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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.

Bertie B February 29, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I'm wondering if someone can help me with this: I live by the town hall and this morning I woke up to find that my yard was covered in trash. Just filled with lot of old Dell monitors and junk mail addressed to someone named "Jim Christian." I have dinner guests coming over tonight and I need to dispose of this waste immediately, but I'm not sure where to bring it. Thanks in advance!
Jeff Stinson February 29, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Email me your address. We will take care of it. jstinson@hamiltonma.gov
Jim Christian February 29, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Cute, Ms. Bertie. As a matter of fact, when I complained of the situation with recycling being closed down at Town Hall after the meeting, Jen S. offered me the privilege of throwing my cardboard and paper over the rock wall onto her yard when I find the yard closed. The lady has a sense of humor, and yes, I declined the offer and we had a chuckle over that point. These are nice people and they listen and look into issues of concern, but the fact remains that this process moves at an unnecessarily plodding and glacial pace, much of it determined in working sessions and closed meetings. When the results come out and the policies defined, we as the citizens affected by these policies can't address said issues because they aren't part of the agenda at the next public meeting. We saw that repeatedly last year. Meanwhile, Ms. Bertie, since you aren't using a real name (or maybe I'm too new to know with whom I am communing on these pages) I wouldn't know where you are to dump my trash in your yard in any case. Not that I would. And Jen, don't look forward to my dumping in your yard, but thanks for the offer. I will operate within the guidelines, but I reserve the privilege to attempt to alter the discourse in advance of final policy. I hear the clamor with neighbors and friends and no one is happy with the new status quo. Opening the property yard to recycling during the week would go a long way toward restoring some goodwill in the mainstream circles I hear from.
Jim Christian February 29, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I suspect Bertie was just funnin' us, Jeff. At the same time, reports are that there is more dumping on the roadside. Closing off the recycling at the Hall may be a contributing factor.
john February 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
They will be quick to tell you that the people that are against the new trash policy are in the minority. I would tend to disagree based on who I speak with and the fact that many people won't find out until they get their new barrel and instructions on how to properly dispose of their garbage. I to was upset about the closing of the town hall. I used it very often.
Tim Kristian February 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Are you sure it wasn't "Tim Kristian"? And if so, I'm going to need my Dells back.
john February 29, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I am not sure if it contributed to the closing but I heard people were coming in and stealing hard drives from some of the computers to get personal info.
Jim Christian February 29, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I knew that Tim Kristian was a suspicious character :). Thanks all. I need to get my slush-thrower out for this evening's meteorological festivities. I've had my say on the matter. Thanks to Jeff and Jen S.
Gym Nasium February 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Does anyone know where I can dispose of old sporting equipment?
Jacque Strap February 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I will gladly take any "used" sporting equipment.
Jim Christian February 29, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I want your old golf clubs, Gym Nasium. Or is that Ad Nauseum? Kidding. Really. Honest. I promise!
Allison Jenkins March 01, 2012 at 01:34 PM
The Town made an average of $25 per month for the cardboard and less than $100 annually for the paper. Unfortunately, a number of individuals were dumping hazard waste, electronics (without paying the disposal fee), and trash daily at the yard. Additionally, people were taking property that belonged to the Town from the yard. For a number of years, working residents had requested access to the yard on the weekends. The revenue from the cardboard, paper and electronics only cover the staffing costs for one Saturday per month. There are a number of local locations where you can still recycle paper 24/7. See the following link http://www.paperretriever.com/form/search_us.asp?ID=267
New Hamilton Resident March 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Just moved to town, three kids under 3. This decision seems to take little to no consideration for young families. Really disappointing given we moved to Hamilton for the community, family environment, education etc
Michelle Bailey March 03, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Q: Who thinks it's a good idea to put a plastic bag of trash at the curb for wild animals, neighborhood dogs, or crows to pick at all day (and over-night)? A: The Town of Hamilton. - on the off weeks, you can place your "extra" blue trash bag at the curb for pick-up, but it CAN NOT be inside a barrel. "On bag only weeks, please do not place your trash inside trash containers, carts or barrels. If it is within a container it will NOT be picked up" from http://hamiltonma.gov/Pages/HamiltonA_PublicWorks/TrashInfo/SolidwasteFlyer
john March 03, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Is there a reason for not being able to use a bin for the paid bags?
john March 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Why is the Town changing our trash programs? The Town is implementing changes to offset the increasing costs of trash disposal. The program allows each household to control their volume of trash disposal and the associated costs with excess disposal. The program encourages recycling and composting which benefits everyone and the environment. What a joke.
Steph March 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM
That's been one of my biggest complaints! I have holes in the lid of my locking trash can that some big dog tried to pry open...unsuccessfully, thank goodness! When I brought it up, I was told, "But if you don't have organics in there, they won't want to tear the bag open.". But there are other things that attract animals that have to be thrown away and cannot go into the organic waste bin.
john March 03, 2012 at 09:26 PM
These people obviously aren't the brightest.
john March 03, 2012 at 09:28 PM
If you look at the single stream recycle list on the town website there is a whole list of things that can't go in the recycle bin. Guess I should stop eating ice cream since I don't want my trash volume to go up.
Michelle Bailey March 03, 2012 at 09:38 PM
The Organics Guide says No Pet Waste, but also says Yes to kitty litter. I thought kitty litter was pet waste. What other uses does kitty litter have that are not pet waste? http://www.hamiltonma.gov/Pages/HamiltonMA_PublicWorks/OrganicsGuide
Ron Powell March 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I am both surprised and pleased (for the sake of residents) that Brick Ends Farm will receive plastic-coated paper products such as the kinds often used for cookouts. I am, however, concerned about the environmental hazard that micro plastics in compost might present. There is a growing concern among environmental scientists that these micro plastics present a health hazard as they become integrated into land and aquatic ecosystems. My suggestion would be for Brick Ends Farm to compost these plastic-coated products in a separate area of the farm, and not include this composted soil with the organic soil it provides to residents -- at least until the science gets sorted out.
Hamilton Resident March 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Uses for Kitty Litter http://www.wisebread.com/really-great-uses-for-kitty-litter BTW - Dogs should not pose a problem ripping open trash in Hamilton - There is a leash law Why would critters have any interest in the blue bags? They won't contain food.
john March 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I am sure if you spent enough time you could dispose of everything. But really, who has the time? If you choose not to compost you will have food in the blue bags. Have you ever bought meat from a store. Guess what, it is packaged in styrofoam. It can't be recycled and will smell like meat from all the juices. I am sure the animals will love it.
Ron Powell March 04, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Yes, it is unrealistic to expect that there will be no food in the blue bags. I was also thinking that all fast food containers would be verboten, since they all are plastic-coated. But Brick Ends Farm is apparently receiving them, which is both welcome and disturbing news at the same time. I still say that a site that mixes organic material with non-composting material is a landfill by any other name.
Michelle Bailey March 04, 2012 at 06:53 PM
How to keep crows out of trash from the Humane Society...Use lids on trash. "Crows visit trash by day; trash that is scattered overnight is the work of others—dogs or, perhaps, raccoons—but may be unjustly blamed on the crows who the homeowner sees in the morning eating the leftovers after the real culprits are gone. No matter who gets in the trash, simply putting lids on is enough to keep out crows."
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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