Temporary solution in effect for borough trash issue

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New trash and recycling containers sit at the end of Caitlin Circle in Naugatuck Friday afternoon. The town has provided the neighborhood new containers to address an ongoing issue over trash collection on the private street. RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — Caitlin Circle residents were delivered 96-gallon trash and recycling containers Friday as part of a temporary solution to a dispute with the town over where residents of the private drive should put their trash.

As many as 12 bins will line the roadside Mondays across from the garage of Jeff Saguta and Jack Notar, who live in a house on the corner of Caitlin Circle and Porter Avenue. Saguta and Notar had complained that four households on the private road were dumping bags of trash on their property for borough crews to collect. Since everyone in the subdivision also owns the portion of Caitlin Circle in front of their houses, the trash will still be on the two men’s property.

“I agree with it right now,” Saguta said of the decision, put into writing Thursday by Public Works Director Jim Stewart, in accordance with Mayor Robert Mezzo. “At first I didn’t want to do it. … Knowing the history of the people who live here, I don’t think it will last two weeks.”

Caitlin Circle contains five houses, mostly built in the late 1980s, that make up a private subdivision. Residents do not qualify for municipal services including trash pickup, according to the deeds of each house. Since Saguta and Notar moved in 20 years ago, bags of garbage have been dumped on their property for the borough trash truck to pick up.

Bags broke or animals invaded repeatedly, leaving trash everywhere for Notar and Saguta, whose immune system has been compromised by diabetes, to clean up.

After the men brought their concerns to Mezzo and the Street Commission, a borough attorney, Edward Fitzpatrick, looked through land records and determined their house at 25 Porter Ave. was also part of the private subdivision and did not qualify for trash pickup.

Saguta and Notar were offered two options: bring their trash to the borough’s Recycling Center along with everyone else on Caitlin Circle, or agree to the trash in a specific area in the plastic containers, which prevent the materials from scattering.

“If they collectively cannot comply with it, they run the risk of losing their collection, which we are not required to provide,” Mezzo said.

Saguta and Notar agreed to try out the plastic bins. Saguta said he feared he would still be left cleaning up the mess.

“If they have more garbage than will fit in the bin, they’ll put it back out again,” he said.

Saguta said he would not mind bringing his trash to the recycling center, but he is thinking of hiring a lawyer to fight the claim that he should not be receiving city services.

“I wonder if that’s just one attorney’s point of view,” Saguta said.

Over the years, the borough has begun collecting trash for many private roads that do not qualify for pickup, Mezzo said. Past mayors likely agreed to include those roads as favors to residents who called, Mezzo said. The Street Commission is trying to figure out how to handle those roads.

“The very easiest thing for us to do is say, ‘Sorry, we’re not collecting anybody’s,’ and move on,” Mezzo said. “Rather than just eliminate them, we would like to analyze the entire system that’s developed over many years.”