Mayor Launches Pilot Trash Toter Program

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini yesterday launched his controversial pilot system for trash toters.

The mayor said the city is distributing about 50 toters to families. He said volunteer slots are full except for inner city residents and senior citizens.

“If we get a favorable reaction we will try an expanded pilot. Yes, we have senior citizens on the list, looking for more. We have large families and we have people in the inner city we need more,” Fiorentini said.

The administration has been negotiating a new, seven-year contract with Capital Waste to use toters to save $300,000 to $400,000 per year in disposal costs, or between $2.1 and $2.8 million dollars over the lifetime of the contract.

According to Fiorentini, the trash company would provide every homeowner in the city, free of charge, with a brand new 64-gallon trash container on wheels. Residents would also have the option of a lighter 35-gallon container, and the city is also working on a hardship exemption. Current pick-up crews would not be laid off, but re-assigned elsewhere by the trash company. However standard pick-up service would remain on streets too narrow for new trucks with side-mounted mechanical arms.

The mayor proceeded with the pilot program despite objections from Haverhill City Councilor William Macek. Macek proposed an “alternative plan for voluntary waste reduction” and curbside pickup of trash and recycling.

Macek proposes:

  • A voluntary plan where residents may choose between toters or bags
  • Reduce allowed household disposal from three to two 35-gallon bags weekly; excess trash requires pay-per-bag
  • Use rear feed toter tippers rather than automatic collection trucks
  • Residents will be responsible for buying their own bags or toters

Residents older than 75 and/or live in the inner city on a very narrow street may volunteer for the pilot program by sending an email to [email protected].