In order to save money, eliminate excess waste and increase recycling, the town of North Reading is considering reducing the trash barrel limit.
Currently, residents are allowed to put out four 30-gallon barrels each week. The annual fee for that is $226. The projected tipping fee for 2013 is $71 per ton.
According to member of the Recycling Committee Ed McGrath, 4,295 homes in North Reading use the municipal trash service. 3,800 homes recycle, but 495 homes do not recycle at all.
Here is a breakdown of how many barrels per home are being put out each week:Trash barrels per home Number of homes 1 2991 2 853 3 342 4 109
Since 2009, trash generation has not changed much. Take a look at the chart attached to see how trash generation in North Reading has changed since 2006. Paper recycling has been decreasing since 2009. Last year, North Reading only recycled 821.22 tons, which is down from the 1,018.22 tons it recycled in 2009.
To reduce trash disposal costs and increase recycling, Reading implemented a barrel limit and mandatory recycling, McGrath said. If Reading residents do not put their barrels out with a recycling bin, their trash will not be picked up. This created a 15 percent reduction in trash and a 17.5 percent increase in recycling, according to McGrath.
The selectmen did not agree with the concept Reading implemented when it was presented to them at a meeting Monday.
Selectman Bob Mauceri said that he liked the idea of reducing the number of barrels and increasing recycling, but did not support Reading's program.
Selectman Mike Prisco said that he spoke with residents, especially seniors, and did not find one senior that was in favor of the reduction. He would be against the idea of reducing the barrel limit because of them.
Swampscott reduced their barrel limit last year to three barrels and reduced it again for FY13 to two barrels. The town saw a 15 percent reduction in trash and a 12 percent increase in recycling in the first year.
If the town reduced trash by 15 percent, that would avoid around $55,000 in tipping fees.
What the Recycling Committee and DPW are trying to do by reducing the barrel limit in North Reading is maintain the current level of trash or decrease it to avoid tipping fees and bulk up recycling, McGrath said.
This topic will be discussed further at a future selectmen meeting. Until then, the selectmen are looking for feedback from the public. What do you think about this? Would you support the barrel limit decrease? Please tell us in the comments section below.