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Author Topic: LT - Trash Talking Continues in Town  (Read 971 times)
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« on: June 18, 2009, 12:34:16 PM »

from the Londonderry Times

Trash Talking Continues in Town
April Guilmet
Londonderry Times

Residents who may have missed their chance to talk trash during Monday night's town council meeting will have the chance to do so again on June 22.

The June 15 public hearing to address specifics of the town's new solid waste and recycling contract, which raised many questions from residents, has been continued to this coming Monday.

Earlier this month, the council held an initial reading of the amendments, which would permit residents to purchase additional trash containers. In May, the council approved the new contract, which has since been the topic of much controversy among residents. No public hearing was held or required for that vote, and the change caught most residents by surprise.

Starting July 1 of this year, Allied Waste Services will provide solid waste disposal and recycling services for Londonderry as it begins its five-year municipal contract

Originally, town officials intended to limit residents to a single, 65-gallon trash container, while recycling options would remain the same. Public Works Director Janusz Czyzowski said the new trash containers would hold up to seven large trash bags. However, many residents, particularly those with larger families, expressed concern that a single container might not be sufficient.

As a result, the council announced earlier this month that it would consider permitting residents to purchase overflow bags at $3 per bag, in addition to allowing residents to purchase a second, 65-gallon trash container at $200 for the initial year of use. In subsequent years, residents would be charged $150 annually for the use of a second container.

On Monday, residents flooded the Moose Hill Council Chambers, anxious to offer their comments and suggestions.

Council Chairman Mike Brown said town officials basically had three options: to limit resident to a single barrel while allowing them to purchase additional bags when needed; to issue a second container, at no cost, to households determined to be in need, despite their participation in the recycling program; or to allow anyone wanting extra containers "to simply pay for them."

Czyzowski suggested allowing residents to request smaller, 32-gallon containers or 96-gallon containers or additional trash containers based on their needs. However, he maintained that "based on our data, if people recycle, a second container won't be needed except under special circumstances."

According to Councilor Brian Farmer, residents pay approximately $150 annually for solid waste removal. "If we're not going to provide them with a (larger) container, I fear some residents might pay more than double their current trash expenses," Farmer said.

Councilor Sean O'Keefe noted that while certain residents might be able to get by with the smallest of containers, those with larger families will inevitably produce more trash.

"We're going to have to come up with some logical exceptions," Councilor Kathy Wagner added. "If you have a family of 12 that's recycling and doing everything right, but still not making the cut, we're going to have to do something to help them."

Town Manager David Caron said the town has yet to determine a means of evaluation for deciding which households need additional trash containers, while Farmer said he would prefer that the town do so in order to avoid penalizing larger families.

"There are those families in town where it's not really a choice and like it or not, they will fill two barrels even when they're recycling," Farmer said.

In addition, Czyzowski noted that approximately 40 residents have already indicated that they would prefer the smallest size barrel.

Resident Carole Connolly, 18 South Parish Drive, said she worried about being issued a standard-sized, 65-gallon container due to its weight and size.

"Several of our seniors have had concerns about getting it out of their driveway in the snow," Connolly said, adding she was happy to see a smaller container as an alternative.

Litchfield Road resident Jim Radzelovage, whose household totals seven people, said a single 65-gallon container wouldn't be sufficient in his home, while Gene Jastrem, Anderson Circle, said he already fills three 50-gallon containers at his house.

"I don't recycle and that's my choice. My life is busy and I don't have time for it, Jastrem said, noting that he'd be willing to pay an extra $200 for additional trash bins.  "Whom do I sign my check to and when can I pick up my extra container?" he asked the council.

Other residents raised concerns that limiting trash pickup might have unintended consequences, such as an increase in illegal dumping. Tom Brown, 69 Forrest St., said the area surrounding his home has been used as dumping grounds in the past, and he's concerned it might increase.

Brown urged the council to consider "relief for large families free of charge, or this stuff is going to end up by my house. That's where people go when they don't have Dumpsters."

Hearing the residents' concerns, Caron suggested the town sell additional trash bags for $3, offer free upgrades to a 96-gallon container for families of seven or more; and charge all other residents $65 annually for an upgrade to a 96-gallon container.

Caron suggested the town charge for additional containers of varying sizes: a 32-gallon container would cost $150 the first year and $100 for all subsequent years; a 65-gallon container would cost $200 the first year and $150 for all subsequent years; and a 96-gallon container would cost $265 the first year and $215 for all subsequent years.

The council voted unanimously to continue the public hearing next Monday, June 22, at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers.

Glenn Douglas
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