January 18, 2012NORTHFIELD — A second public hearing for recycling and trash options in Northfield will be held next Tuesday at the Northfield Town Hall, and selectmen hope that many residents will be present to not only hear about the choices available to voters, but to also hear new information through the facts and figures selectmen will present at this final hearing.
"There are three possibilities the board has come up with," said Town Administrator Glenn Smith. "We can leave things as they are now (with curbside trash collection and voluntary recycling at the transfer station), change to Pay As You Throw for trash pick up and recycle items at the transfer station, or change to Pay As You Throw with curbside recycling."
Next week, those options will be explained in full by selectmen, who took feedback from residents at an earlier hearing in October and fine-tuned the proposals, he said.
At the first hearing, some residents voiced concerns about the cost of trash bags for the PAYT program.
"The more you recycle, the more you'll save in purchasing bags because you won't have as much to throw away," Selectman Lisa Swancott explained at that time.
Residents who recycle as much as possible lessen their expense for bags by taking glass, plastic and cardboard to the transfer station, which eventually brings revenue to the town.
Availability of the bags was another concern, something selectmen now are prepared to address. There were also questions about the expense of curbside pick up for trash and recyclables, along with the impact of greater recycling traffic at the transfer station, which would be brought about with one of the two PAYT options.
"Selectmen have looked into what they heard from the residents at the last hearing, and are now prepared to answer them," Smith said.
With the 2011 books nearing a close, Smith said the board now has a better idea of last year's expenses and revenues from trash collection and recycling, and the hearing will include comparative numbers for all three options. They will also present a layout of proposed changes to the transfer station if voters decide to continue with recycling through the town, instead of through an outside collection agency.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 in the Northfield Town Hall. At that time, selectmen will listen to any further public comments and concerns prior to scripting their proposed article for the 2012 Town Warrant.