Town trash program prices to stay the same next year

Nov 23, 2021

Residents participating in the town’s curbside trash pickup program can expect to pay the same amount next year that they paid this year, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan reported during a Nov. 23 Select Board meeting. 

Sullivan presented an overview of the trash program’s first year, including the overall cost and revenue of the various parts of the program. 

The Rte. 28 Transfer Station is operating with a roughly $27,000 budget surplus currently, Sullivan said. The curbside pick-up program’s revenue also outweighs current expenses, he said. 

For curbside pick-up, Sullivan explained that he expects a slight increase in the cost per ton of waste disposal and in the cost to have ABC Disposal, Inc. provide curbside trash service in 2022. However, he said he did not anticipate that the increase would be significant enough to require a price increase for town trash services. 

“This is right in line,” Sullivan said. “If we bring it together — the curbside surplus, the transfer station, and then you (take into consideration) the hazardous waste (day) and the brush pile, we’re in a really good position.”

After saying the program appears to be in good enough shape to “weather some fluctuations,” Sullivan recommended maintaining the same prices as the program enters its second year. 

Sullivan also recommended the town continue to operate the town’s brush pile and to offer an annual hazardous waste day.

The Select Board voted unanimously to keep prices the same in 2022. (The vote was 4-0-0. Select Board member Patrick Tropeano had stepped away from the meeting when the vote was taken.)

Select Board member Peter Teitelbaum thanked Sullivan and Patty Neal, assistant to the Town Administrator, for their work to establish and facilitate the program — even in spite of its initial rocky reception. Sullivan praised the efforts of those at Municipal Maintenance and the Treasurer/Collector’s office. 

“This was all extra duties heaped onto them,” Sullivan said, noting that the town didn’t add administrative staff as it brought the trash program online. “They’ve been pretty amazing.”

Trash service costs, discounts 

Next year, the town’s curbside trash pick-up will cost $365 for the whole year, according to Wareham Week’s reporting last year. The cost will be split into two billing cycles.

Low-income seniors can reduce their curbside fee from $365 to $245 or a transfer station sticker from $125 to $62.50. 

To qualify, applicants must show proof of fixed income that doesn’t exceed $33,320 for an individual or $38,080 for a couple. Proof could be a copy of an applicant’s most recent tax returns, a Massachusetts Schedule CB Circuit Breaker Tax Credit form or qualification for Clause 41C Elderly Persons.

An opt-out program also exists for those who can dispose of waste at their personal business or their job. The application for the opt-out requires people to provide an explanation of where they plan to dispose of their trash.

In February, the Select Board also established a seasonal resident discount, which reduces the price of the town’s trash services for residents who use the transfer station less frequently and only participate in curbside pickup for six months of the year. For seasonal residents, curbside pick-up costs $245 and transfer station stickers cost $62.50. (This is the same discount offered to Wareham’s low-income seniors.)

Paying for curbside trash service also entitles residents to one transfer station sticker. 

Those who choose to opt-out of curbside service, but who still wish to dispose of their trash at the Rte. 28 Transfer Station can do so by purchasing a transfer station sticker. 

Transfer station stickers cost $125 for the first vehicle and $60 for additional vehicles. Carver residents may purchase stickers as well — $140 for the first vehicle and $60 for additional vehicles.

The transfer station’s operation is paid for by the cost of the transfer station stickers.

The transfer station operates on a pay-as-you-throw system. The cost of special town trash bags, which are required for waste disposal, covers the actual cost of disposing of the trash. 

The small bags are 12 to 15 gallons — the same size as a typical kitchen garbage bag — and can hold up to 15 pounds of waste. Those bags cost $1.25 each. They are sold in rolls of 10 bags for $12.50.

Larger bags — 30 to 33 gallons, not quite as big as a contractor bag — can hold about 25 pounds of waste. Those bags are sold for $2 each, in a pack of five for $10.

As of Feb. 1, town trash bags were being sold at Shaw’s (127 Marion Rd. in Wareham, 100 North Main St. in Carver), Onset Village Market (213 Onset Ave.), Aubuchon (137 Marion Rd. in Wareham, 2 Montello St. in Carver), CVS (419 Main St. in Wareham, 2992 Cranberry Hwy in East Wareham and 100 D North Main St. in Carver) and the 7-Eleven at 3106 Cranberry Hwy in Wareham. No sales tax is charged on the bags.