Swampscott Divided Over New Trash Rules
SWAMPSCOTT, MA – A Swampscott resident said in an email she was “never happier” after reading about Swampscott’s new garbage collection rules coming into effect next month. She said she lived across from an apartment complex where tenants use current city rules.
“They throw away everything but the sink sometimes,” she said in an email to Patch. “I’m glad to see some rules apply, and I hope they stick to the rules too. It’s not fair for them to get away with it just because they live there.”
The new rules reduce the amount of trash Swampscott residents can throw from one 60-gallon or two 35-gallon containers to 35 gallons each week. They also increase the price of overflow trash bags for those who exceed that amount from $ 2 to $ 3. Swampscott officials made the change after annual solid waste disposal costs rose 10.9 percent.
For the fiscal year beginning Tuesday, Swampscott predicts garbage transportation costs will increase by 26 to 46 percent, from $ 75 per tonne to $ 95 to $ 105. The city said it conducted a garbage audit and found that 45 percent of Swampscott households throw away a barrel or less of garbage a week.
Under the new rules, Swampscott residents will have unlimited roadside recycling services under the new program. The city is also expanding the weekly metal donation and a new easy recycling program. A full overview of the new program can be found on the city’s website.
“Personally, I believe the pay-as-you-throw model is more fair to the large percentage of Swampscott residents who use only one keg – many of whom are senior citizens or low-occupancy homes,” said Peter Spelios, Chairman of Selectman, in an email response to a resident who wrote to complain about the new policy. “My family uses more than a barrel and so we either have to reduce our garbage or pay for extra bags under the new directive. I wish the facts and circumstances were different, but the cost of solid waste is skyrocketing here and everywhere.”
Sylvia Perez, the resident who contacted Spelios, said she was upset that the new rules were introduced without any input from residents. She was concerned about seniors who may have trouble getting the overflow bags and when the new rules will be implemented. More and more people are working from home, which means they are generating more trash.
“It seems to me that when the budget is under such stress there should be a hiring freeze instead of reducing city services,” said Perez. “Those of us without children in the school system get very little service in the city in return for our property taxes.”