DPW Director John Sanchez and DPW Business Manager Rachel Leonardo were before the Select Board regarding the town’s trash and recycling contract with Republic Services, which is set to expire in June 2023. Burlington’s trash and recycling contract is about $1.5 million annually.
Sanchez noted that trash collection in general has become precarious for municipalities and contractors. The trash and recycling industry is facing a severe lack of resources, including the pervading lack of drivers and supply chain issues, leading to high costs.
“We’re not in a good place when it comes to the collection of trash right now,” stated Sanchez.
Fortunately Burlington has been on an automated collection system since 2009 which means less workers are needed, however issues still prevail.
The DPW has been meeting with different contractors and determined four options. The first is to eliminate curbside collection of household yard waste. This would save the town about $250,000 annually in not needing seasonal help, which is difficult to come by as it is. There’s also the possibility of going to a biweekly recycling collection which would save around $200,000. Multi-day collection is an option as well as a yearly household charge of $100 a year per household. The fee would save about $700,000 which means the town would not have to cut back on its current services. It was noted nearby communities Reading and Stoneham already have a household fee system in place.
Leonardo informed the board they should have some quotes from contactors by mid-October.
The Select Board will be holding a public hearing regarding Burlington’s trash collection to solicit feedback from the public on September 26th.