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Will Pay As You Throw Replace Dump Trips?

Selectmen form ad hoc study committee.

Should Westborough switch to a pay as you throw household trash and recycling program, ending residents' trips to the dump?

Selectmen created an ad hoc pay as you throw study committee Tuesday night at Town Manager Jim Malloy's suggestion. The committee will have two members appointed by the board of selectmen, two members appointed by the board of health, and the town manager. Selectmen Chairman Leigh Emery said the board of selectmen would hold a public hearing on the committee's recommendations.

Malloy said pay as you throw could be part of Westborough's budget discussions for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2013.

Westborough does not offer curbside trash and recycling.

Rather, residents pay $120 for a sticker (and $60 for a second sticker) for access to a transfer station available through Westborough's contract with E.L. Harvey and Sons, according to the Westborough Board of Health website. Seniors pay half price for the stickers.

Malloy said pay as you throw is in Grafton, where he resides, as well as Northborough and Shrewsbury.

Grafton's net cost is about $376,000, while Westborough's cost is $647,000 for “roughly the same stream of waste, same population base," Malloy said. Grafton's cost has reduced "a little bit over the past three years," he said.

Malloy said that when comparing Westborough's tax rate to its neighboring communities, “we need to understand that some things are being done by a fee-based structure and some things are (through) the property tax.”

A fee-based program encourages recycling “very dramatically,” he said.

Grafton residents pay 75 cents per bag, which come in 10-packs, and “the recycling increased dramatically, and their solid waste decreased dramatically," Malloy said. Residents also receive a wheeled bin.

"We have relatively the same expenses, but they obviously generate a lot more revenue from the bags.," he said

"But the most important thing is how the expenses are split out. Ours go more toward solid waste because the recycling level is very low. Theirs goes more toward the cost of recycling portion of it, and the hauling contract.”

The ad hoc committee will meet with representatives from Grafton, Northborough and Shrewsbury; meet with E.L. Harvey representatives; and review estimated revenues and expenses, Malloy said.

not for malloy October 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM
seriously what else can Jim Malloy sneak in He lives in grafton how about paying westboro's tax rate
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Hi Not, Thanks for your comment. How is this "sneaking"? Mr. Malloy suggested the idea during a public meeting that was broadcast on Westborough Cable and with Patch and several other media present. And selectmen will hold a public hearing on the ad hoc committee's recommendations. That sounds like a pretty public process to me.
Stacey Blumberg October 24, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Coming from Grafton, I have done both. I think the PAYT will definitely increase recycling, but the cost to the consumer for disposal will definitely be higher. The costs for the bags above should be verified. I paid $8 for 5 large bags. The kitchen sized bags were low quality and would rip. The cost of the bags were definitely higher than the transfer sticker which I was told was $120 for 2 years. I would say we averaged $16 a month on bags and we recycled everything. A perk of the dump sticker, is I don't have to hold onto my trash for a week and recycling for 2 weeks. If Westborough went to PAYT, would residents still have access to the transfer station?
William Peaslee October 25, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Not to "Speak" for "Not for Malloy" But I think "Sneak in" was meant to be something more like the term "Dredge up" and I agree, A town manager making the weighty decisions that one does for the citizens of a town should live and pay into the community they serve. As for the Trash Idea, EVERYONE I have ever talked to in the towns that have pay to throw HATE IT. In northborough I know of neighbors that have gotten together to get a mutual dumpster so they could escape it. Its just another tax.

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