City Councilor William J. Macek.
The Haverhill City Council may exercise its oversight authority Tuesday when it reviews Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s plan to make residents use 64-gallon toters and pay for disposal of extra “bulky” waste items beginning this spring.
Councilor William J. Macek requested the discussion after previously raising objections to the city switching from traditional trash barrels and manual trash collection to a semi-automated waste collection system. Capitol Waste Services will use collection trucks with side mounted robotic arms. In September,2014, Macek proposed a voluntary plan allowing residents to choose between toters or bags, reducing household disposal from three to two 35-gallon containers weekly with excess trash requiring a pay-per-bag fee and using rear feed toter tippers rather than automatic collection trucks. As early as August, 2014, Macek called the mayor’s plan “a big step backward for the city.”
The mayor said he opted for the automated plan to save the city money.
“The program is designed to improve collection efficiency, enhance performance and provides cleaner city streets and neighborhoods. It will also reduce the cost to Haverhill taxpayers of sending unnecessary trash to the Covanta waste-to-energy incinerator with estimated savings over $450,000 in the first year alone,” according to Fiorentini’s press release.
Residents will still be allowed to place one bulky waste item curbside, per household, per week at no charge. Bulky waste items include furniture, mattresses, tables and other similar items that don’t fit in the wheeled trash cart. The new trash collection vehicles cannot accept bulky waste items. Bulky waste items must be scheduled for special collection by calling Capitol Waste. A fee, the price of which was not announced, applies if a resident has two or more bulky items.
WHAV has requested more information from Macek, but he was not immediately available.