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New Trash Plan To Launch in Early April, $1 'Small Bag' to be Sold in Hamilton

The new trash collection plan in the two towns is about a month away from a complete rollout, with now a choice of either a small or large bag for sale for extra trash in Hamilton.

The new trash collection program will kick off during the first week of April, Hamilton Selectmen were told on Monday night.

The new trash and organics bins for every residence in the two towns were recently ordered. At one time, a to put the new bins to use. But to eliminate any possible last-minute snafus caused by delays in delivery and distribution, the program will roll out in April.

“It’s looking like the first week of April it will launch,” Town Manager Michael Lombardo told the Board of Selectmen.

will introduce weekly curbside organics and single-stream recycling collection for every household in Hamilton and Wenham. In Wenham, weekly trash collection of one barrel will continue while in Hamilton one barrel will be collected every other week. Extra bags, purchased for a fee, .

Along with the new bins, town officials will distribute a brochure outlining the new trash collection program, including information about what can be recycled and what can go in the trash and where the trash barrels should be placed, among other details. A smaller two-page brochure will also be mailed to each home, Lombardo said.

The board - which met on Monday night at - also approved the introduction of a small trash bag for $1 in Hamilton. Right now, any trash beyond the one allowed barrel per week has to go in a 33-gallon trash bag that costs $1.75 each. Those bags will still be available, but small 16-gallon bags will also be sold for $1.

The bags will continue to be blue in Hamilton and green in Wenham, Lombardo said after the board’s discussion. There will not be small bags sold for Wenham residents.

Initially, Lombardo recommended Selectmen set the price at $2 for the large bags and $1 for the small bags.

“It’s simple and its half the size, so half the price,” Lombardo said.

But Selectmen later opted to keep the large bag price at $1.75 and Lombardo said he was OK with that, noting a 25 cent difference is “not a strong motivator one way or the other.”

Selectman Jeff Stinson called the $1.75 and $1 pricing a “balanced approach” and Selectman Jeff Hubbard said town officials may end up discovering that they are only selling small bags.

Gretel Clark, a Hamilton resident in the town’s trash, recycling and curbside organics collection program for many years, said that towns with a pay-per-bag programs statewide charge anywhere from $1.50 to $4 per bag. A majority of them charge from $1.50 to $2.50, she said.

Lombardo said town officials do not have enough data to project the revenue from the bags and cannot accurately forecast the difference in revenue between a $1.75 and $2 bag price. While a high per-bag price could drive up revenue, it could also drive down revenue if it instead forces more people to buy $1 bag small bag instead of a large bag. Clark said a higher bag price would encourage more recycling.

The first revenue number will be available by Fall Town Meeting, Board Chairman Jennifer Scuteri said.

Ron Powell March 04, 2012 at 07:06 PM
In other words, Michelle, leaving plastic bags outside overnight is nothing to crow about. >nyuck, nyuck<
Steph March 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Styrofoam meat trays from the store. Diapers. Baby wipes. Toddler wipes that cannot be flushed in the septic tank safely. Kleenexes. Used napkins with food on them. Used feminine products. All things that will make the trash smelly, cannot be recycled, and that will attract animals. Never mind stinking up a trash can for two weeks in the summer. Bi-weekly pickup is an incredibly stupid idea.
Allison Jenkins March 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
You are correct that official blue trash bags can not be placed inside a container. This is how the blue bags are put curbside today. I contacted our trash hauler, who picks up trash curbside from a number of communities in official bags only. They have not found the bags to be placed curbside outside a container to present any problems. I would suggest that you place your official bags curbside the morning of your pick up.
Mary March 09, 2012 at 02:10 AM
It is really sad that our two towns have chosen to "waste" (pun intended) so much time and effort on a service that costs the average homeowner in Wenham only about $2.75/week (only about 1.5% of the average tax bill) - and in the end there will be little, if any savings (just a shift from the tax bill to "paid bags"). and a lot of grief and aggravation - but I guess out of an almost $9500 average tax bill - someone thought this was one of the most important things to focus on? Good call ........
Renee March 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I too have a large family with small children. I would encourage you to write the selectmen your concern. It does not need to be long or eloquent. seletmen@hamiltonma.gov

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