conversation with Kelle Ruden on August 31 (7 p.m.),

Lobrano’s memoir, My Place At the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris is a moving coming-of-age story. Through a series of encounters with culinary figures like Paul Bocuse, Julia Child and Ruth Reichl, Lobrano hones his palate and finds his voice.

Click here to join via livestream or in person. Copies of My Place At the Table are available for ordering and pickup at the Library, or shipping if further away.

Author/essayinst/memoir writer Mary-Lou Weisman hosts :Introductory Memoir Writing Workshops” this fall. They are on Mondays, from September 20 through October 25 (12:30 to 2:30 pm). Click here for more information, and to register.

Alexander Lobrano (Photo/Steven Rothfeld)

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Ken Yormark boasts, “I got 2 eagles at Longshore.”

Congratulations! But he’s not referring to his golf game. He means — with a smile — this “Westport … Naturally” at the town club.

At any rate, it’s a nice “shot” of a couple of “birdies.”

(Photo/Ken Yormark)

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And finally … following up on the eagles above, and the feeling it evokes:

Unsung Heroes #191

Pippa Bell Ader is a longtime advocate for sustainability. She writes:

Gilberto Reis, who manages Westport’s transfer station recycling station, has been invaluable to the Food Scrap Recycling Program.

He exchanges full toters for empty ones. He’s also the one who gently reminds recyclers that plastic bags can’t go in the recycling containers, or directs a newbie to the various recycling stations.

Gilberto Reis, at his post. (Photo/Dawn Sullivan)

Very occasionally he has to remove non-organic material that ends up in the bright green food scrap recycling toter, using his long handled reacher. He is always pleasant and — judging by the crinkle in his eyes and tone of his voice, despite his mask — probably smiling.

That is no small feat, after a long day of politely reminding people how to recycle correctly.

One day someone gave Gilberto a sign that said “You’re Amazing.”  The Zero Food Waste Challenge team could not have said it better!!

Gilberto and his sign: This week’s “06880” Unsung Hero.

PS: The Zero Food Waste Challenge team also like to thank Bob. Whenever he sees a Zero Food Waste Challenge volunteer coming to do a shift at the transfer station, he goes into the scale house,  gets out the sample food scrap recycling starter kit and flyers for us, and says hello. It’s nice to be welcomed!

Give The Gift Of Food Scrap Recycling

Searching for a holiday gift for the family that has everything — including plenty of food?

How about Sustainable Westport’s food scrap starter kit?!

For just $25, you can give friends or neighbors a countertop container, roll of compostable bags, and a transportation container.

Hey: You can buy it for yourself too.

The food scrap recycling starter kit.

Earthplace is selling the kits Mondays through Fridays. Call 203-557-4400 for holiday hours.

During this busy season, Sustainable Westport volunteers even deliver the kits to local homes. Email ZeroWaste@SustainableWestport.org, or call 203-293-6320.

Of course, you don’t need the starter kit to use the transfer station drop-off site. Just bring your food scraps in a lidded container, and drop them in the bright green toter.

The food scraps recycling program is a smash. Since it began in July, Westporters have brought over 2 tons a month to the transfer station. November set a record with more than 4 tons, thanks to pumpkin recycling.

The Paparo family was the first to use the transfer station drop-off food scrap recycling site, when it opened in July.

The scraps are brought to an industrial composting facility. Unlike most home sites, animal-based products like bones, meat, cheese and fish (including shellfish shells) are accepted at the transfer station drop-off.

Two Westport-licensed haulers (Action Waste Solutions and Curbside Compost) accept all food scraps. Several tons a month are being picked up from homes. The cost is about $32 a month; the first month is free if you mention Sustainable Westport.

Food scrap recycling is important economically, as well as environmentally. Food scraps make up 20% of residential waste by weight. They’re heavy, wet and don’t burn well at the waste-to-energy incinerator where most of Westport’s solid waste goes. The cost of solid waste removal comes from our taxes.

Sustainable Westport’s goal is to divert from disposal 25% or more of residential food waste. That’s 38 tons of food scraps per month.

Even with “tons” of parties, there’s such to be plenty of scraps this holiday season. Happy composting!

(NOTE: Sustainable Westport’s food scrap starter kit is free for income-eligible residents. To learn more about composting options, meal planning and preservation, or how to help distribute food to food-insecure residents, click here. Hat tip: Pippa Bell Ader.)

Unsung Heroes #161

Alert — and ecologically conscious — “06880” reader Pippa Bell Ader writes:

The Sustainable Westport Zero Food Waste Challenge — with a goal of decreasing residential food waste by 25% or more — is off to a good start.

Each week the transfer station collects half a ton of food waste. It’s brought to an industrial composting facility, and made into compost.

Every Saturday since the initiative began in July, a group of committed volunteers has handed out food scrap recycling flyers and answered questions at the transfer station.

They were there at 7 a.m. in the heat of the summer. They did not leave until well after noon, after the gates closed. They did it all with smiles (behind their masks).

Greens Farms Elementary School 5th grade teacher Stacey Fowle hands out a flyer.

Now, in the fall, the volunteers keep giving up part of their weekend, because they know they make a difference. And they know it, because residents thank them for the work they do to make Westport a sustainable community.

Since many transfer station regulars have received the flyer, Zero Food Waste Challenge volunteer hours have been decreased. They now start at 8 a.m.

The lines — which sometimes stretched to the Post Road this summer — are rare, now that all transfer station parking spots are open.

Stacey Williams teams up with a transfer station employee.

So the Zero Food Waste educational focus will move to other locations and events, as opportunities become available. The team was scheduled to attend over 30 events and meetings this summer. COVID canceled them all.

Congratulations to all Zero Food Waste Challenge volunteers: Pippa Bell Ader, Emma Alcyone, Aileen Brill, John Ferencz, Matt Ferencz, Stacey Fowle, Laurie Goldberg, Matthew Longhitano, Julie McDonald, Dylan Michaels, Ashley Moran, Leslie Paparo, Henry Potter, Jessie Schwartz, Dawn Sullivan, Stacey Williams and Trevor Williams. You are our very helpful (and green) Unsung Heroes of the Week!

(For more information about the Zero Food Waste Challenge, click here. For a starter kit ($25; free if income-eligible) go to Earthplace (10 Woodside Lane) weekdays between noon and 4 p.m. To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Matthew Ferencz assembles starter kits at Earthplace.

Roundup: Drive-In Movies; Food Scraps; Train Station Shuttle; Hole In The Wall Gang Camp; More


This morning, the Board of Selectmen approved the Remarkable Theater’s request to continue showing drive-in movies this summer, at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. So far, all 4 shows have been sold out

The very cool addition to Westport’s entertainment scene continues tomorrow (Thursday, July 9) with “Mamma Mia!” and Saturday (July 11), with “The Graduate.” The Dustin Hoffman classic is sponsored by Manna Toast. They offer a $20 movie box meal, which can be picked up at their kitchen behind Cycle Dynamics (near Carvel) that day before the film.

Three more films are set: “Life, Animated” (July 15), “Do the Right Thing” (July 16, in conjunction with TEAM Westport), and “Dazed and Confused” (July 18).

Tickets are now on sale for the 5 movies; click here (and do it quickly!). The parking lot opens at 8 p.m.; showtime is around 9.


Stay tuned for more drive-in movie news. The Remarkable Theater rocks Westport!

A food scraps recycling drop-off area is now open at the transfer station. Residents can bring all scraps, including meat products and bones.

All you need is a lidded container to collect and transport food scraps. Starter kits are also available at Earthplace for $25. They include a 2-gallon lidded countertop pail, 6-gallon transportation bin with lockable lid, and a roll of compostable bags.

It’s all part of Westport’s Zero Food Waste Challenge. For more information, including upcoming events, click here or email ZeroWaste@SustainableWestport.org.


Speaking of food: If you thought about planting an edible garden, but never quite started — it’s not too late!

On Monday (July 13, 7 to 8 p.m., Zoom), Wakeman Town Farm explores 8 veggies and herbs to plant now, to harvest and enjoy from late summer into fall.

The speaker is Kathy Oberman Tracy: WTF board member; Westport Garden Club member and plant sale chair; member of the Herb Society of America, and chef for Martha Stewart, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Click here to register. Suggested donation: $10.


On July 21 (7 to 9 p.m.), Westport Transit will hear public comment on the replacement of its 7 commuter shuttle routes with an on-demand group door-to-service to the Saugatuck and Greens Farms stations.

Passengers would use Norwalk Transit’s app, between 5:45 and 9:45 a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m.

This is different from the on-demand service that replaced the shuttle routes, due to COVID-19.

The hearing will be held remotely. To join, call 646-876-9923, then enter Meeting ID 883 3169 9715. To submit written testimony click here, email info@norwalktransit.com, or write Westport Transit commuter shuttle changes, 275 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06854

For a map of the service area and additional information, click here or call 203-299-5164.


The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has a strong connection to Westport. Our neighbor Paul Newman founded the summer program for seriously ill children in 1988. Plenty of Westporters volunteer at the Ashford, Connecticut facility. For many, it’s the highlight of their year.

This year, due to COVID-19, youngsters won’t enjoy that amazing experience. But organizers have created innovative ways to the camp’s magic to campers. Facebook Live interactive events like sing-alongs and story times, care packages (with games, arts and crafts projects, and more), and Zoom home and hospital bedside visits are a few of the ways to help kids battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

One of the camp’s staunchest friends is Westporter Adam Vengrow. He’s organized a push-up fundraiser. For just $25, anyone can join his team. You can donate too without doing any push-ups.

Click here for details. For more information, email a.vengrow@ven2port.com.


And finally … Beck turns 50 years old today. He is anything but a loser.

Unsung Hero #135

For 40 years, Ruth Kuhn and her husband made sure that before tossing garbage bags into the transfer station pit, their keys were safely stashed in their pockets.

For 40 years, the precaution worked.

Last week though, Ruth was distracted. The instant it happened, she watched helplessly as her key chain — holding 4 car keys, house keys, garage key and mini-garage door opener — sailed all the way down, with her trash, into the dump far below.

She heard it all land. And then there was silence.

She feared all her keys were gone, forever.

The dump.

Other people came by. Unaware of her plight, they tossed their garbage onto hers.

Then a wonderful thing happened. Workers Mark Meyer and Buddy Valiante, and John Davis of Malone’s Refuse, noticed her distress.

Without hesitation, they offered to help. While easing her anxiety with good-natured reassurance and support, they used long-hooked poles — from “seemingly out of nowhere” — to locate her keys. They extracted them, then returned them to Ruth.

“For Bud’s steady assistance, and to Mark and John who made it happen, I extend my very deepest appreciations,” Ruth says.

“And not only for what each of you did, but as well for who you are. It would have been so easy to walk away. I owe you each a very considerable debt of gratitude.”

Bud, Mark and John would probably say “it’s all part of a day’s work.”

It wasn’t. It’s part of what makes our town a community.

Thanks, guys. You are Ruth’s — and our — Unsung Heroes of the week.

Buddy Valiante in 2018, helping at the transfer station. (Photo/Cindy Mindell)

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Photo Challenge #246

There are a few places in Westport that nearly everyone goes to, at one time or other:

Compo Beach. Town Hall. And the transfer station (aka “the dump”).

So I’m surprised that only a few people recognized it, as Jo Shields’ Photo Challenge last week.

To be fair, her image did not really show the recycling facility. Instead, it was the sunflowers in front.

But when you’re there on a Saturday morning, i-n-c-h-i-n-g along, you get a good look at them. (Click here for the photo.)

Bob Grant, John Kantor, Krystof Bondar, Carol Hanks and Jonathan McClure correctly identified the site. Can they repeat this week?

If you know where in Westport you would see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Mark Jacobs)

September 21 Will Be A Hazardous Day

If you’re a typical Westporter, you’ve got stuff lying around your house.

You know: basic hazardous waste.

If you’d like to get rid of it 🙂 but have no idea how or where: Read on.

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, the Public Works Department holds its annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. The time is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the site is the Westport/Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane.

Better yet: It’s free.

As a regional program, it’s also open to residents of Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.

Many items used around the house are considered household hazardous wastes, because they may contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients. For example, check your:

Garage:  Gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, spray paint, paint strippers, paint thinners, solvents, stains, turpentine, varnishes, wood preservatives, degreasers, etc.  NOTE: All paints, stains, motor oil, antifreeze, batteries and light bulbs must be recycled at the transfer station (see below).

Garden shed:  Fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, etc.

General household:  Bleach, charcoal lighter, cleaning chemicals, drain cleaners, flammable liquids, mercury thermometers, moth balls, pet flea shampoos, rug shampoos, spot removers, art supplies and paints, etc.

Before bringing hazardous household items to the collection site:

  • Make sure items are clearly labeled. NEVER MIX CHEMICALS.  Incompatible products may react, ignite or explode, and mixed waste may become not be recyclable.
  • Keep products in original labeled container.
  • Place leaky containers in clear plastic bags.
  • Tighten lids of all containers, and pack items in sturdy cardboard boxes lined with newspaper.
  • Put boxes in the trunk or in the back of the vehicle away from passengers.
  • Leave pets and children home when bringing hazardous materials for collection.
  • Keep your windows open and drive directly to the collection site.
  • Do not smoke or eat while handling hazardous materials.

REMEMBER: Paint cannot be accepted. Westport residents should bring latex and oil-based paints, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac to the Westport transfer station (Sherwood Island Connector, weekdays, 7  a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 am to 12 noon).

The following items are also not acceptable at Household Hazardous Waste Day:  ammunition, flares, and commercial hazardous waste 🙁

Questions? Call the Public Works Department: 203-341-1793.