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.