McFee Wants to Talk Trash

His town-wide trash pick-up idea is getting some attention

Dana McFee says that when he decided to run for a position on the Montville Town Council, he had two goals.

One was to see the Montville Road Bridge rebuilt.

The other was to get town-wide trash pick-up.

The Montville Road Bridge is being addressed, with the help of a

Now, McFee is turning his attention to trash.


IN A BLOG, HERE on the Montville Patch, McFee wrote about his ideas for town-wide trash pick-up. 

He figures the cost per household would be about $100. For people who pay for trash collection now, the savings would be about $160.

“Currently,” McFee writes, “two-thirds of the town pays privately in excess of $260 per year, and the rest buy a pass to the transfer station in the amount of $55 per yr ($45 per yr for seniors) bringing the trash themselves.”

McFee believes that the total cost of doing your own trash, including the transfer station pass and the gas you burn bringing your trash to the transfer station, adds up to between $75 and $100 per year.

And that amount, he says, doesn’t include your time.

In addition, he says, even though Montville pays $250,000 a year for town-wide recycling pick-up, it still pays to have recyclables picked up from the transfer station.


FOR MCFEE, this just doesn’t make sense.

The $55 dump fee doesn’t even cover the cost of disposing of the trash at the state landfill, McFee says. Most households generate about a ton of trash a year, he says, and it costs the town $60 per ton to dispose of the trash that’s brought to the landfill.

McFee says he's basing some of his ideas on the town-wide trash pick-up system in Ledyard, where $500,000 buys curbside pick-ups of trash and recyclables weekly, as well as a twice-yearly bulky waste pick-up.

"We are one of the only towns around that doesn’t have a town-wide trash pick-up," McFee says. "It’s a service that you would expect from your town. What they give you instead is a subsidized dump pass."


MAYOR RON McDANIEL and Public Works Director Donald Bourdeau both say they are interested in hearing more about McFee's ideas, and looking more deeply at the numbers.

Bourdeau and Town Council Chairwoman Candy Buebendorf both mentioned the idea of

That system, in which people buy special bags and bring them to the transfer station, charges people for the amount of trash they generate, Bourdeau said, and also tends to promote recycling. Any items that are recycled don't go in the special bags.

McDaniel, who describes himself as "a huge recycler,"  says he'd love to see Montville recycle more. 


BUEBENDORF EXPRESSED a feeling that others in town have mentioned, that she prefers bringing her trash to the transfer station.

In part, this is because she has a very long driveway. Curbside recycling means hauling the cans to the street, on a set schedule - not of her own choosing - and leaving them there, where they can blow around or be hit.

Other Montville residents talked about how they enjoy going to the transfer station, seeing their neighbors, and coming home with good stuff that other people were ready to part with.

As a councilor, Buebendorf said, she agrees that McFee  has some good points.

"The part he’s right on is the town pays for everyone to have recycling pick-up, and then they’re paying for the people who bring (their recycling) to the transfer station. It’s like double billing.That's one of the places we need to address what’s wrong, and either negotiate on pickup, or charge more for the dump sticker. I don’t know what the fee should be but $55 is too low."

McFee, who is "going on the offensive here," says that his plan "really doesn’t save the town money. It saves the residents some money. It’s more creative than what they’re doing now."

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Dana McFee February 08, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Tweaking the system we have now is not the answer. By raising the cost of the “dump pass” to $75 per year and when figuring in an absolute minimal amount of fuel usage, it would end up costing you MORE than what it would if it were town wide pick up. That would be totally ridiculous and a slap in the face to the two thirds that pay $260 per year. We have an opportunity to provide the town with a service that benefits all by saving two thirds of our residents approximately $160 a year and the rest of the residents could have curbside pick up for virtually what they are paying now. For someone to say they like bringing their trash to the transfer station is not enough of a reasonable argument for denying this service .
Walt February 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Many of us have to bring our trash and recycling to the curb on a set schedule and don't seem to have a problem doing it. Mr. McFee seems to be interested in saving people money, thank you. I've seen the lines waiting to get into the transfer station, it's not worth the wait. It will free up time for other things on your time off and give those who go to the transfer station one less trip in their vehicle.
Dana McFee February 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Public works director Bourdeau has stated that the Transfer Station entrance and exits need to be redesigned to handle the traffic flow. While he would expect a State grant to pay for it. This would be just another waste of tax payer money at the state level because if we went to a town wide curb side trash pick up, those improvements would not be needed.
Ellen Hillman February 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Town wide pick up should be a service the town provides. The state of connecticut is looking at making the bag system a manditory system so please keep that in mind when you order recycling and trash containers.
Walt February 08, 2012 at 03:11 PM
A state grant only means that we are paying for it through the state instead of the town. Let's save not spend.
Debbie Ingoglia February 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM
With the economy as it is I would love to save some money. Each year it costs more to have our trash picked up at the curb. We are now paying $82 every 3 months and that is with this current increase. With the hours we work, accessing the town transfer station on weekends is not how I want to spend a Saturday morning - and I really don't want to transport gargabe in my sedan - We do not own a pick up truck. What services are provided for residents of Montville??
richard gladue February 08, 2012 at 04:07 PM
The bulky waste is the part you keep forgetting about .You must have a place to dispose of them on a weekly basis or you will find them on the side of the road or in peoples yards waiting to be picked up. Two times a year will not work.
Amy Funk February 08, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I'm more interested in getting drivers and passengers to stop throwing their trash out of their moving car windows. Why do people think it's OK to throw their trash on the street? Chesterfield Road looks like a dump with all the thrown trash littering the ground.
markedward February 08, 2012 at 07:11 PM
McFee, what is the differnece between driving to the end of your dirve way to drop off garbage or driving to the transfer station?
Dana McFee February 08, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Hi Rich, you would still be able to use the transfer station for bulky waste. The two bulky waste pick ups would probably benefit folks who don't have a truck or a way to get it there. To Mark Im not sure of your question, most folks dont load up the car to take the trash out to the road unless you have a very long driveway, but even if you do theres still a fuel and time savings which balances any increase in cost to you.
Dana McFee February 08, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Town wide curb side trash pick up at a cost of $100 a year benefits just about everyone. While there may be a handful of residents who see no appreciable benefit from it, no reasonable individual could claim an undo hardship because of it. Its time to come out of the “dark ages” and do something for our residents!!
markedward February 08, 2012 at 10:34 PM
the town council chairman said that it was more better for her to drop her garbage at the station in stead of having it picked up. i'm asking if you agree with her. she is the head of the council so should be aware of what you are talking aoubt
Dave Bottigliere February 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Good job..Positive ideas and discussions for the good of the Town residents to make things easier and save money. That's how the system should work and it seems to have yielded a good result. Prior to a final decision a thorough audit of expected expenses, etc. might be prudent. The results could substantiate the idea and also reflect on the prices charged by the private companies. Why are they so much higher than what the Town can accomplish?
Jeff Smith February 09, 2012 at 02:25 PM
As long as the transfer station stays open for residents to bring bulky waste brush etc. This is the best run dump ever with great employees also the punch system worked well. thanks
Debbie Ingoglia February 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Thank you. I know I would benefit from cutting the cost I have to pay to have my garbage picked up.
markedward February 09, 2012 at 03:22 PM
i rememmber when they changed tipping fees from the town to the haulers for paying these fees. my bill went up because of that. mcfee what bout the total budget and costs.
Toni Johnson February 09, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The difference is you would not have to find time to get to the transfer station when they are open. Curbside Pick up is currently very expensive because there are numerous haulers in town. A contract with one through the town would reduce costs and put us in line with surrounding towns.
farm guy February 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM
It is my opinion that the cost to taxpayers is the bottom line. If town sponsored trash pick-up saves us money, then we should be taking a long hard look at this. If it's a better deal than what we have, then we should put this system in place. The ideas that some people have a long driveway or that others need the dump to make friends are no reason to continue with private trash companies. We voted for the Town Counselors because we believe in them and their ability to be fiscally responsible.
Larry Poppins February 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Name one counselor or even the newbe Mayor who has shown fiscal responsibility besides McFee. He has proposed a plan that could be workable. Mark brings a good point up about the tipping fees. My cost for having trash picked up a my house almost tripled after the haulers started paying the fees. Does anyone know if the haulers or town is paying them and will it change with this plan?
Dana McFee February 09, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Hi Larry, currently the haulers pay for the tipping fees for their customers. The tipping fees for trash collected at the transfer station are paid by the town. Hi Mark the budget would obviously increase, but so wont the revenue. What we save would be put toward the cost of town wide pick up SAVINGS 1: the $250,000.00 we pay for recyclable pick up 2; transportation costs of trucking trash and recyclables from the transfer station (I don't have a dollar figure on that yet) 3; approximately $45,000.00 in tipping fees that the town subsidizes for those who bring their trash to the transfer station. I’m sure there will be some additional savings also. The remainder of the cost will be shared by the residents which would be approximately $100 or less per year. This is a win-win plan for the town and I ask for your support!!!. Please contact your other town councilors and tell them you want this. Remember I'm but a lowly Republican swimming in a tank filled with democrats. They will listen to you more than me!!
Carol Burgess March 09, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I would love to have twice yearly bulky waste pickup, since I do not own a pick up truck. I agree we need to still be able to take bulky waste to the transfer station. If townwide collection can save money, I am in favor. I am not a fan of pay per bag. As someone else said, smelly stuff would have to go, whether the bag is full or not. I already recycle and compost as much as possible, and would be interested to learn if our town-wide recycling volume increased when we changed to a hauler who does not require items to be separated.
Walt March 09, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I"d like to hear what is happening with this. I hope it's not going to be swept away because other council members aren't interested. Please keep us informed.


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