1. The Little Rock City Board meets at 6 p.m. tonight and items include a final vote on the proposal to extend the recycling contract with Waste Management for three years. A compromise has been reached to remove glass recycling from the deal.

The compromise will add some items to the recycling list currently excluded.  The removal of glass will lower the proposed rate for the first year of the contract by 50 cents to $4.89 a month, up from the current $4.29, but in theory for more recycling.

Glass has been a sticking point. Waste Management will recycle it if pitched into bins despite prohibition, but claims it’s a big money loser because of contamination that leads to dumping of loads in the landfill.

With glass out (though it will remain a part of recycling contracts Waste Management has with other governments in Pulaski County) the cost can go down. The discussion tonight is supposed to include a discussion of an initiative to work on getting glass recycled in Little Rock with a focus on a program targeting bars and restaurants, the biggest producers of waste glass.

This is the recycling ordinance in its current form, but it is to be amended when the meeting begins.

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Also on the agenda, tonight is City Director Ken Richardson’s resolution to encourage landlords to cease evictions during the coronavirus crisis. It has no legal effect, which is all the more reason to be mystified why the resolution seems unlikely to pass tonight.  But the real estate lobby is as strong in Little Rock, if not stronger than it is at the Capitol. Not for nothing is Arkansas the worst state for renters in the United States. Greedy landlords and elected officials dependent on the lobby’s campaign contributions are factors.

Advocates for renters say evictions are proceeding apace, by both civil and criminal means and are likely to rise further if pandemic unemployment assistance isn’t continued. What’s needed, they say, is government cash for rent, which would be a benefit to both landlords and tenants.

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Update: yep they approved the recycling deal and tabled the eviction resolution with only Richardson, Kathy Webb and Erma Hendrix in support.

 

Update 2: Many speakers opposed the mayor’s plan to turn over part of War Memorial Park to a sports bar. people want green space, they said. Out of 1,700 responses to a survey, one said, 10 people wanted something like TopGolf.  She was cheered.

 

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