Somerville: Still Not Quite Green

Last week, Somerville attempted to “go green” by creating an ordinance that would require large stores to provide recycling bins for shoppers’ plastic bags. The city’s aldermen had only one small problem—they didn’t know who would handle the actual recycling of the bags.

They tried again at this week’s meeting, but continued to have trouble. This time, the aldermen and the law department couldn’t decide who is responsible for writing the ordinance.

The Somerville Journal reports on the fight between Alderman Tom Taylor and City Solicitor John Gannon.

“An ordinance comes before the board [of aldermen], the board approves it, and it goes to your department, and you draft an ordinance. Then it goes to committee, and we debate it, and pass it, and it returns to the full board,” Taylor said.

Gannon said that would not make sense. Before the law department could draft an ordinance, they would have to hear what the aldermen would want the ordinance to say. “If you wanted an ordinance that would ask for the creation of a plastic bag recycling program, would it be helpful for you for the law department to scratch out an ordinance saying, ‘we’re creating a recycling program?” Gannon asked Taylor.

Just reading that exchange makes us frustrated. It seems the rest of the aldermen were also not amused.

“This is like a bad Abbot and Costello skit,” Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane said[.]

The green consumers of Somerville are left wanting yet again, as the ordinance seems to be heading back to committee. Guess you’ll have to make due with the recycling bins some stores voluntarily provide until the city decides how to handle this.