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.
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."