Automated trash collection coming soon

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NAUGATUCK — The automated arm is on its way.

A revision of the Automated Curbside Collection Regulation has been accepted, and the delivery of recycling and refuse carts to borough households will begin by the end of October.

In early November, Naugatuck trash crews will begin using an automated collection arm like the one pictured above in a 2003 file photo from Torrington.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses unanimously passed the resolution last week, formally changing the method of trash pickup in Naugatuck to an automated system and replacing the current method of manual pickup.

Earlier this month, the board approved a bid for a refuse cart lifter in the amount of $25,800 as well as a bid for refuse and recycling carts in the amount of $380,375.

A key revision to the regulation is a stipulation that will allow borough residents to drop off excess garbage which does not fit into the provided 96-gallon cart at the Recycling Center for a $1 charge. Residents may be charged $2 for excessively large or heavy bags.

Initially, the borough planned to charge residents an extra $2.50 fee for additional trash bags that did not fit inside the cart. Residents would also have had to purchase specific bags at local stores for excess trash and store it next to their carts.

Complaints from borough residents and Department of Public Works personnel led to the regulation’s revision.

“We were hearing a lot of complaints from residents that the excess bags were overpriced,” said Refuse and Recycling Coordinator Sheila Baummer. “The drivers also didn’t want to constantly be getting out of the truck and removing these excess bags by hand. This change addresses both of the issues.”

According to Baummer, cart delivery will begin Oct. 25 and it will take eight to ten days to complete delivery. Residents will receive two carts—one for household trash and one for recycling.

Flyers will be attached to the carts with instructions and information on new trash pickup dates if a household’s pickup day will change.

Those not receiving the carts due to narrow roads or other issues will receive a postcard in the mail alerting them of their trash pickup date. A one-minute Code Red alert containing information on the switch will also be issued across Naugatuck.

Automated trash pick-up will commence the week of Nov. 8, followed by recycling the week of November 15.

Old cans will be collected by DPW either curbside or at the Recycling Center at no additional charge. Most old cans will fit inside the 96-gallon cart along with garbage.

Borough residents will be given the opportunity to bring their additional trash to the Recycling Center, located on Rubber Ave., on Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Extra recyclables can be dropped off during business hours for no additional charge.

The deadline for trash to be left curbside will change from 7 a.m. to midnight. Public Works Director Jim Stewart said this change will accommodate the occasions when trash crews need to get an earlier start due to inclement weather.

DPW will come back and pick up any carts free of charge if missed by borough error. Carts missed due to resident error will result in a $10 fee, which will cover a crew’s return for pickup.

Requests for smaller carts, in 34- or 64-gallon sizes, will be reviewed by DPW on a case-by-case basis. Multifamily houses will initially be supplied fewer carts than the number of units in the interests of space; if necessary, residents will be able to request additional carts. Additional trash carts will be available upon request but will incur an annual fee of $150.

Officials have expressed their hopes that the switch will save the borough money on the back end after initial expenses are incurred. The change is also designed to limit household trash and promote recycling.

“This will make people hopefully be more diligent in what they recycle,” Stewart said. “Instead of throwing a cardboard box in the garbage they’ll put it in the recycling, and instead of throwing their cans and bottles in the trash like a lot of people do now, they’ll put it in the recycling so they have more room in the trash.”