At transfer station Some disposal fees change, limit set on number of boxes for Shred Day

A new scale expected to be ready for use at the town’s transfer station in a few weeks will bring with it a new way to charge for bulky waste, demolition and metal. Instead of a flat disposal fee, there will now be fees based on weight. There is no change in the 20-cents-per-pound fee to dispose of kitchen garbage.

The new fees are among three changes approved by the Board of Selectmen at its Jan. 14 meeting. Another change institutes a fee for woodchip disposal, and the other limits the number of items that may be brought to the transfer station’s Shred Days.

Larry Kulowiec, transfer station and recycling center manager, proposed a 10-cents-per-pound fee for bulky waste items such as mattresses, couches, bathtubs, empty paint cans, sinks, and toilets. The same 10-cent-per-pound fee applies to demolition waste, such as lumber, plywood and broken cement, and metal items like washers and dryers, lawn mowers, bicycles, and wet cell batteries.

“In the past, we had a separate price for these items,” said Mr. Kulowiec. At 10 cents per pound, it will be close to these rates, he said, but will be based on weight. “The 10 cents is based on past fee history,” he said on Monday.

The projected revenue from the change in the fee structure would cover the cost of hauling the items away with a little left over for overhead costs, he said.

Some items will be less expensive to dispose of and some more, said Mr. Kulowiec. For example, a chair that had a flat $1 disposal fee might cost $1.50 under the new fee structure.

“The big difference will be on the pickup or car that comes in packed with assorted items and invariably something heavy in the bottom that you can’t see,” he said in his prepared presentation. He later added that the use of the scale will also streamline the process.

Selectman Donald Takacs asked if the fee should be higher. Mr. Kulowiec said Finance Director Steve Gniadek had suggested 12 cents per pound. But dealing with pennies would be a problem, said Mr. Kulowiec, explaining that only cash and checks are accepted at the transfer station.

“You could start at 10 cents per pound and raise the rates later, said First Selectman Natalie Ketcham.

Woodchips

In the past, said Mr. Kulowiec, woodchips were dumped at the transfer station for free and homeowners could take them for their own use. However, because of recent storms and state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection requirements, he has to keep the volume of woodchips to a minimum. In addition, homeowners have been getting their woodchips directly from tree companies, he said, so they are not being taken away.

After the storms, an emergency fee of $7.50 per yard was instituted last year to cover the cost of hauling the woodchips away, he said. He proposed that an official fee of $7.50 per yard now be charged for woodchip disposal.

“If we go five years without a storm, we could waive the fee,” said Mr. Kulowiec.

He said the fee would be considered high if a homeowner went to a mulch business where he could drop off the woodchips for free, but the transfer station offers the convenience of dropping the chips off locally.

Shred Day limit

Mr. Kulowiec also proposed limiting the number of boxes of paper to be shredded by a mobile shredder on Shred Day to five per event. He said the two annual Shred Days were established for residences, not for businesses or home offices, but some have taken advantage of the service, which is free.

“We get pickups full of boxes of paper to shred,” he said.

Because he contracts with the shredding company for a set number of hours, when those hours are reached, the mobile shredder leaves, regardless of how much is left to shred. Then, said Mr. Kulowiec, his employees have to truck the extra stuff to the company’s headquarters.

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