Fitchburg trash-recycling program on ...
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Waltham, MA

#21 Jul 9, 2012
Fitchburg wrote:
Fitchburg trash-recycling program on track to save city money
Sentinel & Enterprisesenlandenterprise.com
Posted: 07/05/2012 06:32:21 AM EDT
By Alana Melanson
[email protected] e.com @alanamelanson on Twitter
FITCHBURG -- The city's new trash and recycling curbside collection program is projected to save the city about $200,000 per year of its contract, according to Public Health Director Stephen Curry.
Those savings are divided about equally between collection and disposal costs, he said.
Curry said the city's previous five-year collection contract with Waste Management, which was to run from July 2007 to June 30, at a cost of just under $7 million, was amended to start in April and conclude in June 2018 for a cost of just over $9 million. Of that $9 million, he said,$1.85 million represents the assembly and delivery of trash and recycling carts to about 13,500 households.
The city has also received a grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Curry said, which includes $100,000 toward the cost of the carts and $5,000 for educating residents about the new program.
The savings in the collection contract are largely due to a move from manned garbage trucks to automated ones that require only a driver and use a large arm to grasp the carts and empty them into the truck, Curry said. The $500,000 disposal contract is projected to be reduced by about $100,000 due to a decrease in municipal waste tonnage simply because residents are limited to the amounts their carts may hold, he said.
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there is a cost for trash disposal, Curry said, through the landfill disposal contract, the city enjoys free recycling disposal -- meaning an increase in recycling tonnage would have no further cost to the city.
About 13,500 trash carts and 13,500 recycling carts have been delivered to residents, he said, and there are extras of each on hand for those who may want to rent or purchase additional carts.
For those who find the 96-gallon recycling or 64-gallon trash carts too unwieldy, 35-gallon versions of each are available, Curry said.
The three goals of the program, he said, are to reduce cost, help clean the city of litter and encourage recycling, which further reduces cost.
"It's going to take some time for people to get used to the system, but we hope by fall we will see a reduction in the amount of trash that is being produced by residents," Curry said.
Currently, residents of Fitchburg produce more than 15,000 tons of trash, which is picked up at the curbside annually, he said.
"We hope to get that number down to 12,000," Curry said.
Annually, Fitchburg residents produce only about 1,200 tons of recycling, he said.
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