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Health Officials Plan Spring Reminder About Flies in Trash

The Hamilton Board of health plan a mailing this spring to reminder residents about the chance of maggots and flies in their trash.

Keeping trash for up to two weeks could cause greater occurrences of flies and maggots, according to a study done in Spokane, Wash.

And based on that data, the Hamilton Board of Health decided Wednesday it plans to launch a public education campaign this spring to alert residents of the possibility of flies and maggots in the trash and offer tips to avoid it.

"They did find a greater incidence of flies," said Board of Health Chairman Lindle Willnow said about the study from out west.

The topic of the health concern of trash collection every other week had been on the board's agenda last fall but had been tabled as the board and Health Department grappled with mosquitoes infected with Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile Virus and the associated spraying and outdoor evening activity ban. Willnow said he has already discussed the issue with Town Manager Michael Lombardo and Selectman Jennifer Scuteri.

Last April, the town implemented a new trash pickup plan that includes recycling and organics collection each week but solid waste pickup every other week. The changes were designed to increase recycling and organics and reduce trash - and the cost to the town. Data from the town through the end of December shows that based on current trends Hamilton is on track to reduce trash by 38 percent and increase recycling by almost 40 percent in the first year of the program.

The message to residents from the Board of Health will be: "Maggots is a potential issue with your trash and there are steps you can take to address it," Willnow said.

The board wants to remind residents that they can spray their trash with bug killer and to make sure stored trash bags and sealed before pickup.

"Certainly it is only a problem when the weather is 80 degrees," Willnow said.

The board also said it wants residents to remember that solid waste trash pickup is available every week, but on the "off" week it needs to be in a blue bag at the cost of $1.75 each.

The board said it plans to piggyback on an existing town mailing, such as water bill or tax bills, to reduce the cost to just paper and copying to get out the word.

The mailing would also include tips on how to avoid animals getting into the trash.

richar January 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Given all this, perhaps the easiest way to fight maggots would be to have regular trash pickup every week, not every other week. Given the number of "paid for" blue bags I see, it would seem to be needed. If other towns can do it, Hamilton can. Be good Richard Boroff
richar January 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Given the above, the simplest and best way to solve the problem would be to have a regular trash pickup every week. From the number of blue bags I see that would be appropriate. If other towns can do it, so can Hamilton. Be good Richard Boroff
Juls January 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM
How about just picking up our trash every week to avoid the health hazard? Wenham doesnt have to go through this. Horrible decision biting you in the you know what yet!? How SMART!
jcemc January 17, 2013 at 01:32 PM
I highly agree with the above suggestions to return to the weekly trash collection. A household of 4 or 5 people must have a real issue with the every other week collection service. We only have 2 people in our household and every other week is an issue. I hope the selectman will reconsider the current policy.
Nancy January 17, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Ditto from me. Maggots and flies? Really? The solution seems so obvious: Trash pick-up every week.
Janine January 17, 2013 at 02:03 PM
We really need to go back to trash pick up every week......it isn't like we don't pay enough taxes to have them pick it up...I got maggots last year, so at that point I discontinued the composting you requested....and now pay for blue bags to use weekly.....very bad decision!!
Nancy January 17, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I so agree with all of the above. Trash every week!!!! It seems to be an easy answer if you are going to mail out a flier about maggots, etc. I work full time and don't have time to wash out, spray, or anything else. If things are in bags within the trash, doesn't that create more trash that won't go away?? Let us go back to normalcy and have trash EVERY WEEK!!
Lori January 17, 2013 at 02:32 PM
I agree weekly trash pick up in Hamilton is needed. They do it in Wenham!
Nancy Stevens January 17, 2013 at 06:00 PM
I noticed the above comments and everyone is saying the trash pick-up should be weekly. Wanted to clarify, It is weekly! Nancy, Hamilton Board of Health
Juls January 17, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Yes Nancy, weekly for those who must pay extra for blue bags plus remember to purchase them. Really easy for those with small children to get out and do so. Insert sarcasm here. This is a health hazard which is clearly recognized by your department necessitating a flyer. Time to reaccess the decision. It's so clearly not working. How about a fair vote this time before the town is swarming with flies and maggots. Haven't we enough issues with disease boring insects?
Jim Smith January 18, 2013 at 08:29 AM
I can't believe health officials would even write this article, when the above comments prove the solution to be so, soooooo, obvious. Do we live in Stupidville ? Everyone in town would vote to go back to our regular trash pick up, regardless of cost. Also heavy spring pick up, to include electronics, appliances, etc.. Instead of seeing this stuff thrown to the side of the road. It's dangerous having items placed outside and just sitting there, where's the common sense ? One solution causes a multitude of problems, repeating more problems and then nothing becomes efficient or cost saving. In the end, we all will pay more. Just listen to Duval Patrick, he says that we citizens will accept higher taxes for more services and better education. True, Hamilton passes every override despite the cost to low income or elderly citizens.
Nancy January 18, 2013 at 01:04 PM
How about having a vote? We never got to vote on this - the decision was just handed down to us. Not very democratic. Is a vote possible on this issue?
richar January 18, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Maybe we should have a citizens group to lobby the selectmen and get this changed! Richard Boroff
Anne Sweeney January 20, 2013 at 06:09 AM
@Nancy, great idea !
Anne Sweeney January 20, 2013 at 06:15 AM
Young people and families living within these upscale towns, accept whatever is handed down to them, they are accustomed to this. They never lived through the challenging times our parents and grandparents lived through. They were part of the great generation that questioned and pushed back if need be. Seeing the obsequious residents of this community gives us many reasons to sell and move out of state, regardless of the consequences. This was reported on the Stossel report today.
Anne Sweeney January 21, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Blessed are those that can give without remembering, and take without forgetting. One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door. Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill , the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you ' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door. Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill , the barber again replied, 'I can not accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut. BOTH POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!
Al Phillips February 03, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Are you kidding? Learn how to recycle and there will be no problem. My trash is never full at every two weeks cause I recycle most of my trash and I have three kids. Al

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