Questions about cost and logistics will have to be answered before some town officials and residents fully get behind a pay-as-you-throw trash service. Questions about cost and logistics will have to be answered before some town officials and residents fully get behind a pay-as-you-throw trash service.
this month, Public Works Director Tom Daley presented an initial
proposal to selectmen about how pay-as-you-throw would work and why the
town should adopt it. Daley said a system combining a yearly transfer
station fee with a per-bag cost could save the town between $135,000
and $243,000 a year and increase recycling.
Sullivan said she has received a number of emails from residents about
the subject, and she said she thinks everyone realizes that increasing
recycling is an important goal.
"For me, personally, I think we
need to do some serious work determining what our tax bill includes and
what services are provided," Sullivan said. "Should the trash system be
completely self supported? No. We pay a nice tax bill and part of those
services should be defrayed by that."
Residents currently pay
$118 for a transfer station sticker, minus a $10 early bird mail-in
discount. In his presentation to selectmen, Daley presented two
possible pay-as-you-throw scenarios, both of which would include a
sticker cost and an additional cost for bags.
In one scenario, the sticker would cost $120 and bags would be $1 to $1.50 depending upon size.
scenario would completely cover the cost of operating the transfer
station, which has a yearly budget of about $1 million, according to
Daley. The second scenario would set the stickers at $85 and the bags
once again at $1 or $1.50, depending upon the size.
said the town needs to take a hard look at how much of the transfer
station's costs should be covered by taxes already paid by residents,
and how much should be covered by the sticker and bag fees.
Selectman Chairman Andre Martecchini
said that for the first year of pay-as-you-throw, at least, there
shouldn't be such an increase in cost that it is a disincentive to use
the transfer station. Otherwise, he said, there has gotten a fairly
positive response from citizens about the possibility of changing the
"In general, it seems to be that people are acknowledging the need for it," Martecchini said.
a recent afternoon at the transfer station, the additional costs
associated with a pay-as-you-throw service was a big sticking point
with a number of residents who were perusing the wares at the Duxbury
Mall or sorting their recycling, none of whom wanted to speak on the
"I hope we don't get charged double for it, that's my
only problem with it," said one woman. "I think it's a good idea
otherwise, and I'd probably recycle a bit more."
Someone else said the town has to do something to increase recycling.
"I'm not sure what that something is," he said. "I guess I'm almost in favor of it."
woman said she was in favor of incentives to increase recycling, but
said she wasn't crazy about a plan that would include the not so
environmentally friendly requirement to purchase double-lined plastic
One woman at the recycling bins said she is totally against the pay-as-you-throw plan.
already pay enough and we do all of the work here," she said as she
emptied glass bottles from her car. "I'll be 65 and I'm not interested
in paying any more money."
She said that most people in town
already recycle, and she also said the town should be trying to reduce
plastic, and not forcing residents to purchase plastic bags.
Street resident Steven Antonellis has also stated that he is against
the pay-as-you-throw system, pointing out that residents have done an
admirable job for years disposing of trash and recycling. He stated
that a pay-as-you-throw system would only lead to private trash hauling
trucks rumbling through the neighborhoods of Duxbury.
Manager Richard MacDonald noted that Daley's presentation to selectmen
was strictly an informational presentation, and that there is still
much information to be gathered before any kind of pay-as-you-throw
system is enacted by the town.
"We will have to go before
selectmen again," he said. "Tom Daley will be at a joint meeting of the
Transfer Station and Fiscal Advisory committees to set fees, and then
he'll be before selectmen again with a solid proposal."
The purpose of a pay-as-you-throw system is to reduce trash at the transfer station and increase recycling, MacDonald said.
"There is a financial benefit to reducing trash," MacDonald said.
Hauling trash to the SEMASS incinerator in Rochester costs $99 a ton, or about $536,000 a year, according to Daley.
addition to weighing the financial aspects of a pay-as-you-throw
system, Sullivan said, the town also has to take a look at the current
recycling system at the transfer station.
"We need to really get
it down to a science and make [recycling] as easy to do as possible,"
she said. Sullivan said Daley has done a good job with recycling at the
transfer station, but that there is still some more tweaking needed to
make the recycling process a smooth one for residents.
Martecchini agreed that there needs to be an improvement in the town's recycling system at the transfer station.
"Tom Daley and the DPW staff understand that and they're working on it," he said.
Duxbury does go to a pay-as-you-throw system, it will join about 120
communities in the state that have a similar type of service.
recently went to a curbside pay-as-you-throw system, where residents
purchase trash bags, but do not necessarily have to purchase a separate
transfer station sticker. Scituate's system requires residents to
purchase a landfill sticker for $75, and then they must purchase bags
at a cost of $10 for 10 30-gallon bags or $5 for a package of 10
Kingston has a system similar to Duxbury's current system, where residents pay $130 for a transfer station sticker.
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