Archive for Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Town Talk: Ripple Glass and its purple pride coming to Lawrence; city to study idea of larger law enforcement center, but will do so alone; rumor of a restaurant at former Jo Shmo’s; Plastikon startup

November 1, 2011


News and notes from around Lawrence:

An example of Ripple Glass' purple containers that are spread throughout the Kansas City area and soon will come to Lawrence. In case you are wondering about the woman, she got a T-shirt from the company, according to Ripple's Facebook page.

An example of Ripple Glass' purple containers that are spread throughout the Kansas City area and soon will come to Lawrence. In case you are wondering about the woman, she got a T-shirt from the company, according to Ripple's Facebook page.

• Get ready for more purple in Lawrence. No, the hordes of K-State fans who filled Memorial Stadium recently didn’t find Lawrence so hospitable that they’ve decided to set up a new alumni office or anything like that. Instead, it is a Kansas City company that is betting Lawrence will be hospitable — to the idea of glass recycling. Ripple Glass is close to signing an agreement that will allow the company to install at least four of their large purple containers around the city to start a new glass recycling program. The Kansas City-based firm uses recycled glass to make fiberglass insulation. City commissioners at their meeting tonight are set to approve an agreement that will create a partnership between the city and Ripple Glass. Under the proposed agreement, Ripple will provide the four containers (did I mention that they’re purple), and city crews will empty them and take them to a yet-to-be-constructed “bunker” on city property. The glass will be stored there until the bunker fills up, at which time Ripple will send a truck over to haul the glass back to its Kansas City plant. Sites for the four glass recycling bins haven’t been determined yet. It will be interesting to see where they land, and also whether the program adds some new twists over time. There has certainly been interest among some city commissioners to get a program started that would place glass recycling bins in the alleys of Downtown Lawrence. With those bins in place, the city would then make a major effort to get downtown bars to start recycling their glass beer bottles instead of throwing them in the trash. Take a walk down an alley on trash day and listen to all the tinkling of glass bottles as the Dumpsters are lifted. It sounds like a drunken bell choir. The city is estimating that it will have about $9,000 in start-up costs to build the bunker, and a few monthly expenses in personnel and fuel to empty the containers. The city received one other proposal — from Lawrence-based 12th and Haskell Recycle Center — but that company was proposing the city provide the glass collection containers at a cost of about $65,000.

Subscribe to the Town Talk email edition

Subscribe to the email edition of Town Talk and we'll deliver you the latest city news and notes every weekday at noon.

• Speaking of purple, the folks in Manhattan — as you may know — have a different type of police force than in Lawrence. Instead of having a city police force and a sheriff’s office, law enforcement in Riley County is consolidated. There hasn’t been any serious talk of that type of consolidation effort in Douglas County, but for awhile it looked like there was at least the possibility that the subject could be broached. That looks less likely now. Lawrence city commissioners, at their meeting tonight, are expected to begin advertising for a consultant to help develop a plan for what type of facilities the police department will need in the future. When City Manager David Corliss suggested such a plan earlier this year, he said that the county’s sheriff’s department and the Kansas University police force may want to join in on the study to see if having a joint facility would make law enforcement more efficient. And who know, such an exploration may lead to talk on others ways the agencies could improve efficiencies. But a staff memo prepared for city commissioners reports that other law enforcement agencies were contacted about participating in the study, but none has shown an interest. So the city will go it alone because there is growing concern at City Hall that their current facility situation is inadequate. Some of the city’s police force is house at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center at 11th and New Hampshire, but a large part of the force has its headquarters at a city-owned building near Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. Who knows what the study will end up recommending, but there has been some speculation that the city could pursue building a new law enforcement center near the 19th and Iowa Street area, which is where its headquarters for Douglas County Fire & Medical are. Keep any eye open to see if this study — which is expected to cost between $30,000 and $40,000 — will get the ball rolling on that.

• While you're keeping one eye open for that, keep your other eye open for a new restaurant at 724 Mass., which is the former Jo Shmo’s restaurant and bar. My understanding is that a lease has been signed for the space and that the location will continue to be used as a restaurant. I haven’t gotten more detailed information on what type of restaurant, but once I do, I’ll pass it along.

• I also hear that there are new signs of life for a long vacant East Hills Business Park building. As we previously reported, Plastikon Industries at about this time last year chose Lawrence for a new plant to manufacture plastic vials for the health care industry. The company bought the former Serologicals building in East Hills, which sat empty for years after that high-tech drug company changed courses. Well, you haven’t’ heard much about Plastikon since, but the company has been renovating the site. Now it has 25 employees, and I hear that it is set to begin production in another one to two weeks. That should lead to more employees. The company — when it received about $63,000 in local incentives — told the city and county that it expected to have about 50 employees during its first year of production, and about 125 after three years of operations.

• Hopefully, you’ll keep your eyes and ears open for some other interesting pieces of speculation (notice how we deal in speculation, not gossip) and send them my way. (Or heck, you can even send me something that is an actual fact.) Town Talk will take a break for about the next week, while I take care of a long list of chores that my wife has accumulated for me at the house. (Yes, all those jokes I’ve made about her are coming back to haunt me.) I’ll talk with you next week.


guess_again 6 years, 6 months ago

Will the police chief include a garage for the new assault tank he wants to acquire? Maybe they can build all this as an addition to the $20 million dollar basketball fieldhouse on Schwada's overpriced property and make everyone happy.

ksjayhawk74 6 years, 6 months ago

The thought of seeing these big purple dumpster bins makes me nauseous. City Council should only allow them if they change the color.

Tip for whatever is going in Jo Schmo's old place: be open for lunch.

middlemgmt 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't care what color! Please just put one on the west side of Lawrence!

verity 6 years, 6 months ago

That's not purple, it's red-violet---unless the photo isn't properly color-balanced.

kansasredlegs 6 years, 6 months ago

Gimme, gimme, gimme... Please Santa Corliss - can we get some of these too! They're way cool and it'll help make us be more "efficient", I promise...When we're not using them or putting them on 'mute', we'll store them in our new palace, 'er evidence storage facility. If the Shock-town can have 'em, then we gotta have 'em too!!! Pleassssse Santa Corliss.

Who needs an foreign enemy when the Sheeple simply give away their rights in the name of safety. 1984 is still alive and well, just now picking up steam, should reissue this book under the title 2024 and it should be the first acquisition for our newly remodeled $18M library. Funny how the people of the former Communist Bloc appreciate their new found democratic traditions more than we treasure our own rights. Just a matter of time. Sheeple of America, particularly Lawrence, unite!

droppinplates 6 years, 6 months ago

They better paint those dumpsters because if they don't I'll bet someone else will and it may not look very nice.

ToriFreak13 6 years, 6 months ago

Why would they approve a company to throw away money? The city is planning to force us to use their recycling service. That leaves no desire to drive 2 or 3 miles to dump my glass while i'm paying the city to collect it.

MattressMan 6 years, 6 months ago

The way I understand it is if the city does mandatory recycling it will not include glass. Reason being is alot of the sorting of recyclables in these types of set ups are done by hand. When you have the packing trucks pick up and mash everything in it will shatter the glass making it nearly impossible to sort but a safety issue as well. The small local guys can pick it up because they dont smash everything together whereas Deffenbaugh has the large containers around town now and they ask no glass be put in. Either way you can continue to do whatever it is you do to dispose of glass right now or use one of these containers.

GUMnNUTS 6 years, 6 months ago

Jo Shmo's was possibly the worst restaurant of all time.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

I find this this the most practical collection for glass that has been discussed. Good for the city. Let us all pay attention to what type of glass Ripple needs. Drink and food containers have standards for content. I am eager to take my three or four glasses to the drop offs.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.