Town Manager David Ragucci spoke before the Board of Selectmen about garbage. “You all know that your current trash fee is $225 per house hold,” Ragguci said. “The Town of Stoneham is not recycling very well and part of the cost on that $225 is the disposal fee. The less you recycle, the more it costs.”
In 2015, the contract with Convanta will reach its course and the Board believes that the necessary change is to increase a town-wide recycling initiative. Stoneham has one of the lowest rates for garbage burning in the state.
Ragucci said that one of the more efficient ways nearby communities have reduced their trash bills is to limit the amount of trash people can throw away. Ragucci said that recycling also does not cost the community anything.
“We’re presently working with seven to eight thousand tons, which are all headed to the Convanta incinerator,” Ragucci said. “That’s about four to five hundred thousand dollars per year.” A 48-gallon barrel would save about .8 tons of trash, or 5,600 tons of trash for the 7,000 residential customers.
“We have to do it now. We have to break the habit of having people throw everything out without a giving a second thought to what it will cost you as a community,” Ragucci said. One step will be to have recycling collected once a week with the regular garbage collection, with a single stream system, meaning residents won’t have to sort their recyclables.
Many members of the crowd voiced concerns about the limits on the size of the recycling barrels, the number of barrels per home and trash fees among other concerns. The Board ultimately voted to review the plan and will reopen the proposal at the October 8 meeting.
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