Published DateTILTON — The Board of Selectmen, with the support of the Budget Committee, is asking voters to approve the introduction of a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) program to increase the volume of recyclables collected at the curb and reduce the cost of disposing of solid waste.
Four years ago the selectmen convened a Recycle Committee, charged with recommending measures to trim the solid waste budget. Marge Bonneville, who chairs the committee, recalled that in 2011 a petitioned warrant article to introduce PAYT was rescinded when the bids for curbside collection of recyclables exceeded projections and the Concord Regional Solid Waste/Resource Recovery Cooperative shelved plans to construct a single-stream recycling facility.
"This year I'm confident we can make the case," said Bonneville. "We have the support of the selectmen and the Budget Committee."
PAYT encourages recycling by requiring residents to place the trash and garbage they do not recycle in a special-marked plastic bag purchased at local retail outlets. Bonneville said that bags will be available in two sizes, a 15-gallon bag for $1 and a 30-gallon bag for $2. The trash, together will be collected at the curbside once a week. Trash not contained in a marked bag will be left at the curb.
Recyclables will be collected every other week. Bestway Disposal Services of Belmont, a division of Casella Waste Systems, Inc. of Rutland, Vermont, won the collection contract with a low bid of $87,000, which includes supplying 96-gallon recycling bins.
All proceeds from the sale of trash bags will be applied to a recycling revolving fund that will be applied to the collection contract. The warrant article seeks an appropriation of $45,000, representing half the cost of the collection contract, to prime the pump, which Bonneville said would be defrayed by proceeds from the sale of trash bags.
Bonneville said that only four-percent of solid waste is recycled in Tilton and expects the volume to rise to at least 30-percent or even to 50-percent once PAYT is underway. The committee projects PAYT to save $104,000 in property taxes.
If the warrant article succeeds, Bonneville said that the target date for beginning the PAYT program is June 1.