Tonawanda News

Local News

January 27, 2009

NORTH TONAWANDA: council discusses future TV disposal

Just as Congress on Tuesday was working to decide whether public programming goes digital next month or in four months, North Tonawanda was getting ready to handle an influx of old TV sets.

The Federal Communications Commission is being asked by President Barack Obama to postpone switching public TV broadcasts to a digital platform, which for viewers using an antenna requires the purchase of a converter box, not necessarily a new TV.

“Some of the studies I’ve read in the trade magazines say up to a quarter of American households could be throwing a TV out in the next two years following the regulation change,” North Tonawanda Department of Public Works Superintendent Gary Franklin said.

Franklin asked Common Council members to consider his plan to allow TVs to be permanently dropped off at the Public Works yard, 758 Erie Ave., in the coming months.

A program run by Rick Pope of the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District in Lockport is about ready to start taking them for $8 each. Before that, standard garbage ordinances prohibited the sets from being thrown out. Certain components were impossible to dispose of legally. Now Pope has a company on board to take them for a price.

That same arrangement was extended to North Tonawanda for Saturdays last October. Franklin and Pope have worked together on the project for a year.

Now Franklin is asking that North Tonawanda’s ordinance be changed to allow residents the opportunity to also bring their TVs to the Erie Avenue depot, where they can be picked up by the same company Pope is using.

He is further asking members to consider waiving the $8 fee, at least for residents.

“What I asked the council to do is pay for that out of my operating funds,” Franklin said.

He hopes by June he could start the program, at first on a limited basis.

Text Only
Local News