BRATTLEBORO—With the success of Pay-As-You-Throw exceeding the Selectboard’s expectations, the leadership has unanimously approved a reduction in trash collection.
Starting July 5, Triple T Trucking, the town’s contractor, will change from weekly trash collection to every-other-week pick up.
Weekly collection of recyclables and compost stays the same.
The move is expected to save the town approximately $96,188 in Fiscal Year 2017. Savings are also expected for the following years.
The board approved Town Manager Peter Elwell’s execution of an addendum to its contract with Triple T that also extended the company’s contract five years for a total of eight.
The addendum includes an option to alter, in 2016, where the town sends its recycling.
Right now, the town participates in the Windham Solid Waste Management District (WSWMD)’s recycling program with 19 other member towns.
Anytime during this year, however, the board can choose to have Triple T send recyclables to Casella’s single stream Materials Recovery Facility in Rutland.
Elwell said that he hoped the switch to Casella would not be necessary in light of favorable agreements with WSWMD. Still, he felt keeping the option remained in the town’s best interest.
According to a Dec. 24 memo from Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland, trash collection in town has dropped 55 percent since the implementation of Pay-As-You-Throw and the introduction of town-wide curbside compost collection.
In his memo, Moreland provides a graph showing curbside collection in Brattleboro between July and November in 2013-14 and 2015.
Triple T picked up an average of 1,030.97 tons of rubbish per month in 2013 and 2014, according to Moreland’s memo.
In contrast, the tonnage of rubbish decreased to 472.11 tons per month in 2015, wrote Moreland.
Meanwhile, in 2015, the combined tonnage of paper, cans and bottles, and compost increased by an average of 110.07 tons.
Overall, writes Moreland, the volume of the waste has dropped 30 percent.
“Locally, haulers have noted an increase in new commercial customers following Brattleboro’s implementation of Pay-As-You-Throw, and this likely accounts for much of the overall reduction in curbside volume,” writes Moreland.
But what about smelly trash that sits around for an extra week?
The board members stressed that compost collection will be picked up weekly. They expect that with more people composting, there are fewer smelly, rotting, or “putrescible materials” sitting in trash cans.
Board Chair David Gartenstein praised the people of Brattleboro for making the shift to every-other-week trash collection possible.
Residents’ changes in behavior and adapting to the Pay-As-You-Throw system marks a proud moment, he said.
“It’s a form of service cut, but we’re saving money as a result,” he said.