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Town poised to begin single stream recycling; Convenience for residents seen as key.

Byline: Jean Laquidara Hill

HOLDEN - A new trash collection service in town is intended to make residents recycling trailblazers, according to Shauna Schiller of FCR, the resorting and recycling plant in Auburn that is owned by Casella Waste Services of Charlton.

Ms. Schiller told the Board of Selectmen last night that the town's new waste collection contract will make it the first community in the state to use the single stream recycling system to reduce trash disposal. Starting July 1, customers will be allowed to put less material in the trash container than in the recycling container provided by Casella Waste Services.

Town Manager Brian J. Bullock announced last night that he and his team had reached agreement in principle for a five-year contract with Casella Waste Services, which owns the FCR/Casella Recycling plant in Auburn. He said some contract details are still being negotiated.

Single stream recycling as the larger part of the trash pickup contract will begin July 1. Residents will have two trash receptacles: a large 96-gallon receptacle for all recyclables and a smaller, 65-gallon receptacle for trash. Both receptacles will have wheels. The non-wheeled 18-gallon bins now used for separated recyclable material will no longer be used, Mr. Bullock said last night.

Senior citizens and others who produce small amounts of refuse will continue to receive a 35-gallon trash receptacle.

In Holden, the town contracts with a solid waste collection service, which costs each

household an average of $13 a month.

Central Massachusetts Disposal currently has the trash and recyclables collection contract with the town. Under that contract, most residents use a large refuse receptacle on wheels plus recycling bins for various separated recyclable materials, such as newspaper, plastic milk jugs and cardboard that is cut into pieces no larger that 2 feet by 2 feet.

The town's contract with Central Massachusetts Disposal expires June 30.

Dennis J. Lipka, the town's growth management director, said the town has been trying to encourage more recycling for a number of reasons, including the cost of waste disposal at Wheelabrator in Millbury, which he said is increasing significantly for the upcoming fiscal year.

Reducing the waste stream will cut potential costs while improving the environment, Mr. Lipka said last night, although the waste reduction will not balance the increased disposal costs.

Mr. Lipka said David J. White, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, has been insisting that convenience is key to getting people to recycle more refuse. Replacing multiple recycling bins with a single, wheeled receptacle is intended to be more convenient for residents, Mr. Lipka said.

Mr. Bullock said the increased cost of trash disposal will still necessitate an increase in the cost to residents for trash pickup.

Mr. White said he expects some resistance to the new plan, especially from residents complaining about paying more to have less trash taken away.

Gerry Galena, district manager for Casella Waste Services, told selectmen the contract will include education programs for children. According to Mr. Galena, teaching children works because children critique their parents' recycling practices, forcing them to recycle as much as possible.

Mr. Lipka said the town will engage in an all-out campaign to alert residents to the changes, and to encourage residents to help cut disposal costs by decreasing their trash stream and increasing their recycling stream.

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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 8, 2007
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