The trash talk continued Wednesday at the Solid Waste Standing Committee meeting, with the decision being made to come up with a Request for Proposals on the cost of townwide trash pick-up.
The committee discussed townwide trash pick-up as well as a “pay as you throw” program.
Montville Town Council member Dana McFee believes townwide trash pick-up is the way to go. In his plan, he estimates the cost to residents at about $100 a year. That would get them weekly pick-up and trash and recycling, and two bulky waste pick-ups a year. McFee is basing his ideas and his estimated cost on Ledyard’s trash collection program.
McFee has written a blog about his ideas. Click here to read more.
Public Works Department Director Donald Bourdeau met with the regional coordinator of recycling recently, and estimates that townwide trash pick-up would cost $338,465 for collection and , $430,800 for disposal. Those numbers, he said, are extrapolations made using Ledyard’s figures.
Bourdeau is a fan of the pay-as-you-throw program. There, people buy special trash bags at 75 cents for a 15-gallon bag and $1.25 for a 33-gallon bag.
“Right now,” Bourdeau said, “Everybody is paying the tipping fees in their tax dollar. If Don Bourdeau has two bags of trash, and Chuck Longton has five… (and both pay the same amount in their taxes for trash) then I am paying a lot more for my two bags than you (Longton) are paying for your five bags.”
Bourdeau said that the pay-as-you-throw program encourages recycling, and puts control into the user’s hand.
“If you turn down your heat, you pay less,” he said. “The more you recycle, the less you pay for your trash.”
McFee said he has done the math, and he doesn’t believe that, in Stonington, the cost of the bags funds the entire trash program. When you add up the cost the town would pay to have the bags made, and you add the costs to haul and dispose of the trash, he said, “you’d have to sell that bag for $2.30.”
Bourdeau said he believes that people will recycle more when they’re paying by the bag to dispose of their trash, and that townwide pick-up is not going to strengthen the culture of recycling.
He added that the pay-as-you-throw program would cut down on the abuse of the transfer station pass program. He said he knows that people are bringing other people’s trash, from other towns, to the transfer station – but there’s no way to stop it.
Transfer station staffer Flo Turner, who attended the meeting, agreed with Bourdeau that “pay-per-throw promotes recycling.”
“We could add an education component,” she said, “and get people to compost, too.”
Rick Gladue of Montville said he’s a fan of the townwide trash pick-up idea. “I really don’t like those bags,” he said. “If that bag is half-full and it’s summer and it starts to smell, it’s going out.”
Come back at 9:30 to take a poll on the kind of trash pick-up you'd prefer!