New Recycling ‘toters’ Make Their Debut in Town

Town officials and the Department of Public Works have welcomed the arrival of brand new 65-gallons recycling barrels, which are known officially as “toters.”

“Every home that is a single-to-a-three-family dwelling has a new recycling barrel,” said Department of Public Works Director Steve Calla. “This is the first phase of the project. Eventually we’ll probably want to negotiate doing the same kind of system with the trash, but right now it’s focused on recycling.”

Calla added that the blue barrels (with yellow covers) replace the old 12-gallon bins that were previously used by residents for recycling. Residents can keep the old bins and use them to transport recyclable items to the new, larger barrels.

As part of Capitol Waste Services’s seven-year contract extension with the town negotiated by Town Manager James McKenna, residents were given free of charge the 65-gallon barrels for recycling. The town also received a new $140,000 trash truck as part of the contract.

Calla said residents can put out the recycling barrels for collection each week on their regular trash pick-up day.

“Residents can put the barrels out as needed – you can put them out weekly and they’ll pick them up weekly but if you fill the recycling barrels every two weeks, they’ll pick them up every two weeks. It is up to the residents to make that decision.”

The reaction to the new recycling barrels has been extremely positive. Capitol Waste co-founder Mike Merullo’s presentation was well received by the Town Council at its Jan. 23 meeting.

“People are pleased that we’re doing more for recycling, but also it just gives a better appearance throughout the town,” said McKenna. “You can drive down the streets and there is uniformity in the look of the streets. We’re getting more consistency in terms of how we’re handling a waste stream and that’s going to help the recycling process.”

McKenna said in the long run the town gets a better value on its contract while Capitol Waste Service is encouraging more recycling with the larger barrels.

“Studies show that the larger barrels promote more recycling,” said McKenna. “If you have a bigger bin, you’re probably going to have more recycling happening in your household. That’s the philosophy here.”

Town Council President Peter Gill praised the town’s recycling program and the new 65-gallon toters.

“It’s a good program – it’s being done in several communities throughout the state,” said Gill.

Gill said the town is discouraging residents from imprinting their names on the exterior of the barrels. “If people want to put their names on the barrels, it is suggested that they put them on the inside of the covers.”

Gill said the next Council meeting will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m.  He indicated that there will be presentation about the proposed additional trucking for the food waste program at Deer Island.

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