MERIDEN — After successfully piloting a bulky waste curbside pickup program this year, the Parks and Recreation Department plans to bring the service back beginning Aug. 20.
The program, which the city will offer through Oct. 4, allows residents to schedule an appointment to have up to five bulky waste items picked up for a charge of $20, less than the $40 residents pay per carload to dispose of items at the city’s transfer station.
“It was a very popular program when we ran the (pilot),” City Manager Tim Coon said.
Prior to the pilot program, which was run January through March of this year, the city had not offered curbside bulky waste pickup since 2006, Parks and Recreation Director Chris Bourdon said. The program was discontinued because residents would leave "mountains" of items for pickup, so employees weren't able to get to all their scheduled pickups in a given day, Bourdon said.
"It just had this domino effect of backing stuff up," Bourdon said, adding this year’s test program was successful because residents followed the program’s rules, including the five-item maximum and a requirement that residents not leave their items out more than 24 hours in advance of their pickup appointment.
The program is part of a larger effort by the city to cut down on bulky waste items, such as furniture, left out by residents.
“One of the biggest complaints we get from citizens is bulky waste -- things thrown away on the side of the road -- so it’s just one of those unfortunate things that's grown to be a bigger in recent years,” Coon said.
Coon said he and staff are currently brainstorming other ideas to cut down on bulky waste, but “nothing is concrete yet.”
Bourdon said the department would “love” to offer the service year-round but is limited but how much manpower it can devote.
“We’re doing this when we can afford to give up the two employees it takes to do the program,” Bourdon said.
Bourdon urged residents to make pickup appointments sooner rather than later because spots fill up quick. Appointments can be made via the Parks Department.