Tilton collecting recyclables at curbside, easing toward pay-as-you-throw

TILTON — Almost 10 tons of recyclable materials were collected during the first week of curbside pick-up, according to Marjorie Bonneville, Chairman of the town's Recycle Committee. The July start of curbside recycling will be followed by the introduction of a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) program for trash collection at a time to be determined by the Board of Selectmen.

The Board of Selectmen will host an open forum on recycling and PAYT on Thursday, August 1 at the Town Hall, beginning at 6 p.m. Pat Consentino, who chairs the board, said yesterday that the meeting will offer an opportunity for residents to ask any questions they may have about the curbside recycling program and the transition to PAYT.

"We've been working toward this for four years," Bonneville said, "and we're very pleased with the results."

Bonneville said that that the town contracted with Bestway Disposal Services to collect recyclables at the curb every other week and last month distributed recycling bins in three sizes (35, 65 and 96 gallons) to every household in town — some 1,200 in all — as the first step toward an aggressive recycling program. By distributing the bins to encourage recycling, she said that the Recycling Committee sought "to give residents a chance to see how much they can recycle and how little trash they will have before beginning PAYT."

Bonneville said that a date to begin PAYT has yet to be set. The bags have been delivered, but will not go on sale until the Board of Selectmen set a date for the PAYT program to begin. She said that there are 15 gallon bags in packages of 10 for $1 apiece and 30 gallon bags in packages of five for $1.50 apiece. The bags will be sold at half-a-dozen stores from one end of town to the other — the Winnisquam Market, Smoke 'N' Barley, Walgreen's, Brian & Lawrence True Value Hardware, The Store and Hannaford Supermarket — as well as at Town Hall.

Consentino encouraged anyone with questions about the program to attend the forum. "We want to address whatever concerns people have to make sure this goes smoothly," she said.