Recycling Matters: Changes coming to local trash pickups

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Bernie Sanders hangs on while Donald Trump promises to "Make America Great Again!" Some people want change and look to the future while others long for the past when life seemed simpler. Here in Brattleboro change is definitely in our future and we don't have to wait until November to find out what that future holds. We know that change is coming on July 11.

On that date, curb-side trash will no longer be picked up every week. On July 11 the town will transition to every-other-week trash collection. Yet some things will remain the same — recycling and compost will continue to be picked up every week. There are several reasons for this new schedule, but the overriding reason is that every-other-week trash collection will save taxpayers $100,000.

The new schedule will divide each day's collection route into either an "A" or "B" week. An informational packet was recently mailed to all Brattleboro residents indicating which streets would have trash picked up on "A" week and which streets would be picked up on "B" week. A calendar of A and B weeks was also included. This information is also listed on the town website (www.brattleboro.org). Click "Trash, Recycling and Compost" under the "How May We Help You" menu item on the left of the home page. Then click on "PAYT A/B Pickup Info (effective 7/11/2016)."

Storing stinky food scraps for two-week intervals may be a concern to some people, but it need not be so. Brattleboro has had a curb-side compost pickup program for three years and over 50 percent of the town's residents participate in this program. Because most of their household waste is either recycled or composted these residents rarely fill a trash bag in just one week. In fact, many of them take three weeks or more to fill a PAYT trash bag. And since the stinky food scraps are picked up every week the trash they accumulate does not smell. In a survey last fall 90 percent of curb-side compost participants indicated that every-other-week trash collection will be little or no problem in their households.

While curb-side compost participation is high, 40 percent or more of Brattleboro residents are not yet taking advantage of this program. For those the opportunity to participate still exists. On three days in May residents can pick up a green 13-gallon curb-side compost cart for $10 at the ice rink at Memorial Park. The distribution dates and times are Saturday, May 21 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Wednesday, May 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. After May 25, carts can be purchased at the Town Manger's office in the Municipal Building at 230 Main St. After July 30, the cost of the carts will no longer be subsidized by the taxpayer and residents will be charged the full price of $20/cart.

Public information and question and answer sessions will be held at the ice rink on Saturday, May 21 and 28 at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.; May 25 at the ice rink at 6 p.m.; and in the Select Board room in the Municipal Center on Wednesday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. This last information session will also be broadcast on BCTV.

Hillary's focus is on Donald while Bernie buzzes around her like a mosquito. Brattleboro residents' focus the week of July 11 will be, "Does my trash get picked up this week or next?" Here's a clue: the week of July 11 will be an "A" week. Look at your mailing or the town website to find out what your week is.

Moss Kahler is Brattleboro's Recycling Coordinator. He can be contacted at brattleborocompost@comcast.net.


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