Medfield Town Administrator Michael Sullivan says resident participation in the town’s recycling program is up nearly four percent from 23 to 27 percent but there is still room for improvement, especially with an increase in hauling fees on the horizon.
Sullivan told the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night that, effective July 1, the cost for hauling trash to the Millbury incinerator will increase $1.73 per ton – from $72.28 to $74.1 per ton – more than twice the cost of single-stream recycling at $35 a ton.
He said that, while recycling efforts are up, there is still room for improvement.
“People here are very good … 95 percent of the people in town are very cooperative and very willing to do things but you’ve got some where there’s a sense of entitlement, I think; but, fortunately, it’s a small percentage,” said Sullivan.
Selectmen Osler “Pete” Peterson said a pay-as-you-go system would be an effective way to increase recycling compliance but fellow board members Mark Fisher and chairman Ann Thompson disagreed.
Thompson said that, in the past, the Solid Waste Committee had looked at that possibility and talked to other towns that had that system but those towns said that trash was then being thrown into the woods and other secluded areas.
“The trash was ending up there instead of in the dump and that’s what scared us,” Thompson said.
Fisher said that residents “really resent” the idea of pay-as-you-go and was adamantly opposed to adding the fee.