PAWTUCKET – The city of Pawtucket is seeking approval to take over the Blackstone Valley Regional Transfer Station off Grotto Avenue and cease all commercial operation there as of July 1.
If and when approved by the state, only residents will be allowed to drop off waste from Monday to Saturday, and trash and recycling will be shipped directly to the Johnston landfill for disposal.
“Plans to build a new facility at the station that meets DEM standards did not proceed as planned,” said Dylan Zelazo, director of administration for the city. As of July, Zelazo said, all resident curbside trash would be picked up and taken to the Johnston landfill directly, with no more commercial haulers bringing it to the transfer station.
“The first week of July, the station will be closed, the vendor will exit, and the city will take over,” Zelazo said.
If the change is not approved, then Zelazo says there will be no operations at the transfer station.
“We have reason to believe that they will approve the resident-only plan,” he said.
Truck traffic and trucks spilling trash on local streets have been topics of intense conversation in Pawtucket over the years, and the debate turned into a furor when there were previous plans to expand the transfer station.
It will cost roughly $1 million more a year for direct hauling of waste to go to Johnston than it would to maintain the transfer station, Zelazo said, with half a million dollars being allocated this year and the other half a million being allocated in subsequent years.
Last December, Zelazo told The Breeze that moving to a system of direct hauling would be more cost effective than upgrading the transfer station to specifications.
Zelazo said the city will need “additional equipment such as a roll-off truck and roll-off containers for materials to be dropped off at the transfer station by residents and eventually transported to Johnston moving forward.”
In the meantime, the vendor, Waste Connections Inc., will have to invest in another truck to keep up with collections, given the time it takes to drive to the Johnston landfill, wait in line, dump the contents, and then drive back to Pawtucket.
The two-year contract between the city of Pawtucket and Waste Connections Inc. has expired and their month-to-month extension will end in June. An amendment to the trash hauling contract that had MTG hauling trash to the transfer station is in the negotiation process now, said Zelazo, with direct hauling being the major change.
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