Over the past few months, a committee comprised of town employees and department heads looked at ways to improve trash and recycling services for South Hadley residents. The town’s waste disposal contract with Republic Service expires on June 2020. “This is just a starting point in this discussion,” Town Administrator Michael J. Sullivan said.
Sullivan led the discussion at the board’s Oct. 1 meeting. He had previously updated the board during the Aug. 20 session on the matter. A report noted that 6,400 housing units receive trash and recycling service every other week. Businesses and larger housing complexes must contract with private firms for pick up. The Town of South Hadley budgeted $550,000 for the Fiscal Year 2020, which began June 30.
The $550,000 includes refuse collection, recycling and yard waste. The town also pays a “tipping fee,” the cost for end-of-the-line disposal. The town collects $500,000 annually from the familiar green bags residents purchase at local stores, including Big Y Supermarket.
The study showed recycling revenue at $12,000 and dropping. South Hadley budgets another $98,000 for operations and salaries for the transfer station and recycling center. Overall, the town spends $1,019,862 yearly for trash and recycling services.
The study indicated that the current $72 per ton tipping could increase by 18 – 20%, which translates to $40,000. “Recycling has been a revenue generator for decades, could become a negative in the future,” read the report. “While best practices in recycling will likely be at a fee lower than trash, it is possible communities may being to pay for getting rid of recyclable material.”