Duct tape a temporary fix as officials work on bin solution

Duct tape a temporary fix as officials work on bin solution

In this photo taken under the cover at the front of a Cumberland trash bin and texted to town officials last week, light through two holes is clearly visible through the back of the bin. Officials have promised to fix the problem. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

CUMBERLAND – Last Wednesday morning, Aug. 7, at 9:28 a.m., a day after Public Works Director Bob Anderson had stated that the holes in residents’ new trash totes aren’t leading to a maggot population explosion, The Valley Breeze texted a photo to Anderson showing light coming through two holes at the back of a bin below the handles.

Several hours later, Mayor Jeff Mutter texted back to say that there was indeed an issue leading to flies getting in and residents seeing more maggots in their bins.

“There is an opening in the trash receptacles that is allowing flies to enter,” he said at 2:57 p.m.

At 5 p.m. that day, the mayor’s Facebook page reported that a post in a local group about an opening near the hinges had caught the administration’s attention.

“We have determined that there is in fact an opening that could allow flies to enter,” the post stated. “We are working on a potential remedy for this matter, but at this time we encourage you place all trash into sealed bags and to be mindful of the heat when disposing of food products.”

Mutter said on Monday that he has set up a meeting with an executive from Rehrig Pacific Company, the California company responsible for manufacturing the bins for waste service provider MTG Disposal, but that it can’t happen until next Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13, when that executive will fly into Rhode Island.

After conferring with Steve Mutter (no relation), of MTG, there doesn’t appear to be a fabrication error with the bins, said Mutter, but the question is whether there is a design error.

“You can reach into the barrel through those holes,” he said. “It’s not like they (the bins) came out and there was a mistake made with the construction. It sure looks like they’re designed to have those holes there.”

A Breeze trip to Pawtucket last week found the exact same type of tote in that city, with the same holes, but there haven’t been the same complaints about maggots there.

The increasing number of maggots across Cumberland has been a hot topic of conversation since a new automated trash service with new 95-gallon trash totes went into effect July 1. Plenty of residents have reported plugging up the holes on their own.
Mutter was asked whether the town will be making some sort of fix, such as a seal near the top of the bin, available to residents if they want it.

“I would say that’s certainly in play,” he said. “If that is the cause then we need to do something to fix it.”

There have been plenty of people in town who have complained about the maggots, he said. While it doesn’t appear at first glance that flies can get in, a closer inspection shows the two access points.

“If that’s a problem, the cause of the problem, then we need to come up with a solution to fix the problem,” said the mayor.

Mutter suggested that residents use duct tape to cover the holes until a more permanent solution is found.

“We apologize for that inconvenience. Whatever we need to do to fix it, that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.


Have not had issues with flies or maggots as we securely wrap our garbage. Our issue is with the size and weight of the container. Even with only a few small well wrapped bags, it is awkward and heavy to roll down our very long driveway. We are well into our senior years to be required to deal with this container. The recycling container (blue) is just the right size and weight. Even full it is easy to manage.

Here's something you don't hear much ---

I love the new traffic cans! They're great.

I have to say that the holes in the lid surprised me....I have written in in the past as to my own huge trash bins where I reside, and have had for years with no bad issues; our lids are solid, heavy-duty, one piece, no holes, with solid heavy-duty roller rings built onto the huge solid ribbed handle, and connected to the lid. Built to last!
Sure hope these get recalled....for better ones. It'll be well worth it.