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Talks continuing in week of May 7

The new contract for weekly town trash pickup and recycling, expected to be completed soon, will include limits on what residents may put out but include some flexibility about it.

Michael Rademacher, director of public works, said in an interview Monday, April 30, that he expects the contract award to be made administratively without further discussion before the selectmen. That board welcomed the pact when it was described in February and YourArlington was first to report the vendors involved. Some details were provided in a handout at Town Meeting on April 30 (see below).

The contract could have been wrapped up by May 4, but Rademacher said talks would continue into the week of May 7.

Some residents, writing on the Arlington email list this weekend, characterized the new contract, to take effect July 1 after the contractor is chosen, as a variation on Pay as You Throw (PAYT).

Rademacher said PAYT, as discussed before last June's successful override vote, would have had residents pay for trash pickup and recycling "from the get-go." The new contract does not.

Details about the contract will not be available until it is final, but vendors offering weekly services include three-container, 100-gallon limits.

The DPW director said if residents put out more than the limits, those amounts will not be picked up. Residents will be invited to put out those amounts in a subsequent week when they don't have as much, or they can ask a neighbor to help them out.

He added that residents will be able to put out one bulky item -- a couch, for example -- every week at no cost.

The contract is expected to cost the town less than previous pacts.

Rademacher said that he foresees a grace period after July 1. If residents go over the limits, those amounts will not be picked up, but a sticker will inform residents about the new program and how they can avoid a charge.

Once the contract with the new venodr is signed, the town will be informing the public about the details.

In February, Juli Brazile, a cochair of the town Recycling Committee with Gordon Jamieon, greeted the news this way: "It's not Pay as you throw. It's an Arlington solution."

Selectmen Dan Dunn said the deal could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in tip fees. No numbers were reported at the time.

Town Meeting handout

The following was in a handout at Town Meeting on April 30 from DPW Director Rademacher:

Solid Waste Collection Program Effective July 1, 2012 (starred items are new to Arlington's Solid Waste Program)

Weekly solid waste collection

* Weekly recycled materials collection

* Weekly yard waste collection, in season

* Three barrel trash limit (approx. 100 Gallons): This limit is proposed to prevent abuse of the Town's service that occurs when trash is brought in from other locations to take advantage of our current policy of no limit. Other abuses occur when apartment turnover causes
significant "clean out' trash to be left on the curb.

- Under the recommended contract, residents will be able to arrange with the Town's solid waste vendor to have overflow barrels collected for a fee (currently proposed at $10 minimum charge per five 32 gallon barrels)
- Dumpsters can also be provided by the vendor at a discount to residents.

* Mandatory recycling requirements: During the initial grace period (duration still being negotiated), property owners will be notified and educated on State and Town mandatory recycling laws and the Town's enforcement of such laws. Our recommendation is the implementation of a program that would limit trash pickup if recycling efforts were not present at a given location. This will help the Town achieve a 50% diversion rate, which is our goal.

Continued collection of Bulky Items (couches, mattresses, etc); limited to one per week.

- Additional items could be picked up for a small fee similar to the barrel overflow program identified above.

* Development of educational programs including elementary schools on the benefits of recycling, including potential field trips to the vendor's recycling facility.

* The vendor proposes to purchase new equipment for this contract outfitted with advanced engine technology able to deliver greater fuel economy and significantly reduced emissions.

Contract Cost:

The cost of this new contract is $2,150,000/year (first year). Our current contract cost is $2,155,000 (without weekly recycling collection or weekly yard waste collection).

This story was first published Monday, April 30, 2012, and updated the next day as well as May 3.

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