CHESHIRE — Residents can begin cleaning out their homes this summer.
Earlier this week, the Town Council approved a bulky waste pickup for residents that will begin in mid-September.
“The Town will coordinate a contract with AJ Waste Systems with a base fee of $155,000 plus $103 per ton…,” Don Walsh, chairman of the Solid Waste Committee, explained to the rest of the council on Tuesday. “Many people in this town have been requesting this and thanks to some of the funds that we’re getting federally, we hope to use them to bring back the bulky trash pick up.”
During the last bulky waste pickup in 2019, roughly 1,400 tons was collected. While the town has a rough estimate of what the pickup will cost, the pandemic provides a level of uncertainty. Will residents have more to dispose of or less because of the unique circumstances surrounding the pandemic and stay-at-home protocols that lasted for months?
“We’re expecting this to cost anywhere from $300-$325,000 when its completed,” Walsh said. “The Solid Waste Committee will probably meet again to go through what we will... and what we won't accept (as far as items). Mr. (George) Noewatne (Public Works director) said he would make sure that before the bulky waste pick up that we do an electronics pickup and a mattress pickup as well.”
In 2019, a number of residents left standing pianos to be collected during the pickup, which proved relatively difficult to dispose of.
“We may have to look into excluding some of the larger items as well based on what happened last time,” Walsh said.
While the councilors expressed overall support for the collection service, Councilor Jim Jinks voiced his concern that the American Rescue Plan funds would be used to pay for the project.
“Is using the ARP funds really the best use of those funds?” he asked. “It seems to me like we could be using some money from the fund balance for it, rather than the ARP funds.”
”The good thing about this resolution is that we don’t have to make that decision right now,” said Council Chair Rob Oris. “We have made good financial decisions in the past and I am sure we can come to an agreement as to which funds should be used when the time comes.”
The council passed the proposal unanimously.