Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Automating the trash collection

Tomorrow night the Council will likely be voting on the future of trash hauling (not trash disposal) in Cheshire.

I've been explaining some of this issue here, here and here... and have been undecided. But am now leaning heavily here:

Automated trash collection

My main goal now is to improve the productivity of our trash collection and reduce the cost to the taxpayer. I think automated collection, with its benefits and drawbacks to the homeowner, offers the best option.

Here's an example of it:

But there's a hitch.

This Council is getting started way too late to make this transition by the end of the current contract on June 30 2009.

I wish we had acted sooner. And I'll take partial blame for not having acted sooner... but I can't take sole blame. I think others also ought to step up to the plate... but I'm guessing they won't. They'll just ignore the fact that the ball was dropped on this one bigtime. Anyway...

Allowing time for:

1) writing an RFP,
2) getting proposals written,
3) deciding on a proposal, and
4) having the proposal implemented (including truck conversion)

would almost certainly go beyond June 30. So...

Instead of extending the contract for one year as Tuesday's resolution currently reads... and since I recognize the unsavoriness of the current contract and want to bid this contract right now... I suggest we look for a three month extension of the current contract... and have town staff expeditiously issue an RFP with our eyes set on beginning a new contract for automated trash collection by September 30 2009. I'm figuring that seven and a half months is plenty of time to make this happen.

Your thoughts?

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Why not leave it to the individual taxpayer to get rid of his/her own trash as we did in the '80's??? This auotated process has a HUGE start-up cost; Trumbull did it a few years ago and the spillage on the streets from the trash falling/blowing out causes extra hours for DPW to perform little control on the streets..NOT A GOOD IDEA

Anonymous said...

I don't think the constituency would want to smell up their Lexus SUV's with something as offensive as their own trash.LOL

Seriously, we would be much more in tune with how much we dispose of if we had to haul it ourselves. I think this idea has merit. How much would it save per taxpayer?

Anonymous said...

If it were up to us to get rid of our own trash, won't we have all kinds of strange people and trucks going through the neighborhoods at all hours of the day? I wouldn't want that. Seems like trash pick up is one of those basic services that we should have.

Anonymous said...

In other towns, you can either choose a private collector, or cart your trash to the transfer station and pay per visit. Paying for trash collection through property taxes is not the only option.

Anonymous said...

My concern is if they switch to us taking our trash to the tranfer station, will we see a drop in our taxes or will they find another use for the money saved?

Anonymous said...

Point needs to be made that by trying to "automate" the process (whihc will be expensive) our taxes will wind up going up for the same service--no benefits.

Robert DeVylder JR said...

The problem with automated systems is that every house hold is limited to how much they can throw out. An elderly couple may fill 1 medium size can a week while myself, my wife, and 2 kids under 3 fill 2 and a half cans. What do I do with the extra can and a half ever week? What do you do when you have a holiday like Christmas or a birthday and you create extra waste for 1 week? Are you suppose to store it? If it is stored outdoors, it is considered blight. Blight is a no-no.
As far as strangers roaming through town at all hours of the day and night, you probably are still sleeping when they come by. Garbage trucks do not make the best get-away vehicles (slow and easy to spot) and these guys are pushed by the driver to get the job done.
Another point is automated systems take LONGER because the trucks can only work 1 side of the street at a time. These trucks cost more to purchase and require more experianced drivers. As it is now, trash is picked up from both sides of the road at 1 time so that the trucks can be off the road at a reasonable time and not creating an excess of noise infront of any 1 house for too long.
As far as a transfer station goes, does anyone remember about 4 years ago when AJ Waste tried to build a transfer station in town? TURTLES! (not our govt. but the animals) They tried to provide a what you are asking for but got shot down because turtles are in the vicinity for 2 weeks a year.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

I was able to see the Coratto Can video tonight for the first time and it looks like an interesting alternative. Except for the multiple Motor Vehicle Law violations the driver will/can be fined with, that unit could very end up sitting in your front yard until the laws get changed. From a hauler stand point, it looks good... since the driver will get the fines, points and loss of drivers license. And that is without an accident.