Haverhill Begins ‘Soft Launch’ of Trash Toter Pickup

(File photograph.)

A so-called soft launch was made Monday to start Haverhill’s automated trash pickup program which, according to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, will take “four to six weeks to fully implement.”

Fiorentini, on social media, told inquiring residents some areas will have traditional manned trash trucks on their route temporarily. At least one automated truck will be out on city streets this week using a mechanical arm to empty the new 64-gallon toters delivered to homes over the past two weeks. While Fiorentini reported he monitored an automated truck Monday morning and found “90 to 95 percent compliance” in outlying areas, less compliance was found in the Mount Washington neighborhood. He also said city officials will “work out as many problems and kinks as we can before full implementation.”

“We are still evaluating this and it is way too early to draw conclusions but the overwhelming number of people that I saw complied with the program and left out only one of the new large wheeled containers. In other cities that have done this it takes two to three months to have nearly universal compliance. Our people will meet within the next few days evaluate and see what changes or improvements need to be made,” Fiorentini said. “It is a slow breakout as they get the extra trucks and train the men. It will be four to six weeks before they have the entire city.”

Reaction from residents, based on social media posts, range from compliments to complaints, including several who noted only one toter was delivered to some multi-family dwellings.

“We used to put out two barrels of garbage and extra bags on the side. Only being able to use one barrel has forced us to recycle more than we ever have before. The program works,” wrote Hayden Costa on Facebook.

“I like the idea of his new system, as my relatives in another town already use it. My only complaint is the size of the barrels, they are small for many families. The barrels in other towns are larger,” wrote Jeff Wynn.

“I don’t understand how this new truck will be able to get to any barrels on my street. There’s cars lined up and down the street constantly,” wrote Katelin Dionne. “But it says 3 feet away from everything…  that’s impossible on my street.”

“I live in an apartment building with three apartments and we received only one unit…there is no way we can fit all of the trash from all 3 floors in one unit,” James Ryan Carter added.

6 thoughts on “Haverhill Begins ‘Soft Launch’ of Trash Toter Pickup

  1. It’s amazing that no news site is writing about the mayor of Haverhill implementing a back door tax under the guise that the citizens are saving money. He was off on the Capitol trash contract by about $500k, which isn’t a coincidence as him and the city council planned this tote program before it was public. Also, why is no one bringing up the fact that citizens are paying parking fees due to computer errors in the meters. The mayor said they can’t fix the problem until they get the money to upgrade the system. Well, there’s been $600k sitting in a ghost account for some time now, which happens to be from the parking fees. (Most of which were wrongly charged). There is a reason the city council shot down the idea of citizens voting on this program. The city also failed to put in writing that if you buy an extra trash tote for $150/yr, you won’t receive the large ones, but the small ones. It’s time for a new mayor and city council. They are only interested in furthering their insignificant political careers.

    • He was actually intentionally off by $800k or 50% when this all started. When asked about it, he commented that if he could predict the future he’d play the stock market and wouldn’t need to be Mayor.

  2. Seems like someone wasn’t thinking too clearly only delivering one toter to multi unit buildings. This is what happens when you do not involve the residents in the decision making process. Three feet isn’t that far when there are snow banks and parked cars. Residents in another city that has this program told me their streets are filled with trash and dumped stuff that people will not pay to have removed. Funny how this sounds like the parking program all over again.

  3. this is a huge non-issue used by macek to score some cheap political points. this system is used across the usa..in real cities AS WELL AS ROME ITALY