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FOX47 NEWS - Madison City Leaders Vote To Recycle Plastic Bags

Jeff Angileri
Sep 2, 2009, 12:10 AM


In a meeting that lasted three and a half hours, the Madison Common Council approved dozens of agenda items -- including a voluntary recycling program for plastic bags, and naming an official city bird.

City alders had 36 pages of items to go through -- a lengthy agenda.

With unanimous support, alders agreed to place bins across the city for bag recycling -- another option for people to dispose of their plastic bags.  The cost is still to be determined.

"There are a lot of plastic bags that are thrown away or disposed of and I think recycling them is very, very important," said Alder Paul Skidmore. "This is a big step in cutting down material that can't be landfilled and can be recycled."

Recycling was a prominent part of the agenda. The council also voted to require recycling of construction site materials so they don't end up in landfills.

One item the council reintroduced but did not vote on was the chronic nuisance ordinance.

Alders say it is meant to help people who live next to apartments and rental homes and are concerned with what's going on next door. Right now the rule is temporary, alders want to make it permanent law.

"The nuisance ordinance is something that says, 'You will maintain your property and if we send our officers or services you are going to be billed for it,'" said Alder Judy Compton.

"This ordinance allows the city to go in and clean up some bad places where bad behaviors are going on, when the landlords are not," Skidmore said. "It allows the city to intervene."

Alders also got their first look at Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's capital budget proposal for 2010.

It's a $185 million dollar wish list of construction projects for the city. The proposal will be voted on in November.

One moment during the meeting generated some laughter and rolling eyes. Madison alders voted 15 to 4 to name the plastic pink flamingo as Madison's official bird.

The vote on that city bird raised plenty of eyebrows. It comes 30 years after 1,008 plastic pink flamingos appeared on Bascom Hill on the UW campus as part of a prank.

Alder Compton voted against the measure, and said city ornithologists could have come up with a much more appropriate bird, especially one that could survive a Wisconsin winter.

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