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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Fair
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On the Agenda: Madison makes haste to reduce waste
City is poised to take recycling one step further

Commission on the Environment
Monday, April 28, 4:45 p.m.
Room 103A of the City-County Building

When I lived in San Francisco, I had a large bin that was divided in half: one side for mixed recycling, the other for compost. I also had a small garbage can, which I never filled up. Most of the household "waste" went into one bin compartment or the other. Then I moved to Madison, where people complained vigorously when Mayor Dave Cieslewicz went to a bin system to automate pickup of recyclables and later garbage.

Cieslewicz is now promoting another initiative, for which he'll probably also be lambasted. The city is seeking to reduce waste by 65% by the year 2010, by implementing automated pickup of food waste and other organic material, a la San Francisco's system.

At Monday's commission meeting, the city's new "zero waste" initiative will be discussed, followed by a presentation on The Natural Step, the city's program for considering the environment in every action it takes. You would think the environmental commission members would have already had a primer on the city's new environmental program, but you would be wrong.

Board of Estimates
Monday, April 28, 4:30 p.m.
Room GR-27 of the City-County Building

The city's financial body takes up multiple union contracts and renews Richard Grasmick's contract as head of the IT department for another five years. The board is also setting up a draft operating budget for the Community Development Authority, which is using lots of city resources to redevelop Allied Drive and the Villager Mall.

The Madison Election Advisory Committee
Tuesday, April 29, 4:30 p.m.
Room 103A of the City-County Building

The committee will debrief after the spring election and begin talking about The Big One coming in November. Members will also discuss polling-place accessibility and new staff for the city clerk's office, which has been chronically underfunded.

Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission
Tuesday, April 29, 5 p.m.
Room LL-110 of the Madison Municipal Building

The city is reviewing alternatives to improve the crazy traffic backlog on Mineral Point Road. The street carries an average of 40,000 cars a day, a number projected to grow to 70,000 by 2030. Something needs to be done now to ease the congestion there, especially at the intersection with Junction Road. At this meeting, the city will lay out its alternatives. One solution that's apparently off the table: the dreaded traffic roundabout.

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