City Council to Review Mayor’s Automated Trash Plan Using Toters

City Councilor William J. Macek.

The city will provide residents with free toters at the start of the program. Home Depot sells replacements for $74.98 each.

The city will provide residents with free toters at the start of the program. Home Depot sells replacements for $74.98 each.

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.

7 thoughts on “City Council to Review Mayor’s Automated Trash Plan Using Toters

  1. I would investigate the City taking over the trash pickup and recycling as it did many years ago. I would negotiate with Covanta for the citys waste (fuel). Now remember they (Covanta) are NOT doing the city any favors and they need Haverhills waste to power their plant. Haverhill controls everything else regarding recycling. The only thing they do not do is pick up curbside as they did decades ago.

  2. About 18 months ago, the Mayor intentionally underbid the trash contract by $800k/50%, so he could force these toters down our throats. When asked how it was missed by so much, his response was to say “if I was right every time I’d be playing the stock market”. Classic answer of course. I can see missing by maybe 10 or 20%, but by $800k is no accident. He’s never been up front an honest about how tax payers will lose 33% of the amount they can put out curbside now, he waits for someone else to point it out. Of course it will save money if they handle 1/3 less trash. That’s not hard to figure. I just wish he could me more up front and less blurry with details. We didn’t hear a peep about these in the months leading into the recent election, but as soon as election season is over, it’s right back to it. Which tells me he knows it’s not as popular as his “focus group” results are.

    In the end, folks – you lose 33% of the trash you put out now, you hope your barrel doesn’t get damaged, you hope they can get to it in bad weather, and you pay for larger items and have to schedule them and hope Capital Waste get’s it right. If not the couch sits outside for a week.

    I applaud Councilor Macek for standing up to this program and not just rubber stamping it. I know theye are bagative consquences for businesses with the new plan as well but am unable to find the actual details of that. Surprise, surprise.

    • The real eye opener that absolutely no one questioned at the time was the trash bidding process itself. Two of the four bidders have the same ownership and family relations. Guess which one won? Guess how much money Capitol Waste ownership donates to Jimmy and Beacon Hill pols?

      In the real world details do in fact matter. In the political realm with a nearly absent voter base, no one cares about details or bothers to check. Everything is assumed by pols to be taken at face value because they know The People simply don’t care or are too lazy to investigate to do the work to disprove their rhetorical BS. It works.

      • The Mayor won’t be attending tonight’s meeting to answer questions about HIS program either, he’ll be sending someone from the DPW. Seems strange….

        Also, Councilor Macek is still waiting for real numbers from The Mayor’s office:
        “The other interesting fact that was brought up is that I mentioned to the mayor we’re going to be paying more this year for a half a year of toters than we paid last year for a full year of standard, traditional waste and recycling pickup. (The) mayor said that was somewhat of a working situation with the trash company over a seven-year contract. I also asked for copies of the numbers that he said I could have, but I haven’t received them yet. Looking forward as to where we’re going to end up going budgetwise,” Macek said.

        Doesn’t sound like a $450.000 savings in year one.

    • The Mayor NEVER tells the whole story. There is always more hiding in the details. He knows he can bullshit the council and get away with it. That bidding process was wrong and never should have been allowed. The Mayor thought he could bullshit everyone including Capitol and got caught.

      Residents are going to pay for this along with all the other increases. So we don’t yet what it is going to cost us per bulky item. What if it is $25 per item ? Can people afford that ? What if Capital sets a price and it’s not enough for them. Can they raise it again ? Who has control over this pricing ?

  3. I would think Haverhill being the host city to the massive burn plant with its massive mountain Haverhill’s disposal costs should be minimal.
    The tote idea is horrible but I do think barrel requirements keep the city clean.