Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bulky waste: a cost-effective alternative?

I consistently hear from residents who are disappointed that there is no longer a bulky waste pickup in town. And since a pickup today would likely cost in the $150,000 to $200,000 range, I offer an idea for a cost-effective alternative.

No, I'm not talking about opening the transfer station for several days per year, free-of-charge to residents. Instead...

We could have a townwide tag sale.

Sure some people have no interest in sitting in their driveway / garage for six hours on a Saturday and / or Sunday. But...

If it's town wide, it would attract large numbers of people from neighboring towns and people could simply move their stuff to the curb sometime before the townwide tag sale... then people would be coming around to collect stuff that interests them... no different than bulky waste.

My idea for Cheshire originated with Prospect. Mayor Bob Chatfield helps organize two townwide tag sales per year. I understand their most recent one included about 80 households and he provides a list of all participating households in town hall.

If someone created a map on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of a paper with dots for each participating household and / or a list of all their street addresses, I bet we could tackle a large part of the call for bulky waste... by spending $150 to $200, instead of spending 1,000 times that.

It would take some effort to organize, but I think it could work. Plus... it's a great excuse to shoot the breeze with your neighbors! Haha...

Tim White


Anonymous said...

First off, I think your idea is great one. I have not seen it done on the town scale, but I know that on the neighborhood scale it is very successful.

Sorry to ruin the happy comment with another, BUT...
Why does a town like Cheshire with a population of approx 30,000 people NOT have a pickup at least every other year? Prospect has a very different make-up with less than 10,000 residents. It is much more rural than Cheshire and perhaps a different solution is what is best for Prospect. What is better for Cheshire?

With your estimates, that makes it about $5-$6.67 per person every other year? It would seem to me that this service would be well a few bucks a year for the convenience of it. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Why not advertise a "virtual" town wide pick. It's been my experience that better than 80% of the stuff but on the curb is picked up by scavengers over the course of the week. The pickup of the remaining 20% surely wouldn't cost the town $150,000, unless our hauler is truly screwing us badly.