Sunday, June 21, 2009


from The Sun, June 12- 18

HOLYOKE- Wednesday, June 10th the Public Safety Committee met at City Hall to hear information regarding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) an environmental policy approach in which producers assume responsibility for their products by financing the collection and responsible reuse, recycling or disposal of those products. Currently, taxpayers pay for the management of waste that is discarded.

"The taxpayers of Holyoke bear an unfair burden of costs associated with managing large and toxic trash items that cannot be broken down or recycled. We get hit twice; once for having to pay for handling such products and then again, when we cannot pull in revenues associated with recyclable products," said Lisi.

Councilor Lisi, along with Councilors Kevin Jordain, Diosdado Lopez, and Elaine Pluta filed the order at the April 21st City Council meeting for Lynne Pledger of Clean Water Action, an environmental advocacy group, to speak about EPR and bring how it could benefit the city. Ms. Pledger urged Holyoke to adopt a resolution supporting statewide EPR legislation and regulation. In the meeting, she explained that Massachusetts cities and towns collectively spend millions of dollars managing discarded items, many of which are toxic and/or designed for one-time use.

“Town government started paying for trash clean up more than a hundred years ago when waste was mostly coal ash. Now that trash is mostly products and packaging, we need a new system,” said Pledger.

Many Holyoke residents and members of Project GreenHolyoke, a subgroup of C.R.U.S.H. (Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke) attended the meeting in support of the EPR campaign and to speak in favor of the city’s efforts to adopt the resolution.

Carlos Vega of 51 Portland St. said, "By expanding recycling opportunities in the city, we would be able to cut costs associated with items such as computers and refrigerators that are extremely costly for the city to handle due to their large sizes and toxic parts".

The full Council will be voting on the EPR Resolution at their next meeting on June 16, 2009. For more information on the MA EPR campaign visit:

For an overview of the MA EPR campaign click on the link below:

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Councilor Lisi’s Campaign Kick-Off: Bringing the Holyoke Community Together

HOLYOKE- At-Large City Councilor Rebecca Lisi drew a large and diverse crowd of friends, neighbors and community stakeholders to celebrate her 2009 campaign kick-off at the Delaney House on Wednesday, May 27. At the event, Lisi shared her vision for a revitalized Holyoke that builds on a strong sense of community.

“The hard work before us is rebuilding a sense of community and an environment of trust that includes the entire city,” Lisi said.

In her platform, Lisi marked her commitment to Smart Growth principles and mixed use development downtown, claiming that these policies can increase job and business opportunities by attracting private sector investments and creating areas of clustered housing, workforce, and transportation options. She also stressed the importance of taking steps to ensure that our schools can provide quality education to our students, as well as developing collaborative relationships with non-profits and community organizations that can help leverage resources and cut costs throughout the city.

Lisi believes that the city is heading in the right direction as evidence by a renewed atmosphere of hope and political involvement. Lisi is excited by the number of young and new citizens who are actively attending public meetings, talking about downtown development, and running for political office. She credited these positive changes to the efforts of CRUSH (Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke) of which she is a founding member, as well as other community events that have been bringing residents from throughout the city together to talk about a shared vision for Holyoke’s future success.

Lisi said, “The plan for the future is clear. Residents from throughout the city continue to identify downtown development, preservation of historic buildings, attracting green business and industry to the city, and appreciating our community diversity as ways to improve our quality of life in Holyoke. To move forward on these initiatives the city will need support from dense and intricate networks of community member involvement”.

Lisi begins her door-to-door campaign on June 1. For more information, visit:

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