New trash contract has Attleboro residents over a pricey barrel | Local News
ATTLEBORO – A new garbage haulage contract got city dwellers over an expensive barrel.
The waste management contract negotiated by Mayor Paul Heroux and the health department provides for a fee of $ 29 for bulk pickup.
The previous contract provided for the free collection of one bulk item per week per household.
Many of the bulk goods are sofas or chairs or other large non-metallic items.
However, some are small in size and price, and that creates a big problem.
Small, lightweight items like a rake or garden chair cost less than $ 29 and won’t fit in the new 35-gallon garbage cans that are meant to be distributed to residents or the $ 2 bags that residents only use have an option – to “bulk” it off, forcing them to pay more to dispose of some items than to get them.
“The jump from one free item per week to $ 29 per item is too much for many of our residents, especially for cheaper items that won’t fit in a pocket,” Ann Kingman of Musket Road told the city council at a public hearing last week.
She said that child seats or rakes and carpets will cost a lot of money.
Kingman said a cheaper sticker system might be a better solution for these items.
In addition, she noted that her husband owns industrial property on West Street that has been plagued by illegal dumping and that the new fee is likely to make it worse.
“It’s going to be a problem for sure,” Kingman said.
Paul Princiotto of Alfred Street echoed Kingman, saying he had three young children and the new fee could force him to throw away a lot of money.
With three young children, he throws away many small items that won’t fit in barrels or bags, including items like changing tables and high chairs, he said.
Just one article a month would be a huge drain on his budget, Princiotto said.
“I’m very concerned because it’s a lot of money,” he said of the new fee.
Stephen Hosmer of Downing Drive agreed.
“Carrying out that $ 29 fee on everyone is the wrong approach,” he said.
He asked the waste management and the city to procure larger barrels for smaller bulk goods.
The new contract calls for the waste management company to deliver 35-gallon hinged lids to residents of the garbage program.
However, the lids must be closed for collection to take place by trucks that extend their arms to lift and unload the barrels.
When Heroux announced the new fee, he said it was aimed at preventing abuse of the system by those who live in nearby towns and get rid of their bulk goods in Attleboro for free.
At the request of Councilor Todd Kobus, Heroux sent a request to waste management to see if changes could be made to the contract.
Heroux told a Waste Management official that the $ 29 fee “caused a stir”.
“We were surprised because most people don’t bring out bulk solids every year, no matter several times a year,” he said in an email to the company.
In a response, Jim Nocella of Waste Management said the company was “open to discussions about alternatives to contractual terms for handling bulk solids”.
However, he had concerns about how the company and city would define a “bulk item” in relation to the bag proposal, and said the sticker idea would raise the same question and add administrative costs to the program.
“If residents can tie a bag to a bulk item, it becomes too subjective and creates confusion for residents and contractors who require unnecessary resources from the (health authority) to oversee the program,” he said.
The hearing has closed and the matter will be discussed by the Regulations Committee next month.
George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.