WAKEFIELD — Although there is a learning curve needing to be addressed, the head of the DPW says the town’s new automated trash collection system seems to be going pretty well.
During the first week of operation, according to DPW Director Richard Stinson, some residents didn’t have the wheels of their uniform barrels pointing the right way, while others simply put too much trash in refuse containers.
“The first week went very well,” Stinson explained, “but as with any new system, we have some wrinkles to work out.”
The trash trucks finished their routes on time or, in some cases during the busier collection days, earlier than scheduled. However, there were instances of residents not following some pretty basic program rules, such as aligning the arrow on the barrel lid so it faced the street.
The DPW director also said he saw one barrel yesterday extremely overfilled, several bags over the top of the container.
In cases where residents have too much trash, they are being directed to buy special overflow bags at local retailers
The overflow bags can be placed beside the automated container on the regular trash day. Only town designated overflow bags will be accepted; regular trash bags will not be picked up. Wakefield residents with municipal trash collection recently received one overflow bag via USPS mail.
Overflow bags are available for purchase at a cost of $10 for five bags at the DPW Office and at several local stores including:
• CVS, 451 Main St.
• Farmland, 415 Main St.
• Hart’s ACE Hardware, 442 Main St.
• Shaw’s, 134 Water St.
• Walgreens, 572 Main St.
• CVS, 451 Main St.
Additional stores may be added in the near future.
Stinson said that at some point the town will be renting second barrels for $150 a year. The DPW is holding back, he said, because it is trying to encourage more recycling. Stinson explained that in most cases, if residents dispose of their recyclables the way they should, there is plenty of room for regular trash in the distributed blue trash barrels.
Following is some information contained on the DPW’s website regarding the town’s trash collection program.
• Place trash carts at the curb no later than 7 a.m. If trash is not out when the truck is at your residence, you will need to hold the material for the following week.
• Leave adequate space (3 feet) around the trash cart to allow room for the automated collection arm. The handles and wheels must face away from the street. The cart lid must be closed. The cart should be no more than three (3) feet from the curb or road edge and the arrows on the lid must point toward the street. Do not place carts below low hanging wires or tree branches.
• Do not overfill the trash cart, lids must be closed. Ordinary household rubbish is the only trash that should go into the trash cart. Recycling, hazardous waste, construction debris and yard waste should not be put in the automated container. Our refuse contractor is instructed to not collect automated containers with inappropriate materials.
• Household trash not placed in automated container or Town overflow bag will not be picked up. Trash carts are assigned to a specific address by serial number. Carts remain the property of the Town of Wakefield.
• Overflow Bags (for excessive trash weeks) are available for purchase and can be obtained at the Town Hall and various business locations. One free overflow bag will be provided to each resident.
• Residents may apply for a second refuse cart at the Department of Public Works, Town Hall, 1 Lafayette St. The annual rental fee for a second cart is $150 per year. The fee includes the rental of the cart and the collection and disposal of the additional refuse.
• Bulky Items (chairs, couches, tables, etc.) will be picked up on Fridays. You must call the DPW at 781-246-6301, extension 4120 to arrange for bulky item pickup. There is a limit of two items per week. There is no cost for bulky item pickup.
• White Goods (refrigerators, stoves, dryers, etc.) will continue to be picked up the last full week of the month. Stickers are required and can be obtained at Town Hall. The $20 fee remains unchanged. Checks must be made payable to the Town of Wakefield.
• TV/CRT monitors will be picked up the last full week of the month. Stickers are required and can be obtained at Town Hall. The $20 fee remains unchanged. Checks must be made payable to Russell Disposal, Inc. If you need a sticker for aTV/CRT and White Goods sticker at the same time, please bring two checks.
For information about the automated trash collection program call the DPW at 781-246-6301 extension 4120, or send an e-mail to DPW@wakefield.ma.us.