WINCHESTER - DPW Director Jay Gill and new Transfer Station Coordinator Nick Parlee (taking over for the recently retired Norm Doucette) updated the Select Board on commercial hauler rates. Gill started by reminding the board the town’s solid waste contract with Covanta expires next June.
The town currently pays $59.61 per ton of solid waste. Many communities in the area pay $78-$80 per ton. This means the town could see a $20 increase when it signs a new contract soon. Gill said the town is working on an RFP.
In total, it costs $1.5M to run the Transfer Station.
Gill noted how commercial haulers bring in 40 percent of the town’s solid waste and it pays $105/ton. He said they would look at all increases and hoped to get a new contract soon.
If the town does increase fees, it won’t be to necessarily match what other communities charge, Select Board Chair Mariano Goluboff stated. Instead, it would be to cover the costs of running the Transfer Station.
While the town has been using Covanta, Select Board member Susan Verdicchio wondered if the amount of tonnage has changed. Gill answered the percentage of commercial haulers has increase slightly.
Select Board member Michael Bettencourt, on call, said all options should be on the table. He also suggested the board think about changing to at home trash pick-up and keeping the Transfer Station open only a day or two. Most communities in the area use curbside pickup.
When discussion moved to recycling, Parlee, who came to Winchester from Chelmsford with eight years of experience, said Boston currently pays $125 per ton. Obviously, recycling has become more expensive. One reason may have to do with the switch to single-stream where all recyclable materials go into the same bin. He said that can contaminate the recycling; however, all companies now use single-stream so there isn’t much the town can do.