Even before new program starts, some predict the trash will overflow

Even before new program starts, some predict the trash will overflow

SMITHFIELD - One man's trash may be another man's treasure, but getting rid of the stuff is still a topic of conversation here as the town prepares to change how it's done.

The latest discussion came at the Town Council's July 9 meeting, when Councilor Ronald Manni said some constituents have called with worries over how the new system, to debut Oct. 1, will work.

The town's contractor is changing to an automated pickup service in which garbage and recycling containers will be lifted at curbside and emptied into trucks equipped with mechanical arms.

Each household is to be allotted, free, two 65-gallon barrels, one for garbage and one for recyclables.

Manni said some in town are concerned because in general, each household will be limited every week to disposing of only what the wheeled barrels can hold. Any additional material must be held for pickup the following week.

Mann said many households generate extra garbage after holidays, and that delayed pickup could constitute a health hazard, especially in warm-weather months.

Town Finance Director Randy R. Rossi, vice chairman of a committee that recommended the change because it will save the town - and its taxpayers - money, said plans are in place to address the problem after the new system has been allowed to operate for several months.

He told Manni that four times a year, residents may call the Public Works office if they have an overflow of garbage, and that a temporary extra container will be delivered free for use that week, to be taken away when the pickup is made.

Also, Rossi said, residents will be able, at a cost, to trade the 65-gallon garbage container for one with a 95-gallon capacity, or to request a second 65-gallon container.

Factored into the fee, he said, will be the cost of dumping the extra garbage at the Central Landfill, where fees are charged by weight.

He said it would be unfair to ask residents who stay with a single garbage container to share the extra cost generated by those who toss out larger volumes of trash.

According to Rossi, an upgrade to 95 gallons would cost $100 and the fee for a second 65-gallon container would be $220.

Rossi said those who need an extra recycling container can get one at no charge, because the town saves money on landfill rebates as its recycling volume rises.

The fees for trade-ins or extra containers will be charged one time, only, and all the receptacles will remain property of the town.

Rossi said the elderly and those with physical limitations were given the option of ordering 35-gallon containers that are easier to maneuver, and that most condominium associations have also opted for the smaller ones because storage space in condos is limited.

In other matters, the council:

* Appointed former state Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr. to the Johnston-Smithfield Juvenile Hearing Board for a term expiring in 2017.

* Reappointed Donald Burns and Sandra Mayer to the Conservation Commission for terms expiring in 2016.

* Granted a full-privilege liquor license and a victualling license to Chipotle's Mexican Grill at the Crossing, 371 Putnam Pike.

* Approved a victualling license for Subway, 151 Douglas Pike.