By Angeljean Chiaramida
---- — SALISBURY — Hoping to allay local residents’ fears, the owners of G. Mello Disposal Corp. are promising their expansion into town will not pose a potentially odoriferous problem for the neighborhood.
The 38-year-old, Georgetown-based trash hauler will only be garaging and repairing its vehicles at its new Route 1 location in Salisbury, not storing trash onsite, marketing and public relations director Kelly Mello Woodsum said.
The company has a firm policy that it does not “ever leave a full trash truck” parked overnight, she said.
George Mello, the company founder and Woodsum’s father, is meticulous about that rule, said his daughter, in large part to prevent odors, which can bother neighbors and attract animals.
Woodsum added the company’s hauling vehicles are power-washed often and when the weather warms up, deodorizing powder is added to the trucks to alleviate smells that can be exacerbated in the heat.
“Trash has a bad reputation,” Woodsum said. “Trash is trash; it is what it is, but it’s a necessity we have and we deal with it. But we keep our location and our vehicles as neat and clean as possible, because that’s the way our father insists on running the company.”
Efficiency is another reason trucks are unloaded nightly, usually in Haverhill, Woodsum said.
In addition to providing private trash pickup, Mello is the contracted hauler for Newburyport, Amesbury and West Newbury and bills those communities by weight, she said.
Empty trucks are weighed quite early each morning before they leave the site, then weighed again before being unloaded. Woodum said it would be very inefficient to take a truck for unloading at 5:30 a.m. and then bring it back at the end of the day to be weighed again.
“No matter how late in the day, our trucks will not come back to Salisbury with trash in them,” Woodsum said. “We dump our trucks throughout the day at the appropriate locations, including our own location in Georgetown.”
Concerns about the company’s recent purchase of the former site of the Wall Ford dealership arose in January and were discussed at a recent selectmen’s meeting. Selectmen Fred Knowles and Jerry Klima as well as Town Manager Neil Harrington said they had been contacted by residents worried about odor.
Harrington said town officials will monitor the site for odor and will act quickly if problems arise, but he believed Mello has a good reputation and wants to do everything possible for the host community.
Woodsum said should questions or concerns ever arise, a company representative would be happy to attend a selectmen’s meeting and discuss any issue officials may have.
Woodsum said since the roughly 15 Mello vehicles will be garaged and repaired at the Salisbury site, the company will pay vehicle excise tax to the town. However, no business will be conducted at the Salisbury site; that activity will remain at the company’s Georgetown office. A full-time mechanic will be the only staffer on site in Salisbury, she added.
Mello will retain its other garage location on Route 97 in Groveland to service its customers in that area.
Woodsum said the Salisbury site simply provides an ideal location for the company’s trucks that service clients in Greater Newburyport and southern New Hampshire.
Mello considered expanding to Salisbury previously when the former site of Fraser Automotive, at the other end of Route 1 closer to Newburyport, went up for auction, Woodsom said, but it lost in the bidding to Enpro. When the Wall Ford location, which is toward the Seabrook end of Route 1, became available, Mello moved quickly.
“Salisbury’s proximity to (interstates) 95 and 495 is what makes it so attractive,” Woodsum said. “And we service many (customers) in southern New Hampshire. Accessing them from our Groveland site on (Route) 97 was cumbersome, because traffic on 97 can really slow things down.”