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Episode 58: Trash talk

Stephen Lisauskas, a vice president at Waste Zero, a North Andover company that advises municipalities on ways to reduce their trash disposal costs, says cities and towns can fairly easily boost recycling and reduce trash generation. He worries that inertia on Beacon Hill and out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitudes toward trash among residents of the state are likely to discourage recycling and lead to a boost in expensive trash exports. Massachusetts and the rest of the states in the northeast already have the highest trash disposal costs in the country.

Episode 57: Pot politics

After a dumbfounding outburst by House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Wednesday evening, it appears the House and Senate are finally getting down to business. A fiscal 2018 budget is slated for a vote on Friday and the House and Senate lawmakers trying to broker a deal between the branches on marijuana legislation are finally getting back to work.

Episode 56: McDonough weighs in on health care

No one understands these issues as well as John McDonough, who joined Bruce Mohl and me for this week’s Codcast. McDonough is a professor at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, but his policy studies today are informed by decades he spent as a policy practitioner.

Episode 55: The Greenway Deal

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy gained a measure of stability this week as the state, the city of Boston, and park abutters agreed to provide $2 million a year to help cover the organization’s operational expenses.

James Aloisi, the former secretary of transportation who played a hand in the formation of the Conservancy, said he has a hard time understanding why the state was playing hardball in the first place. He likened the situation to a homeowner who buys a piece of property and builds a house on it — and then goes to his neighbors to ask them to share in the cost of upkeep. (Gov. Charlie Baker should know all about this situation; he used to serve on the board of the Conservancy.)

Episode 52: Auburndale whistleblowers

Today’s Codcast features the TransitMatters guys who put the brakes on an $11 million MBTA redesign of the Auburndale commuter rail station that was going to improve handicap accessibility but result in poorer service on the Framingham-Worcester Line.

Andy Monat brought the problem to the general public’s attention with an article in CommonWealth that bluntly labeled the situation a mess. The current passenger platform is on the south side of the two tracks of the Worcester-Framingham Line. The station is low-level, meaning passengers have to navigate steps to access the platform and to enter trains. The design had two major drawbacks: handicapped passengers can’t use the stations and passengers can only board trains headed in one direction. So service is only available at the peaks — heading into Boston in the morning and out of Boston at night.

Episode 51: Add parking, cut emissions

The Massachusetts Port Authority believes the best way to reduce emissions at Logan International Airport is to add 5,000 parking spaces.

It sounds counterintuitive, but Massport CEO Tom Glynn makes the case on this week’s Codcast that more parking spaces will mean fewer people getting dropped off by friends, taxis, Ubers, and limousines. Those types of dropoffs typically involve a total of four trips to and from the airport — two when dropping off passengers and two when they are being picked up. To help win state approval for the parking proposal, Glynn recently enlisted the support of the Conservation Law Foundation by agreeing to additional measures to reduce emissions.

Episode 50: Ride-sharing redux

After several years of fits and stops, the Legislature finally passed a bill last summer that would regulate transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft with an eye on safety for passengers.

While lawmakers gave the Department of Public Utilities a pretty big canvas to paint their regulations on, they mandated a few set-in-stone parameters such as state-run checks on criminal background and driver records.

Tom Maguire, general manager for Uber of New England, and Gavi Wolfe, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, joined The Codcast to offer their takes on why the regulations are hurting not only the individuals denied a right to work but the public which they claim isn’t really being protected by the regulations.

Episode 49: Dorchester Booming, mostly for the better

It’s boom time in Dorchester. That’s what Bill Forry of the Dorchester Reporter told Bruce Mohl and me when we sat down to talk with him about what’s going on in Boston’s largest neighborhood.

Dorchester is Boston’s grand melting pot — or at least its polyglot point of convergence. It is home to more than 120,000 people with roots that span the globe, who, these days, mostly get along well.