Seasonal residents should request trash barrels upon return to town

Apr 6, 2021

Trash barrels haven’t been delivered to Wareham’s seasonal residents who have signed up for curbside trash pickup — and they won’t be coming until residents request them.

During the Board of Selectmen meeting on April 6, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan explained the rationale for not distributing seasonal residents’ barrels just yet. 

“We weren’t just going to leave those in the street and have them blowing to the wind,” he said. 

Instead, the town is sending out mailers to seasonal residents — or at least to those the town suspects are seasonal residents. The town doesn’t have a set list of seasonal residents, so Sullivan said mailers are being sent to “anybody that was paying personal property tax” whose bills were being sent out of town. It’s not a perfect system, Sullivan said, which is how some people have been missed. 

The mailers ask seasonal residents to contact the town when they relocate back to Wareham full time. At that point, Municipal Maintenance will distribute the trash barrels.

“Usually that’ll be done within five days,” he said.

First week of curbside pickup

The launch of the town’s new curbside trash pickup service went smoothly last week, according to Sullivan. He noted that there weren’t “too many issues” with the program so far. 

“I’m sure there were some hiccups,” he said. “But I don’t think there’s any fatal flaws.”

Sullivan praised Municipal Maintenance staff for their efforts to distribute trash barrels for any places that were missed originally. 

“They're doing a fantastic job, Dave and his crew,” he said.

Board members also took the time to address residents’ frustrations about being unable to get their questions answered. Selectman Judith Whiteside acknowledged that many residents were having trouble getting in touch with Municipal Maintenance — and also noted that when residents call ABC, they’re instructed to call Municipal Maintenance with questions.

“Please remember that you are talking with the messenger,” Whiteside said. “If you are rude to the town employees, it just makes their lives so much more difficult.” 

Selectman Alan Slavin explained that Municipal Maintenance has three people working the phones. 

“If you go there, they’re on that phone constantly,” he said. “If there’s a 15 second break between phone calls, it’s a lot.”

He noted that there were roughly 7,000 new customers, and many of them had a question — sometimes more than one question. 

“[Municipal Maintenance staff] can only answer one call at a time,” Slavin said. “They’re doing their best. They’re not ignoring you, they’re not putting you on hold indefinitely.”