When the Speaker Speaks…. MWRA Agrees to Put Food Waste Pilot Program on Hold

We’re not exaggerating when we say Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo’s remarks at the MWRA Forum represent one of the most outstanding and most effective speeches by a public official in recent memory. DeLeo didn’t shout, didn’t criticize, and didn’t speak with ill intention. In a straightforward, eloquent, and professional manner, Bob asked the representatives from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to put the food waste pilot program on hold.

DeLeo pointed out correctly that, “Winthrop already endures significant truck traffic,” and that as many as 18 more truck trips per day — and the waste products that  the trucks would be carrying through the streets of Winthrop — were an area of concern for Winthrop residents. DeLeo also raised the issue of the emissions caused when the food waste is transformed into energy.

Speaking on behalf of all Winthrop residents, DeLeo asked the MWRA to stop its food waste pilot program. And it happened right on the spot to the delight of the packed auditorium of residents at the meeting, many of whom showed their appreciation with a standing ovation for Speaker DeLeo.

This was a great victory for the town and its residents, including Dawn Manning, who had led a residents’ meeting just three days earlier to rally her neighbors on Point Shirley behind this vital issue. What a great feeling for Dawn and others when Speaker DeLeo and MWRA Executive Director Frederick Laskey shook hands and agreed to put the pilot program on hold for an indefinite period of time.

We say thank you, Speaker DeLeo, for your brilliant speech and for once again having your finger on the pulse of this community and standing up for the best interests and safety of our residents.

We also must commend MWRA Executive Director Laskey for agreeing to meet regularly with Winthrop residents and for his professionalism, accessibility, and cooperation on this issue and others relating to the MWRA. Mr. Laskey is a highly- respected administrator and his prompt response to our concerns was appreciated by all who attended this important forum.

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