Waste diversion can be improved by making recycling easy for residents, such as these bins that collect paper and bottles or cans. Photo: Carl Hursh, DEP Waste Reduction & Recycling Program

Weird as it sounds from a parks and recreation director, I liked the story on automated trash collection (June 2005, page 42). I recently completed a study for a city in Wisconsin as a class project for the master's in public works administration program. Our team's study found very similar results as in the article.

One disheartening issue was that the hardest hurdle for making any changes for the city collection process was getting around the political feasibility of change, even though our options predicted 15% to 60% savings. There are some very good options available for efficiency gains but they (like most other cities) are not ready to make that drastic leap to the next level of service.

Rick Manchester, CPRP, parks and recreation director, Two Rivers, Wis.

I recently had the opportunity to read the June 2005 issue: of PUBLIC WORKS and took note of two articles that appeared in the magazine, “Rapid road repairs” (page 38) and “Full-service drainage solution” (page 53).

I was pleased to see that two of our members, the Fort Miller Co. and Colorado Precast Concrete, were featured in Carol Carder's excellent piece on the installation of precast panel replacements for highway construction projects. As Carder mentions, the swift completion time, minimal disruption to interstate travelers, and product durability make precast a viable option that offers valuable benefits for roadway projects.

The Wentworth Group's Products Solving Problems piece regarding N-12 high-density polyethylene and Advanced Drainage System's Nyloplast drainage structures also caught my attention. While Mary Beth Vrees' article indicates the Pacific Northwest states involved are monitoring trial installations, a monitoring period longer than the one-year experience cited by the Idaho DOT may be in order to determine the true performance and quality of the product.

I look forward to reading future issues.

Ty E. Gable, president, National Precast Concrete Association