At their March 17th meeting, the Granby Select Board unanimously voted to support a plan to offer curbside trash and recycling collection for every household in town. The decision comes after months of analysis by the Board and the Town Administrator, Chris Martin.
“The landfill closure forces our town to change the way we handle and fund our solid waste program,” said Martin. For many years, the Town of Granby has enjoyed free disposal for all of the trash generated in Granby because of a host benefit contractual arrangement with Waste Management. That agreement changed in January 2011 in preparation of the landfill closure. In addition, Waste Management will be closing the transfer station on May 31st. Because the landfill is gone, so is the Town’s source of income to fund our solid waste programs. We needed to offer something to replace the transfer station. This single hauler modified PAYT curbside collection program is less expensive that any other option reviewed.
The Select Board, with assistance from MassDEP’s western MA Municipal Assistance Coordinator, Arlene Miller, reviewed several options for cost effective, convenient, and environmentally-responsible waste disposal. Costs ranged from $300-400 per year per household to $146 per year per household. “After reviewing all of the options, it became very clear that the single hauler curbside option was the most beneficial program for the entire town,” said Select Board member Mary McDowell.
The new curbside program would allow the Town to hire one hauler to collect trash weekly and single-stream recycling every other week. A 35 gallon barrel of trash, which holds about 3 full bags of trash and weighs no more than 40 lbs., will be collected weekly. Additional waste can be disposed of in specially marked Town of Granby pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) blue bags. Most residents will be able to fit all of their trash into a 35-gallonbag or barrel each week. The 35 gallon barrels are part of Granby’s Waste Reduction Program intended to encourage recycling; the Town initiated that program last year with the use of PAYT blue bags.
Residents can dispose of recyclables every other week. Single-stream recycling means that recyclables can all be mixed together. Free blue bins and “recycling” decals will be available at Town Hall to help with your recycling. Residents may use any barrel or container for recycling so log as it is clearly marked “recycling” and does not weigh more than 40 pounds.
The Select Board is proposing that the town approve an over-ride in the amount of $363,041 ($.63/1000 valuation or $146 per year for the average family), which will allow the town to raise the money from taxes to fund this program. Board Chairman, Lou Barry said that “he was not in favor of asking the residents for an over-ride at first, but after reviewing all the options he agrees that this proposal is the most financially desirable waste collection and disposal option available.
An over-ride requires two successful majority votes: one at town meeting and the second at a general election. The Select Board has scheduled a special town meeting for April 7th and the general election date has been set for May 19th. Curbside collection could begin as soon as June 1st if the over-ride is successful.
To find out more about the proposed curbside collection program, attend a public information meeting on this issue on April 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Granby Senior Center. Information is also available on the Select Board Blog at http://granbyselectboard.wordpress.com or the town’s web site at www.granby-ma.gov.