New trash pickup system will be in place by October

New trash pickup system will be in place by October

By GERRY GOLDSTEIN

Valley Breeze & Observer Correspondent

gerryg76@verizon.net

SMITHFIELD - Municipal officials have set Oct. 1 as the startup date for a new system of curbside garbage and recyclables pickup that features town-issued containers to be lifted and emptied automatically into trucks equipped with mechanical arms.

A Town Council subcommittee planning the change said at its June 12 meeting that the final pickup under the current system will be made during the last week of September.

That same week, two containers designed for the system - one for garbage and the other for recyclables - will be delivered free to each household.

Most of the wheeled containers have a capacity of 65 gallons, although the elderly and the town's 22 condominium associations - the latter because storage space in condos is limited -are being offered an option for 35-gallon containers.

The larger receptacles have a content capacity of 227 pounds.

Only the town-issued barrels can be used under the new system, since they are specifically manufactured to work with the automated lift arms.

The new system is part of a seven-year, $6.7-million collection contract with the current vendor, MTG Disposal of Seekonk, Mass., that the Town Council approved in April.

The existing MTG contract expires June 30, but the company has agreed to continue service at the current price until the change is made, according municipal Finance Director Randy R. Rossi, vice chairman of the council subcommittee.

The new polyethylene containers, said to be water-tight and animal-proof, are expected to save the town money in the long run because they keep garbage dry, and dumping costs at the Central Landfill in Johnston are based on weight.

All garbage placed in the containers must be bagged.

According to Rossi, householders who no longer want the barrels they currently use, including the blue and green recyclables bins, can drop them off, once the change is made, at the Public Works Department, 3 Spragueville Road.

Garbage and recyclables will continue to be picked up weekly under the new system, which does not affect yard waste pickup. Yard waste will not be permitted in the automated containers.

Residents who wish to use their old trash cans for yard waste will be able to pick up large vinyl stickers marked "Yard Waste Only" at the Public Works Department and Town Hall.

Large items that are not recyclable, and appliances, will continue to be picked up by appointment.

Residents whose households generate more garbage each week than the 65-gallon container can hold will be allowed to upgrade to a 95-gallon receptacle for an as-yet unannounced one-time charge.

Residents who also need a larger recyclable container can upgrade to a 95-gallon barrel, at no charge. The changes will not be permitted for the first four to six months of the new program.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the change can be found on the town Web site, www.smithfieldri.com .