Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to note that the proposed program would allow one free barrel - not one free bag - every other week, the same amount that is "free" weekly right now. Additional bags could be purchased.
A final vote on a new trash collection plan is scheduled for next week by the Boards of Selectmen in both towns.
And that vote will be on a new scenario that calls for trash collection every other week combined with weekly recycling and organics collection.
The weekly recyclable collection, under the plan, would be single-stream, meaning that all recyclable material would be collected in a single container and would not need to be sorted. It would also go in a 96-gallon cart that would be provided by the town government. Organics collection would also be conducted weekly in an “appropriate size, tamper proof cart and countertop bin” provided by the town.
The trash collection would also be from a town-provided container. It would be limited to one barrel every other week and additional bags will be at a “nominal cost,” according to the latest plan under consideration. An exact cost of the extra bag has not been specified.
The full details of the latest plan - including a breakdown of existing costs versus costs under the proposed plan - were outlined in a memo from Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo to the Hamilton Board of Selectmen last Wednesday. It is attached to this story as a PDF.
The latest plan came out of a “work session” run by Hamilton Selectman Marc Johnson last month, where he ran through several models for trash collection in both towns using Microsoft Excel. Johnson used various assumptions and took ideas on the plan that resulted in the latest iteration.
Previously, that would have charged a per bag fee for all trash collection.
Lombardo said on Friday that the Hamilton Board of Selectmen will be discussing and commenting on the plan . Wenham Selectmen also have it on the . Both boards meet at 7 p.m. at their respective Town Halls.
Lombardo said on Friday he will ask for a final vote by the Hamilton Board of Selectmen when it is scheduled to meet jointly with the Wenham Board of Selectmen next Tuesday.
“On Tuesday, October 11, a Joint Selectmen Meeting has been scheduled where I am asking for an affirmative vote by both boards to bring this program to fruition,” Lombardo wrote in his memo.
The latest plan is estimated to save the two towns, combined, anywhere between $170,00 and $229,000 per year.
The exact split of collection costs will be determined by Hiltz Disposal, the private hauler that is used by both towns. The “tipping fee” – the cost to dispose trash at the incinerator – will be determined by the actual amount of trash thrown out by each town.
The savings come mostly from reduced tipping fees because the program makes recycling and organics collection easier for households combined with limiting trash pickup to one “free” barrel every other week. Both components are expected to increase recycling rates, which are about 30 percent in both towns.
The existing “waste reduction program” provides one “free barrel” per week.