An issue of great importance has come up in Southbridge and all residents need to make their voice heard.  A public hearing will be held on Monday, January 10th at 6:30pm at Town Hall.  You need to be there to protect your rights!

A program is being considered to restrict the amount of trash that tax payers will be able to dispose of.  At the present time the tax payers of Southbridge, who own their own landfill by the way, have unlimited trash pick up.  You can put as much trash on the curb as you like but bulky items like washing machines and the like need special pick up.  The proposed program will now limit the amount of trash to 40 gallons.

The trash collection program serves 6,200 homes of the 8,000 in Southbridge.  Mine is not one of those as the Church has a dumpster so this will not affect me in anyway.  I also serve on the Sub Committee that assists the Town Council in making this decision.

The Southbridge health department, who is pushing this program, claims that this is aimed at the abusers of the program.  In an interview withe the Worcester Telegram he said this, “We’re just tyring to pick up on the abuses. If somebody is (putting out at the curb) double the state average, then they should find another way to do that.”  The state average is 1 ton per year, but wait Southbridge owns the landfill and we have unlimited trash pick up.  First the Town Council raised the residential tax rate and now the citizens will be getting less for that increase in the tax!

My other objection is the cost.  The estimate is it will cost $240,000 for the carts, these are 40 gallon carts much like our recycling containers we have now.  The Commonwealth has given Southbridge a grant of $60,000 (grants come from tax payers as well by the way) to hep kick start the program.  There is approximately $72,000 of funds available in another failed program run by the health department that can be used as well.  By my math that leave about $108,000 the town will have to come up with in a budget year when we will be getting less in state aid!

The Southbridge Town Council could vote on Monday night to authorize the Town Manager to borrow $180,000 to be used to purchase the SMART Carts.  BORROW!  That usually means interest so it will cost more in the long run.  So the Council raised the tax rate, will borrow $108,000 so we can go after people who abuse the program of trash collection.

In the same article where Mr. Morin states this is a good thing to control abuse, it also mentions that Southbridge has an illegal dumping and anti-littering by law.  The way to handle people who abuse the program is to fine them which is exactly what will happen if you dare to put more trash out then the 40 gallons they want you to put out.  You will be fined.  Make no mistake, in a town that has unlimited trash pick up, owns our own landfill that takes trash from all over the state, you will now be limited to the amount of trash you can put out, and get a fine if, as one Town Councilor put it at the sub committee meeting, the pigs in this town, if you put out more than will fit in the bin.

Mr. Morin also makes mention in the article that this has nothing to do with the current waste hauler.  Well the SMART Cart program would be automated, only one guy rather then the present three will be needed to pick up the trash.  It is no secret that Cassella Waste Management wants to bring MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) in from other communities.  They are limited to the amount of MSW per year that can be put into the landfill.  Out side trash is much more profitable then trash from Southbridge, are you starting to see the picture?

I am all for recycling and all of the program that can come from that, but this program is not good for Southbridge.  This is all about profit for a private company that works for us.  We bear the burden of the landfill we should reap some of the benefits.

1 Comment

  1. We in Thompson also have our own dump and we buy stickers every year,if we choose not to have pick up.
    we have a large recycling area and anything you bring that is electronic you are charged a "small" fee to get rid of.
    we have found that when you raise rates and put to many constraintes on people they just take their trash and dump it on some back road near a river bank,ask webster they have this issue.
    to punish your town folks who own,support and pay taxes is wrong.
    Taxes are supose to gain you benefits and servicess in your town not punish you.
    what about families?do two people use has much trash has say 6? so if you punish the larger families,who most likely have lesser incomes and are possibly poorer,then who are you truly hurting?
    how do you find the illegal dumpers? do you attach cameras to every tree and back roads in your town?
    Is big brother going to be watching you?

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