The Tiverton Town Council approved a contract on Monday night to begin a trash metering program on May 16. Town officials state they will notify the more than 7,000 residents who use Tiverton’s trash service that they purchase and use special bags for the pay-as-you-throw program, or else their roadside rubbish will not be taken a few weeks after that date.
The council vote taken was 6-1 in favor of the contract, with Councilor Rob Coulter voting no.
Net proceeds from the program will go toward the town’s account to .
Director Stephen Berlucchi said the contract with WasteZero is for three years with a three-year option for both parties.
According to the company's website, pay-as-you-throw programs charge households a rate based on how much trash they present for collection.
Berlucchi said WasteZero agreed that all gross sales from the bags will go into a lock box under the town's name, and 13.9 percent of sales will go back to WasteZero.
“For the first three weeks, we’ll have a sticker explaining why we didn’t pick up your garbage,” he said. “After two to three times, I’m sorry."
Berlucchi added that WasteZero has agreed to provide the town with 10,000 free bags for low-income residents.
The bags will be sold at various locations around town. The 30-gallon bags will cost $2 each and the 15-gallon bags will cost $1 each. Packages of five 30-gallon bags will be sold for $10 and packages of ten 15-gallon bags will also be sold for $10.
Although he does not want to reveal the official list, Berlucchi said vendors like , Shaw’s Supermarket, Stop & Shop, , , and several other service stations and convenience stores in the area will sell the pay-as-you-throw bags. He added that vendors are not allowed to mark up bag prices.
All proceeds go back to the town.
Berlucchi and Town Administrator Jim Goncalo say the “no bin, no barrel” policy, enacted in 2009, was a crucial step to get residents to recycle more. This new program is another step, said Berlucchi, and they will be looking to implement “single stream recycling” in the next year, where all recycling materials go into one bin.
“I’m confident it will do the job,” said Berlucchi of pay-as-you-throw. “It’s the wave of the future. Public utilities are becoming so expensive, we need user-based utility.”
Coulter said the pay-as-you-throw program is “adding another burden” to already overburdened residents. “I’m very concerned,” he said. “Why aren’t we letting an FTM approve what is a $500,000-a-year tax increase?”
Resident Roger Bennis suggested rescinding the “no bin, no barrel” policy.
“It’s tied to the whole thing of ‘no bin, no barrel,’” he said about pay-as-you-throw. “It’s to get money to close the landfill from the people who are using the landfill, and to spread the cost to the people who are actually causing the cost. The other part is to increase recycling.”