, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 16, 2013

Residents adjusting to pay-as-you-throw

Officials say some seniors concerned at cost


However, after learning some seniors are worried about the financial impact of the new program, Fram said his team is working on finding ways to make the transition “less stressful” for them.

Some residents have also questioned the fairness of turning the transfer station into a money-maker for the town. They said they are unhappy property owners didn’t have a chance to weigh in about the change from a sticker program to a pay-as-you-throw plan.

Lorraine Norris said the new plan “was already signed, sealed and delivered” before the Board of Health held an informational meeting on the topic on Dec. 27. She questioned the validity of the poll that found most residents pleased with the new program.

Norris believes the average family generates more than one kitchen-sized trash bag per week. As a result, she said fees under the new program “will be huge” compared to what residents paid under the sticker system. She suggested it might be more cost-effective for homeowners to rent a 2-yard Dumpster to place in an unobtrusive area of their yard.

Fram acknowledged to selectmen that “any time there’s change, you have people who don’t like it.”

Selectman David Mountain, meanwhile, expressed concern over security at the transfer station, with the potential for large sums of money to be found on site. He also wondered about ways to reduce the potential for accounting discrepancies in managing the funds. But Blais said Mello representatives will be regularly removing funds from the transfer station so no large sums will accumulate there. She also said she felt confident in the integrity of the accounting practices in place.

Questions about the new program should be directed to G. Mello Disposal Corp. at 978-352-8581 or The transfer station is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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