It is the latest in trash and recycling technology and, once a contract is signed and the funding appropriated at Town Meeting, is likely coming to Mattapoisett in July of 2014.
ABC Disposal, Inc. has a new trash pick-up system that many area communities are adopting, which is saving the towns money and encouraging residents to recycle more.
“It’s a complete change in what people are experiencing now,” stated Board of Health Agent Dale Barrows. He said it will make trash pick-up and recycling much simpler.
Under the new system, a new specially-designed garbage truck uses a mechanical arm that picks up the trash bins and dumps the contents into the back of the truck.
Each residence would be given two new large plastic receptacles – one blue 65-gallon bin for trash and one black 95-gallon bin for recyclables – designed specifically to be lifted by the mechanical arm.
The wheeled bins are equipped with a hinged lid that is attached to the bin and lifts up for easy loading and unloading by the truck. Every bin will be provided with a barcode identifying that particular bin with its designated address in case of loss or theft.
Operations Manager at ABC Disposal Jerry Dugan said each community is unique and comes with its own “quirks.” So, depending on the verbiage of the contract, residents may need to call ABC Disposal to schedule a pick-up of furniture or other bulky items that do not fit into the bin. Dugan said, in some communities, the driver will occasionally manually throw bulky items onto the truck, but Dugan emphasized that those details will be specified in the Town’s own contract with ABC Disposal.
Dugan said some of the concerns from towns who are either considering the new system or have already adopted it were questions such as what if a car parks in the way, what if the bin is too heavy for me to roll to the curb, and what if there is not enough room for the bin.
“This is what I meant by every town has its own quirks,” said Dugan. Mattapoisett, he said, is a relatively rural area, which makes utilizing the system easier. For example, there are not as many cars parked along the streets and, most likely, the problem would be resolved by the driver simply exiting the truck to move the bins manually over to the truck.
“In Mattapoisett there should be very little obstacles,” said Dugan. “New Bedford has a lot of cars … but it is done all over the place much easier.”
Pickup schedule would remain the same, continuing with a biweekly recycle pickup.
The new system would save the Town $32,000 annually, according to Barrows, and he hopes the new system will encourage residents to recycle more, because recyclables would no longer have to be sorted. All glass, paper, and plastic would be thrown together into the one black bin.
“All good things,” said Dugan, adding that the brand new trucks all run on natural gas so they are cleaner and quieter than the “old school” garbage trucks.
Barrows said town counsel is still looking over the contract and, once it is signed and the funding appropriated, ABC Disposal would send each individual residence an informational letter in the mail providing specific details on the transition process.
“I’m pretty confident it’s going to happen,” said Barrow about signing a contract and Town Meeting appropriating the funding. “It’s going to be a great program.” He added, “I’m confident that everybody will vote for it. It’s gonna save the Town money.”
Barrows strongly urged residents who have any questions about the new proposed system to contact ABC Disposal, not the Board of Health office. He stressed that once the system is adopted, residents would be contacted and provided the appropriate information they would need.
By Jean Perry