North Reading Trash Program May Reduce Barrel Limit

What do you think about the possible reduction?

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.

John Intorcio January 22, 2013 at 08:36 PM
You should move.
Joe Veno January 22, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Les I can see by your comments you did not understand the other posts. i NEVER said seniors did not want to recycle. I NEVER said I did not want them to take the lead in recycling. Please re-read the posts and see if you understand what not only me but others are saying about the Seniors. Also the Seniors probably have the least to recycle. If you have a problem with the Senior citizens of this town please keep it to yourself.
Joe Veno January 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Kevin, No you are wrong. Just because it worked in Reading does not mean it will work in every other town. Unlike Reading before it became mandatory North Reading residents are very good at recycling now.
Kevin January 22, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Doesnt sound it since the trend is downward. Hard to ignore tried and true numbers. And wheres your numbers proving your accusation about Reading not being good at recycling? Id like to see that, but Im sure its your opinion and not fact. We are not talking moving mountains here Joe, its recycling. Yes, it works in Reading, VERY well I might add. There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO reason it cannot work in North Reading...NONE. Theres just as many elderly residents in Reading as in North Reading, so that argument is hogwash and in all honesty, complete BS. Heres the basics and why it should be mandatory in EVERY city/town. Everybody cries about global warming and our effect on our environment. Reading didnt impliment it because they drove around and found a lack of recycling bins at the curb. They did it because they were looking at ways to reduce the amount they were paying for trash since theres no trash fee here. Now I dont know if you have a fee in N Reading but the premise of the program is the same, to reduce cost. This will save tens of thousands of dollars right off the bat and hundreds of thoudsands over time. WHY ON GODS GREEN EARTH would anyone say NO!! Im no tree hugger but come on man, think about it. You dont have to be a MENSA candidate to see how simple and minimally life changing this is and will be. I GUARANTEE you it WILL NOT backfire if implimented. And in the off chance it does, its because of narrow minded moonbats who just want to see it fail.
Kevin January 23, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Oh, and BTW, Im not at all saying that Readings program is whats right for N Reading. It could be, and in all honesty, should be, but thats up to your elected leaders to decide. There is no viable way for the trash company to know who is elderly and who is not. Multi colored bins if that works so they dont HAVE to put out a bin EVERY week like here. Dont know. But TRUST ME, in my line of work as a truck driver and what I do, I see PLENTY of elderly folks, and most have enough to put a bin out weekly. Do elderly read magazines? recyclable. Do they drink milk...bottled watter perhaps? Recyclable. Eat items out of tin cans or plastic containers? Both recyclable. Use paper towels and TP or get a package or two? All cardboard is recyclable. See where Im going with this. More and more recyclables for a reason.....so they can be recycled. I like and repect you a lot Joe. As Ive told you, met you as a kid going to school here. But I guess on this topic, Im on the other side of the fence. Oh well.
M January 23, 2013 at 12:31 AM
I live in Reading, am not a senior, and recycled for years even before it was mandatory. What you can recycle is a lot more than just a paper cup. I find we often put out MORE recycling than we do trash (though we are a family of 4). There is a lot that goes into recycling: junk mail, virtually ANY paper or cardboard in the house (think food boxes, egg cartons, newspapers-which arguably seniors more than others are the ones who buy), as well as cans, ALL plastic (including things like milk jugs, yogurt containers, etc). Look at your weekly groceries and what it is packaged in - probably everything but plastic bags and styrofoam can end up in the recycling bin. You don't even need to rinse it out. We store a wastebasket with a lid under the sink, a bag inside, and all the food containers go there - no smell, no mess. The bag goes into recycling bin, gets taken every week. My street has 2 are 3 elderly couples on it, and they seem to put out a full recycling bin every week. Try it, N. Reading, you'll find it's no big deal.
Joe Veno January 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Kevin, Just because the amount of tonage for paper has gone down it does not mean people are rectcling less. It could mean they have less to recycle. I know for a fact about half the time i go to use one of those green and yellow recycle dumpsters in town they are full. The article did not say the tonage went up on trash. I am sure if it did they would of mentoned it. You say the Senior argument is hogwash and B.S.and you have more Seniors than we do. Well you do have more Seniors than we do of course you would. Even though we have less Seniors in North Reading than you do. I care a lot more about our Seniors in North Reading than you do for the Seniors in Reading. You proved it by your comment.
Kevin January 23, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Did I say I dont care about seniors? Thanks, didnt think so. My comment is in general reference to the fact that some believe this type of program would somehow adversely effect seniors. Bottom line is, IT WONT. And there is NOTHING you can say to disprove that. Sure it wouldnt make me feel great if an elderly neighbor fell on an extra trip to the curb with a bin. But so many seniors live on their own because they still want independence. Thats great. But that also means you put out recycling if thats whats required. 95% of senior complexes I go to have recycling either in building (most cases for me) or a central location on premesis. So again, no excuses. Im willing to bet that the amount of trash in N Reading DID NOT decrease during the same time period in which recyclabled did. Im also willing to bet that due to the increased amount of recyclable materials our products are using, again in an effort to have them recycled, that a difference of nearly 200 TONS less of recyclables isnt just because residents all of a sudden didnt take as many trips to Kittys, or buy less items with some sort of recyclable material in it. Its simple Joe. Your town WANTS to reduce cost, just as Reading did. As I said, even though I disagree, maybe Readings program isnt the exact answer. But hear me now, believe me later, SOMETHING IS. As someone pointed out, its just a matter of getting into a routine. Im still interested in the numbers about Readings recycling habits you referenced.
JIM January 23, 2013 at 12:54 AM
John Intorcio, I should move ? I've lived here for over 50 years. How long have You ? You should move. Cute little motorcycle is it Your daughters ?
Joe Veno January 23, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Kevin, Yes you did. Here is what you said, "Theres just as many elderly residents in Reading as in North Reading, so that argument is hogwash and in all honesty, complete BS." I take that comment as not caring about Seniors.
Joe Veno January 23, 2013 at 01:37 AM
M, Please read what I said. I know you can recycle more than a plastic cup. I have been recycling for years and I agree with it. But I do not agree with goverment telling me I have to do it. Will i still recycle if they do. Of course I will. You missed the whole point of my post.
Philipp January 23, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Make it easier to recycle by providing stickers or large trashcans for recycling. Those little green bins are useless, because I have a lot more recyclables than regular items. My family of 4 only puts out 2 trashcans of trash plus 2+ trashcans of recyclables every 3 weeks.
Kevin January 23, 2013 at 01:59 AM
And instead of picking and choosing which sentences support your agrument, perhaps you should try a little reading comprehension. If you go back to some of the responses, they state that this would force the seniors to recycle, take extra trips on icy driveways to the curb, and that they dont have as much in recyclables as others. MY responce, as I said, was a general reference as to how MINIMALLY this will effect EVERYBODY, but in particular the argument about the seniors. I NEVER said, and I mean NEVER, that I did not care about seniors, so please STOP making things up. And as I pointed out, 95% of the senior complexes I go to have recycling READILY AVAILABLE eith IN BUILDING or on site somewhere, which makes trips to the curb down icy driveways or sidewalks a less viable issue. Couple that with the fact, AGAIN, as I said, that those seniors who choose to live on their own, which I think is fantastic if they can, that recycling WILL BE mandatory in N Reading whether they like it or not. Has nothing to do with age, ability or anything else. Its coming and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about it. And what was one of your responses? Oh thats right, "I have spoken to people who recycle now and some said if they make it mandatory they will put one plastic cup in the bin and throw the rest in the regular trash" Now while I understand you do not support that, THOSE are the folks Im talking about here. Unbelievable. BTW, still waiting on the Reading numbers. Anything? No?
John Intorcio January 23, 2013 at 02:08 AM
I have to agree that for more than a person or two, the bins are totally inadequate. I use a couple green barrels I bought at Home Depot. I painted white triangles on the sides. But I maintain that, before I had those, leaving recyclables out in just about any neat and appropriate container worked just fine.
John Intorcio January 23, 2013 at 02:10 AM
I think we've probably taken this one low enough JIM. Suffice it to say that I think if you WANT to recycle, you and your dad will find a way. If you don't want to, you'll find an excuse. Good luck!
Joe Veno January 23, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Philip, the town has large recycling stickers that you can put on any size container and use it for ecycling. Check with the DPW at the town hall.
Joe Veno January 23, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Kevin, Don't be to sure about this commnent you made. "Its coming and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about it"
M January 23, 2013 at 02:35 AM
Joe, I don't think I was exactly responding to just YOUR post, so I was not missing the point of it,, but I will respond to your post now. You say you don't like the government telling you what do do. but it is the government that is coming to pick up your trash, so they can dictate the terms. This service is paid for at least in part by your taxes, it is true, but also by the taxes of others. If the government deems that it can decrease the cost of the service it provides you (and, hence, decrease the cost to other taxpayers, as well) by changing the way it provides the service, there's not much you can do other than vote out whoever in government decided to change the way they provide the service. Mandating recycling seems to be one of those terms. I sympathize that you don't like the concept of government telling you what do do, but, within certain limits, sometimes they have to do that to provide certain kinds of municipal services. The only way to get out of having to pay for (and put up with) required recycling as pasrt of municipal waste removal services, and their associated terms, is to live somewhere that is not required by law to receive such services, like a private condo complex, or in a town that has a "town dump", where you must bring waste yourself. Or am I still missing your point?
Joe Veno January 23, 2013 at 02:45 AM
M, I do not know if you have a trah fee in Reading or not but we pay $226 a year in N.R. to have our trash picked up. This fee can not be deducted on our taxs. Do you have a trash fee in Reading? What I am saying is the system in N.R. is working fine and there is no need for goverment to change it.
M January 23, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Joe, we have no trash fee, is part of our taxes. We are limited to 3 barrels a week and mandatory recycling, one free "bulk" item a week (like couches). When I moved here 12 years ago we had a fee for bulk items, no barrel limit, and no mandatory recycling (although recycling truck did come). There had been talk of a trash fee, but instead they instituted the 3 barrel limit within the last year. Our taxes have not gone down -- they never do -- but supposedly the town has saved a lot of money under the new trash contract, which presumably has been spent on other things.
Kevin January 23, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Joe, does the towm pay a portion as well as your $226yr? If they are considering reducing the barrel limit, Id assume they pay a good portion of the total trash cost? Just looking for a clarification on that. IF the answer is yes, then Im assuming they are looking at this decrease in the barrel limit to save on cost. Where does your trash get dumped? RESCO in Saugus? I know they have been steadily raising the cost per ton they charge each truck when they dump there. Due to that, the trash companies are looking to recoup the increase (only natural as it IS a business). So that would make me assume theres one of two ways to handle this. Either the town decreases barrels to limit the increased cost impact, or the town will pass the increase (in whole or in part) on to the end consumer...YOU, by raising your yearly contribution. Thats the exact point of my statement thats its coming. You can increase recycling mby mandarotry participation, or SOMEONE in N Reading will be paying more. You choose, either more money out of your pockets or a minimally invasive recycling program. Now its probably not exactly as cut and dry as that, but in some general terms, this breakdown is probably pretty accurate.
JIM January 24, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Well said Joe I agree
Ed Canney January 24, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Been there...done that Jim.
Ed Canney January 24, 2013 at 03:19 PM
We set up recycling at the DPW yard in the '90's...worked pretty well. Trash tonnage dropped significantly. It was only when they went to curb side recycle (that we pay extra for) that the trash tonnage began to rise. In addition, in Spring many put out more barrels as part of "Spring clean up". How will that be handled?
Alex Harrison January 24, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Alex Harrison January 24, 2013 at 05:45 PM
I live in North Reading and pay whatever for trash each quarter. I guess it is what it is. Usually I put out one barrel of trash and two or 3 boxes of recyclables. What I don't think is fair is the people that put out 6-8 barrels each week. I drive by Linwood street and there is a commercial construction company there and each week I see about 8-12 barrels there. The trashmen take them every week. They are full of 2 x 4 boards and sheetrock and stuff. I don't know how a construction company (dump trucks, bobcats and all) is in a residential area to begin with but shouldn't that stuff go to a dump?! I'd be a fan of pay per barrel!
Ed Canney January 24, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Alex the issue you describe is unacceptable. There is a policy not to pick up "construction materials". My advice is to call the DPW...tell them what you have observed. Seems, perhaps, the contractor may be "tipping" the trash workers to avoid the cost of a dumpster. Happens all the time. Periodically the town has to follow the trash trucks (done in other communities) to police them. We pay them big bucks to pick up trash & recycling materials. But w/all contracts, you have to monitor their performance. Little is done in that regard. Gotta tell ya...this Board of Selectman pays very little attention to services we receive. That's why they are so quick to try to limit every one as to barrels & recycling, but not track down the scofflaws.
JIM January 24, 2013 at 10:25 PM
@ Tom Jeffords I do when I can but sometimes I can't. But that wasn't My point.
Joe Veno January 25, 2013 at 01:19 AM
Alex, I think I live right near the house you are talking about. I do know they have two homes on that property and they pay two trash fees one for each home. I have seen 6 or 7 barrells out there but never the 8 to 12 you speak of. I also very rearly see any construction material in their trash.
Joe Veno January 25, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Ed, Read my response to Alek.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something