Two of the Hamilton selectmen who voted say that a revote on the move is not imminent.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Jennifer Scuteri and Selectman Marc Johnson, the board member heading up the town’s new trash program, both said in recent days that plans are moving ahead to roll it out by March.
The new program, that been dubbed the SMART trash program – which stands for Saving Money and Reducing Trash – involves weekly pickup of recyclable materials and organics and biweekly trash collection of one barrel of trash at no additional charge.
The program is designed to save the town money and reduce trash while increasing the amount of waste that is recycled and goes into the bins for organics, which cost less to dispose.
Johnson and Scuteri were two of the three votes to adopt the plan in a 3-2 vote last month.
Meanwhile, a Hamilton man has started an online petition that he says he hopes gives Selectmen a sense of the opposition to the new programand support to go back to one "free" barrel per week.
Mike Massimi said he began the petition because the new trash program “has bothered me since day one,” noting his options are to complain or to act.
Massimi said he is busy with work and family commitments and does not have time to attend the Board of Selectmen meetings where it has been discussed in recent weeks but with the technology available with an online petition he was able to get it started rather easily.
“Most likely we will push for a warrant article at the next Town Meeting,” Massimi said.
Town Clerk Jane Wetson said if someone wants to put an article on the Town Meeting warrant she encourages them to first go to the Board of Selectmen and ask that it be put on the warrant.
To get an article on the warrant at Annual Town Meeting – which will be in May - 10 certified signatures are required on a petition.
If the article is to go on a Special Town Meeting warrant, 100 certified signatures are required, she said.
Johnson said that the board has not discussed the possibility that it may be presented with a petition.
“It was no secret it was something someone might do,” Johnson said, noting it was discussed by some of the attendees at work session to discuss the program this fall.
Scuteri said Friday that although the so-called SMART trash program is listed as an agenda item for the board’s Monday night work session at , she does not plan to discuss it. She said a poor cell phone connection last week resulted in a miscommunication with Town Manager Michael Lombardo and it ended up on the agenda when she did not plan for the board to discuss it this week.
“We are trying to keep our working sessions to one hour, and I think the SMART program could eat this time completely and we have other things to discuss,” she said.
The fiscal 2013 budget and the board’s goal and objectives are listed as the two other topics on the agenda at Town Hall.
“If we do revote it, it would be after we work to button down all the details” and there was a surprise that pops up and was not anticipated, Johnson said. “I’d say the 3-2 position is stable right now.”
On Sunday, the petition had 27 signatures.
Massimi said he would rather see a trash program such as the one that will be implemented in Wenham, where there is weekly collection of trash, recycling and organic materials.
“There is a reason that this is first in the state because it is not realistic,” he said. “I think we are trying to go too fast, too soon.”
Massimi said he has also lived in Georgetown and Marblehead and there were drop-off locations available to residents. With biweekly trash, he is worried about trash accumulating in his house for two weeks.
“In this town you are held hostage to the pickup date,” he said.
Massimi said although he “recycles every piece of metal, glass and plastic” and composts on his property, he still expects to put out more than one barrel of trash every two weeks, costing his money to buy additional bags, he said.
Johnson said that he has heard “the community is still unsettled” and that “a good number of people” have expressed their unhappiness with the new program.
He said the board’s vote may have happened “faster than the community’s awareness” and town officials will now work to make sure residents understand the details of the program and educate them about the changes.