YARMOUTH — The Town Council this week is expected to receive a new timeline to implement a pay-to-throw trash disposal system.

At a workshop held Oct. 3, Town Manager Nat Tupper said the best-case scenario now is for the new program to go online sometime in fall 2020, assuming the town can commence construction on needed upgrades at the transfer station this coming spring.

Originally the plan was to go live on Jan. 1, 2020.

At the recent meeting, Councilor Meghan Casey questioned Tupper on whether moving to pay-to-throw, which would require residents to purchase specially marked trash bags, has to wait until planned changes at the transfer station are made.

Tupper said it would not be absolutely necessary to install new compactors at the transfer station prior to carrying out pay-to-throw, but it “is highly recommended. Otherwise it will be a big mess down there.” Tupper said in addition to the new compactors a new traffic pattern is also planned at the transfer station.

The whole goal with the upgrades and the switch to pay-to-throw, he said, “is to more quickly, safely and efficiently” allow residents to dispose of both their trash and recyclables.

Tupper said part of the reason for the delay in implementing pay-to-throw is because the town is just now receiving revised cost estimates for the transfer station project. He said the numbers came in higher than originally anticipated, partially due to design elements that were specifically requested by the council.

This past spring, the Recycling Committee said construction at the transfer station was expected to cost $770,609. The committee said upgrades are needed because the trash compactor is 30 years old, which is past its useful life, and new traffic patterns are needed to increase the safety of users and staff.

In making the case for pay-to-throw, the committee said the system is proven to increase recycling rates and lower trash disposal costs and it also rewards residents for recycling more. “The more you recycle, the less trash you generate, and the fewer trash bags you have to buy,” the committee said in a PowerPoint presentation available on the town’s website.

Tupper said at the Oct. 3 workshop that because changes to the proposed timeline for pay-to-throw will affect anticipated revenue from the sale of trash bags, the council will likely want to spend some time reviewing its options.

“We’re making a lot of assumptions and when you change the numbers and the dates” like this “it requires council review,” he said.

A vote on the matter is not expected at the council meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the American Legion Log Cabin, 196 Main St.


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