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Group Votes to Get Proposals on Townwide Trash Pick-up

A request for proposals on townwide trash pickup will go out

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!

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Dana McFee February 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Montville has 5572 single households another 1600 rental units . With only 2000 “dump passes” sold it would be safe to say that well over 3000 of our residents are paying in excess of $260.00 a yr for trash pick up. The 2000 that take their trash to the Transfer Station pay $55.00 ($45.00 for seniors) per year plus their fuel cost and their time and effort. If the town could provide curbside service for this at a cost of $100.00 per household per year, shouldn’t we do it?
Dana McFee February 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Mr Bordeaus plan of "pay as you throw" to promote recycling would be at the Transfer Station only where only a third of the towns trash and recyclables are collected. Based on that, the additional recyclables would be minimal at best.
Chuck Longton February 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM
To be clear, the decision to do an RFP was not to impliment any town-wide program, but to obtain real numbers in lieu of Counsilor McFee's estimates; a fact-finding effort if you will. Last month he was charged with creating a proposal that could be considered by the Town Council but it had to be based on actual numbers obtained from potential service providers. That is the purpose of this action; to obtain those real numbers to support that effort. Nothing more.
Amber Sneddon February 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Why are the small businesses in this town not encouraged to recycle? Our dumpster is filled all the time with cardboard boxes and bottles... What is the point in everyone recycling at home and having it picked up when most businesses are throwing it in their dumpster? How much would it cost to add them to the recycling route? I'm sure the town could double their recycling if they offered it to the businesses. (don't we make money on recycling??)
I have no concern for numbers ....I am the Chief Financial Officer of a non- profit here in town. I have a dump pass and I recycle. I am not able to drive to the dump which means hiring or payiing someone out of pocket to use my truck to bring my trash to the dump. I am all for recycling for sure, however since the town mandated recycling I am for trash pick-Up free to our residents. I see empty lots filled with clutter and garbage including trash dumped into the woods. Lets keep out town and planet clean offer trash pick up. Did you it ever occur to anyone while only selling only 2000 dump passes where does everyone dump their garbage?
Chris Lawton February 23, 2012 at 02:50 PM
The 2000 dump pass number is not the whole picture. A dump year pass is $55, daily pass is $3. I go less then once a month, and plan my trip when I have plans to drive by. I usually have about five 35gln bags of recyclables and ten 15gln bags of trash. (I also compost all organic stuff) Therefore, I use the daily pass option. I usually pay less then $33 a year. Curbside pick up increases road side litter! Most people do not secure their receptacle to prevent animals and wind from dispersing their trash. The hauler will not pick up trash which is on the ground no matter how close to a can it is! I spend two days a year cleaning my street of letter The argument that a person pays more per bag on their current tax bill is a JOKE. One may pay more per bag, while those without children pay more taxes for our schools. If someone decides to use curbside pickup let them pays the current rate, if someone choose to use the dump let them use that option. If rates need to be increased to cover cost, then do that.
Howard February 23, 2012 at 04:27 PM
First we, as a nation, have too much government involved in too many aspects of our lives and costing us way too much. Second, while the idea of saving is appealing; remember the town would run the program. Most of our leaders prefer “bigger and better” government; should they become dissatisfied with the contractor; the logical progression is buying trucks and hiring people with all the attendant costs. Say goodbye to any savings by the town’s citizenry. Lastly, the bag program is another program leading to unnecessary costs and complications. The town still has to administer the program; negotiate, hire, and monitor a contractor; acquire and distribute bags to retailers willing to participate; and collect and account the proceeds from the sales of the bags. All of which involve more facilities and employees. Think about the dollars involved with those things. I do not know whether the town or the retailer purchases the bags from the manufacturer but someone has to and that involves administrative costs and capitol layout. The citizens would have to drive who knows where (gas $) to buy the bags. The retailers opting to participate (who wants to be a “bad” community member) would have to possibly purchase the bags and add the bags to their inventories, create shelf space for that inventory, track the inventory, account for sales, collect and submit the sales tax (oh yes, don’t forget that), and submit the proceeds to the town. Leave it as it is.
Dana McFee February 23, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Dear Howard, lets not make a philosophical debate out of this. Its just plain and simply town wide trash pick up, a service that most towns our size have and appreciate. The concept for a town to negotiate a contract to save nearly two thirds of the residents a substantial amount of money is like regionalization on a smaller scale and not a case of ”Big Brother” intruding into our lives.
richard gladue February 23, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Give the man a brake he's only trying to save two thirds of us sum money . at this stage it's only numbers the time for debate will come later.
Chris Lawton February 24, 2012 at 12:18 AM
I don't see a "substantial amount" in savings? It as been stated a resident will be charged around $100, a dump pass is $55. That is an increase of almost 50%, plus the cost of 'special' trash bags (which other towns have repeatedly increased the cost of once the program starts.) Only a politician would call that a savings! Don't forget about the increase of litter that will need to be removed from the roadways.

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