Recycling will switch to larger carts

Adam-Dunsby

Adam Dunsby

At its June 5 meeting, after receiving input from residents and the Solid Waste Commission, the Board of Selectmen voted to accept the bid for a recycling contract from Residential Waste Systems for weekly pick-up using 64 gallon, wheeled, recycling carts.

(Turns out “Toters” is a brand name.) The contract is for eight years. Initially, the new method will cost more than the current method, as the contract price includes the cost of the cart. Some of the details still need to be worked out, but it’ll pretty much look like this:

Each residence will be provided a recycling cart. The cart will be provided by the town and a serial number will link each cart to a specific residence. Residential Waste Systems will be responsible for delivering and maintaining the carts, which are guaranteed for 10 years by the manufacturer.

Each week, recyclables will be picked up by a truck utilizing a mechanical arm. (Search YouTube for “automated recycling” and you’ll get the idea.) The arm will not be able to pick up the old blue bins. The blue bins are yours to keep.

The truck will not arrive earlier than 6 a.m. The weekly schedule is yet to be worked out, but Residential Waste Systems will maintain the website EastonRecycles.com, and post the schedule, as well as other information, including what can be recycled. All recyclables go into the same cart — Easton has been and remains single stream. Residents will also be able to sign up for email alerts, notifying them of changes in schedule due to weather or holidays.

Among the reasons the Board of Selectmen chose to switch the method of recycling pickup are: The neater appearance of carts, the evidence that carts lead to increased recycling volumes (which is the entire point of a recycling program), less roadside spillage, and because we’re probably going to have to switch at some point anyway. (Easton is one of the few towns still using bins. The prevalence of back injuries seems to be another reason for the move to mechanical pickup.) Not many residents offered an opinion, but most of those who did were in favor of switching to carts.

The selectmen understand that some residents have long driveways, and getting the cart to the end of the driveway poses challenges. Therefore, we are making provision for the option of a smaller container. What we will be asking is that every resident use the provided cart for a period of time (probably 60 or 90 days). If after that period you are unable to make the cart work for you, you will be able to purchase a 32-gallon barrel (probably for about $30 — this is one of the details we still have to work out). This barrel should fit in the trunk of most cars, so those who have driven their recycling to the end of the driveway will again be able to do so. When other towns have offered residents the option to switch to a smaller container, the vast majority have chosen to keep the larger carts.

Our current contract expires June 30. It’ll take a while to get the new recycling carts, so we’ll probably stay with the bins until August, but the pick-up schedule may change before then.

The Board of Selectman thanks residents for their input in this process, their patience with the transition, and for helping make Easton an even greener town.

The first selectman may be reached at 203-268-6291, ext. 101, via email at adunsby@eastonct.gov or by writing to him at Easton Town Hall, 225 Center Street, Easton CT 06612.

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