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WWRA: Reggie regretfully says ‘good-bye and good luck’ to Phil Bolyard

Phil Bolyard with bails of recycled material at the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority.
Phil Bolyard with bails of recycled material at the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Frank Hammer and the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority for the information in this column.)

Reggie is accepting, with regrets, the retirement of Phil Bolyard, who for the past eight years has effectively managed the day-to-day operations at the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA).

His last day was Dec. 15, 2015, and while the Board of Directors seeks “a new Phil,” two current employees are cooperatively sharing the role to keep things running. (Neither one wishes to assume it permanently.)

Phil has been a huge asset to WWRA, and Reggie knows that filling his shoes will be a major challenge for the WWRA Board. Below are some standout accomplishments over the past eight years, for which Phil deserves full credit.

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

He kept the recycling system working and recycling product efficiently flowing, despite overwhelming odds, throughout the construction and conversion to single-stream recycling three years ago. Insert plastics bale shot in this paragraph.

He sought out and set up contracting with many other entities (e.g., City of Ypsilanti, University of Michigan, etc.) to bring their recycling to WWRA—thereby establishing stable, increased income streams.

He was always available to repair equipment, fill in on the sorting line as needed, run the Bob Cat, or do anything else, at almost any hour, to keep the product moving and the operations viable. And, Reggie never heard him complain or saw anything other than a smile while he did these things that were not part of the “real” job description.

Phil adroitly handled all personnel issues, including hiring, dismissing, and scheduling shifts, and maintained positive, peaceable relations with all nine permanent and part-time employees throughout his eight years.

Phil announced his intended retirement in September, and the WWRA Board has been working diligently with the Michigan Municipal League to find a replacement. He set a high bar of expectations for what the Operations Manager would do, and it has proven more difficult than anticipated to find a replacement. It is expected that a new Operations Manager will be on board within the next 60 days.

Meanwhile, Phil and his wife will be starting his well-earned retirement with a three-month stay in Arizona, leaving snow and ice behind.

Reggie says, with a both a tear and a smile, “Thanks, Phil, for a job superbly well done, and Best Wishes for all your activities ahead. You will be missed.”

Phil Bolyard at the WWRA.
Phil Bolyard at the WWRA.
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1 thought on “WWRA: Reggie regretfully says ‘good-bye and good luck’ to Phil Bolyard”

  1. I wish you all the best, Phil. When I first moved to Chelsea Retirement Community in June 2014, you and Frank Hammer were such a big help in getting our recycling system rejuvenated. You’ve been a vital part of these efforts to be better stewards of our planet–thanks so much.

    Julia Strimer

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