Beginning this fall, Falmouth will transition to an automated waste collection system. Like many communities in Southern Maine, Falmouth contracts with Casella Waste Systems for residential curbside trash and recycling collection. Casella is now moving to an automated collection system which requires use of Town-owned trash and recycling carts along its routes. All communities contracting with Casella will be required to transition to the new automated system. For communities, there is an initial expense involved in this transition: namely the purchase of new trash and recycling carts for every residence. These new carts are specifically created to function with the automated trucks’ mechanical arm. For Falmouth, this means approximately 10,000 carts are needed to provide every residence with both a trash and recycling cart.
Falmouth worked with neighboring communities in a joint bid process to purchase new trash and recycling carts. The Town awarded a contract to Toter, an industry leader, who offered a local representative for on-site assistance and high-quality stackable, fully recyclable carts, composed of up to 50% recycled content. The 64-gallon carts have wheels for easy maneuvering and attached lids to keep trash and recyclables dry and secure. Falmouth was fortunate to receive a grant of $25,000 from The Recycling Partnership to fund a portion of the needed recycling carts. The grant will also cover the costs of some educational and outreach materials related to the transition. The Town will rely on uncommitted fund balances to pay for the remainder of the carts. Residents will not be charged for carts and their purchase will have no impact on the mil rate. The total cost to the Town is approximately $600,000.
A trash cart and a recycling cart will be delivered to residents’ homes in late October or early November. Exact dates have not yet been determined. The start date for implementing the new collection system is dependent upon Casella’s receipt of their new automated trucks. We will work to keep residents notified of the timing of cart distribution through our usual communication channels. Additional information on cart placement and use will be included in a packet attached to the carts upon distribution.
As part of this transition, Casella will add an additional collection day (Monday) to Falmouth’s collection schedule. As a result, collection days may change for some residents. Casella is still finalizing the new route. We will provide updates regarding route changes as information becomes available. The new schedule and routes will also be listed in the information packet attached to the carts upon delivery.
Falmouth will continue its “Pay As You Throw” (PAYT) waste disposal fee structure. Yellow bags are still required for trash disposal. Recycling should be placed directly into the new recycling carts and not in a bag. Everything must be placed in the cart for collection. Additional bags, bins, or broken-down boxes sitting next to the carts cannot be collected.