Selectmen talk trash disposal plans for 2021
The city has two options for disposing and recycling of residents’ rubbish over the next year: running the Route 28 transfer station or hiring a company for city-wide roadside garbage collection and recycling.
Both options are far more expensive than the current $ 40 drop-off station sticker, and even those that contract with private carriers for roadside collection will increase their costs.
It is likely that the problem will have to be resolved at a special city meeting later this fall.
Even if a solution is voted on at a city meeting, it would be difficult to get this system up and running by January 1st.
These and other points were discussed by the Board of Selectmen at its Tuesday evening meeting, which included a presentation by Mike Scipione of Weston and Sampson, a city-appointed advisor who assisted in the decision-making process.
Since the 1970s, Wareham, Marion and Carver have been able to dispose of their waste and recycling at Covanta-SEMASS’s Rochester facility free of charge. In return, the facility was able to dispose of waste and ash at the Carver landfill.
Now the landfill is full and the agreement between the cities expires at the end of December.
With cities being disposed of free of charge for decades, Wareham residents will be shocked by the cost of disposing of garbage and recycling.
“No matter what, if you’re on the side of the road now, that [cost] increases. When you go to the transfer station, it rises. It is not the city that charges you more, but the real cost, ”said city manager Derek Sullivan.
The solid waste and recycling market tends to change rapidly, but disposing of garbage costs around $ 80 per tonne and disposing of recyclables costs about $ 100 per tonne. These costs are reflected in the costs that residents pay for a transfer station, private garbage transport, or city-wide roadside pick-up.
Currently, 48 percent of city residents go to the transfer station and 52 percent hire a private freight forwarder.
Now it costs $ 40 to get a transfer station sticker. If the city chooses to operate the Route 28 transfer station, that sticker price would likely rise to around $ 295 – or even higher if fewer than the 4,600 households currently looking to purchase a sticker.
The current cost of a private carrier is about $ 36 per month or $ 432 per year. That cost would be about $ 562 per year if the carriers had to pay to dispose of waste.
Visiting a city-wide roadside garbage collection system would likely cost about $ 313 per household.
Scipione stressed that all the numbers he submitted were baseball numbers, also because there are so many unknown factors: How much would the city have to pay to purchase the transfer station? What would the market look like when the contract was signed? How many people would buy stickers?
The way the city and residents would pay the new solid waste cost is also in the air and may change after the new program begins.
Dumping the waste through taxes would require an operational override, which would have to be approved by both the city council and voters at the ballot box – a process the city was unable to complete by the end of this year. That would drive the city to pay for the program through fees that are billed to residents.
Whichever option the city chooses, it’s not unlikely that it will be some time before you get started. And the city may run out of time to secure the Route 28 transfer station.
Even if the city is able to get a contract with a garbage truck after getting permission from residents, it would take time for the trucker to get ready before starting the roadside pickup.
Barrels would need to be bought for trash and recycling, the company would likely need to source more trucks and hire more staff, and routes would need to be planned.
“If we put a curse glass out there for the town meeting, we could probably pay for the first year,” Sullivan joked.
The chosen ones agreed that they should conduct a survey to ask residents about their preferred option as soon as possible, especially given the limited number of people who could gather for a face-to-face public briefing.
The Board also discussed an informal decision deadline in late September.