The Town of Wellesley has selected Jeff Azano-Brown as the Assistant Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) where he will oversee the DPW’s Management Services division and other financial and business aspects of the department. Azano-Brown has run the Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF), a division of the DPW, since 2016, and has been with the DPW for 17 years.
The DPW is in the process of starting a search for a new RDF Superintendent. For now, Azano-Brown will divide his time between the RDF and the DPW until a new Super is hired. Which isn’t quite as glamorous as dividing one’s time between, say, Wellesley and Chatham, as many in town do. But Azano-Brown has never been in it for the status.
His new job will allow him to take a wider view of Town infrastructure. “Working at the RDF has given me a deeper understanding of how important the RDF is to the Wellesley community,” Azano-Brown said. “I’m looking forward to supporting its mission as the Assistant Director and broadening that support to help all the DPW divisions achieve their goals.”
Here are a few things Azano-Brown has done for the dump lately:
He helped bring the Food Waste Drop-Off Program to town
Wellesley’s Food Waste Drop Off Program was introduced by the Wellesley 3R (Reduce Reuse Recycle) Working Group as a pilot project in October 2017 as a way to reduce the amount of trash going to landfills and improve the environment. It started off as a pilot program with 300 families who agreed to drop off their food scraps at the RDF. The program went from pilot to permanent earlier this year, and around 600 families now participate. Here’s how to join in.
He won a major award
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) invited Wellesley green teamers including Azano-Brown to the state house to receive a Leading by Example Award for the town’s numerous clean energy and sustainability efforts. These include initiatives in food recovery and more. Read the whole story here.
He worked on taking more recyclables…
…like gypsum wallboard and hard plastics.
…even as China started accepting fewer recyclables
Azano-Brown discussed the RDF’s business initiatives and how China’s refusal to accept plastic recyclables has affected Wellesley’s recycling program at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills.
He maintained law and order at the Reusables Area
Or he tried, anyway.
In our post, Greed and Goodwill at the Wellesley dump, we covered the cottage industry that makes some a tidy sum selling items that are dropped off. Azano-Brown wasn’t deaf to residents’ complaints about the practice. “If it’s true that people are making a business out of that area, yes it bothers me,” he said. “The true purpose of the area is to keep items out of a landfill. That is the true spirit of the area. 95% of the effort is really productive and helpful and achieves the spirit of the area. The positive aspects of what goes on over there are so important.”
Once I asked if he ever went over to shop the Give and Take, and he said he did stop by every now and then to see if he could pick something up for the RDF offices. “Just the offices?” I asked, a little surprised. “Not for home?”
“Oh, no. Not for home,” he said. “I’m not a Wellesley resident.”
Jeff Azano-Brown can be reached at [email protected]
About the Department of Public Works
The Department of Public Works has a staff of 117 people across many different divisions including Engineering, Park and Highway, Management Services, Water and Sewer, and the RDF. The department is dedicated to providing safe and cost-effective services, information, and planning support to help protect, maintain, and improve the Town’s assets and infrastructure.