Director's View

By Jackson Jenkins

Our department is never a static one. We’ve always got something going on, so I’ll dive right in.

Our annual Grease Collection and Recycling Event, held this year on Jan. 8, was a huge success! The event plays a vital role in preventing grease from being poured down public sewers. 

This year, 1,105 gallons, or 8,287 pounds, of used cooking oil and grease were collected. The grease campaign educates the public about not pouring FOG (fats, oils and grease) down the drain. Numerous repeat customers prove that this message is indeed getting out there. Thank you to the many RWRD employees who participated in this annual event. 

On January 11, Pima County partnered with the City of Tucson to host a job fair. Job openings throughout the country remain near record highs, and employers, including RWRD, are still having a difficult time filling positions. We currently have more than three dozen job openings. 

We encourage those in leadership positions to support the development of those employees within their respective areas of responsibility, because a great manager can make a lasting impact on the career trajectory of an employee. 

The Department recently submitted its FY2022/23 budget request, and we are looking ahead to the end of the fiscal year. It is imperative that we continue tightening up our projections and keep expenses low enough so that we can continue to enjoy a healthy financial outlook. 

I am pleased to report that the Department has not had to raise user fees since May 2017, when we increased fees 3 percent. Prior to the May 2017 increase, the Department had not increased user fee rates since July 2013. Due to the current high levels of inflation, we are experiencing, we are busy evaluating whether user fee rates will need to be increased for FY22/23. 

Please continue to be safe in during the highly contagious Omicron surge of the pandemic. Keep a distance of 6 feet, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and contact your supervisor if you are sick. The CDC now recommends an N95 mask, as it provides the highest level of protection against COVID-19. 

Lastly, remember to share your love with family and friends on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. It only takes a moment to tell someone how much you care about them. Remember that we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our own families, so show them some appreciation too!