"I read your recent information about work zone areas and how to inform people to be careful. I know that several states have initiated 'Orange Ribbon' campaigns to highlight the issue. Has APWA considered creating an Orange Ribbon Program which we could all share in? The use of uniform signage and thousands of orange ribbon pins could be very helpful, especially in cooler climates where the construction is a seasonal affair. What are your thoughts?"

The Orange Ribbon Safety campaign is a part of the American Traffic Safety Services Association's (ATSSA) Work Zone Awareness campaign. They do make orange ribbon pins, posters, etc. available for sale and encourage groups to purchase them to distribute during National Work Zone Awareness Week. Since it is their "official" program, I'm assuming APWA would not want to develop something different but I would certainly think we should consider promoting their initiative and encourage our members to share the information. If you're interested in purchasing a ribbon, visit their website at The more reminders, the better.

"Our department is working through the self-assessment towards becoming accredited. We don't understand which chapters we are responsible for completing. If our department doesn't include water or sanitary sewer functions, do we still have to complete that chapter?"

This is a question frequently asked. Here's how you determine "Jurisdiction" for each of the chapters in the 5th edition of the Public Works Management Practices Manual. The first nine chapters in the manual must be completed by every agency applying for accreditation, even though the services performed within the chapter are performed by another department, i.e., Human Resources, Information Technology, Risk Management, etc. A public works department representative should work with each of the appropriate general agency departments to solicit the needed responses and documentation for each practice. If the general agency does not follow a recommended APWA practice, the department needs to address the practice and demonstrate how they handle it internally. Each of the remaining chapters must be reviewed to determine whether it is the department's full responsibility to provide the services included in the chapter; if they don't have that responsibility, who within the city/county/agency does perform the service? For instance, if the agency organizational chart does not show a responsibility to provide water services, what department within the agency would provide water? If not internally, what group provides the water service to your residents? Do you belong to a special district or consortium? Do you contract with a private company? If it is outside your jurisdiction, you need to provide documentation, i.e., a copy of an ordinance, an organizational chart, contract, intergovernmental agreement, or other formal document which states who does provide the service. The public works department would review each practice and compare it with the contract or protocol of the responsible group to ensure the service is being provided and meets the requirements of the practice. Hope this helps. If you have any questions, please contact me at

"We are finding more and more electronic equipment being discarded in landfill waste. Not only do they take up lots of space, they have pollutants in them. Is there anywhere we can send people to dispose of this electronic waste?"

Actually, Staples has become the first national retailer to offer in-store recycling for computers and other office technology. Industry experts tell us there are about 133,000 computers discarded every day in the U.S. Recycling them has been a tedious process at best. With Staples's new program, "going green" can be much easier for small businesses or residents. The program allows for computers to drop off their old equipment at the Customer Service desk at any of their stores, seven days a week. The company bags the equipment and seals it when it is dropped off. It is then picked up and delivered to Staples's contract, Amandi Services, who disassembles the equipment into its component parts and uses industry-leading standards for data destruction. They recycle the raw materials, such as the plastics, metals, printed circuit boards and Cathode Ray Tubes, using their own proprietary technology to make a raw material that is used to manufacture new televisions. Staples also provides onsite services in each store to transfer data from an old computer to a new one for a fee. A $10 fee is charged to deposit each item. Check it out!

Now, it's my turn to ask the question! Does your department have a "special" recipe you fix for a group meal? It might be a killer chili, ham and beans, barbecue, mountain oysters, or something more exotic. The Leadership and Management Committee is asking you to send me your recipe and we will include it with one of their monthly articles in their upcoming series titled "Recipes for Success." This isn't a joke! We know you have great cooks who love to share good food with your staff. The guys in Palm Bay, FL served great spaghetti to the participants at the Self-Assessment Workshop held there. I've heard legendary stories about "killer" chili recipes, barbecue sauces, and even "Road Kill Stew." Now's the time to show us your stuff! Send your recipe to me at by October 15. If we get enough good ones, we'll consider making you famous!

Ask Ann...

Questions are welcome.

Please address all inquiries to:

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA, 2345 Grand Blvd., Suite 500
Kansas City, MO 64108-2625

Fax questions to: (816) 472-1610