After two Department of Public Works presentations and two public hearings, one last May and one recently in December, the Selectmen voted on Tuesday to adopt a "Hybrid Pay-As-You-Throw" trash collection system in which, starting next May, residents will have to discard their garbage in town-supplied wheeled trash carts, and place all overflow trash in specially marked plastic PAYT bags costing $3 each.
The price was set at $190 per year for residents requesting a 35-gal cart, about the size of a standard commonly used trash barrel. This represents a 5% reduction over the current $200 annual charge, although any saving will disappear if it becomes necessary to use as few as four of the overflow bags, or one PAYT bag every three months, over the course of a year. DPW estimates that 61.4% of residents will make this choice.
For residents who have to use two standard trash barrels on a fairly regular basis (say 20 or more times a year) it would be cost effective to request a 65-gal trash cart (the size of our standard recycle carts) instead, priced as $252, a 26% increase over the current charge. DPW estimates that 32.6% of households, about one-third of those using Town trash services, will make this choice.
And for the estimated 3.0% of residents who choose a 95-gal cart, about the equivalent of three standard trash barrels, the price was set at $312 per year, an increase of 56% above the current charge.
Those residents who claim a hardship in using any of the three above-mentioned standard cart sizes may qualify for an exemption allowing them to use plastic PAYT bags exclusively (at $3 each), or to request a smaller 18-gal cart priced at $156, the cost equivalent of using one PAYT bag per week.