Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pay-as-you-throw

The Sandwich board of selectmen has been mulling over the idea of pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) for a year now. A decision may be coming soon; or maybe not. It’s hard to tell. (Vote on PAYT at the right.)

What is it?

PAYT is a system where recycling is free, but non-recycled items are “metered” via an imposed per bag fee. Pick a price, say $2 for a 30-gallon bag. You would purchased these bags in the grocery or hardware store. In this example, a sleeve of ten bags would cost $20. To prevent counterfeiting, the bags would have the town’s logo printed on them and they would be some color that is not generally available, purple for example.

Mary and I go through a couple of 30-gallon bags a week now, but when pushed to recycled all of our paper, glass, corrugated, plastic, Styrofoam, etc., we could easily knock that down to one bag per week.

We should be doing that now, right? “Yes,” I say with an embarrassed tone, but there’s nothing like paying by the bag that will catch people’s attention. In fact, one of the PAYT bag vendors says that communities increase their recycling rates by nearly double when this program is put in place.

In addition to the bag fee, which is generally used to offset the variable costs of disposing of the trash, a sticker fee is imposed to cover the fixed costs of the operation.

Why consider it?

All of our Cape Cod towns are facing a huge increase in “tipping fees” when our current contracts expire. In Sandwich, that would be 2015. We expect to start paying more than double (some say close to triple) the current tipping fee. So the first reason for considering PAYT is to save money (and the environment) by recycling more, thus reducing the tonnage going to SEMASS in Rochester or the Bourne dump.

There is also an equity factor here. An 80-year-old woman who generates a 30-gallon bag of trash over a two-week period might live next door to a family of six, which generates five 30-gallon bags of trash per week. She and that family of six both pay the exact same $110 to use the Sandwich transfer station each year.

Using my numbers and assuming a $50 sticker fee, the 80-year-old woman would pay $50 plus 26 times $2/bag, or $102 per year. The family of six would pay $50 plus 52 times 5 times $2/bag, or $570 per year. I would bet that the family of six would work especially hard to double their recycling efforts and save half of that $520 bag cost. Of course, if they don’t, that’s their choice, but they’ll pay a fair amount for the disposal of their trash.

What did Mashpee do?

The select board in Mashpee decided to put a referendum question on their May 2011 ballot. Bad idea, in my opinion. I predict that people will vote against it. If you pose the question to someone without spending five minutes explaining the whys and hows, chances are they’ll react negatively to PAYT, especially in the privacy of the voting booth.

What will Sandwich do?

If the select board makes a decision soon, say by March, a PAYT system can be in place by July 1st. Our town manager has suggested that our $110 transfer station sticker would then be valid all the way out to June 30, 2012. A new price would then be set for an annual sticker that runs from July 1st to June 30th. This is necessary because the transfer station fees and expenses will be put into an enterprise account that must run on a fiscal year ending June 30th.

The $800,000 question becomes: How much of the cost of running the transfer station will be picked up by the new sticker and bag fees? Currently, about half of the cost is recovered by sticker fees. That leaves somewhere between $700,000 and $800,000 covered by the general tax revenue.

If the board of selectmen chose to cover all of the transfer station costs with the PAYT system revenues, some would argue that it would be a “backdoor override,” meaning that a vote to override Proposition 2½ would not be necessary because the increase would fall in the category of fees, not property taxes.

What would you do?

Given the choice of PAYT, a private trash service, or the prospect of closing the transfer station if an override in 2014 for FY2015 doesn’t pass, what would you choose? Or perhaps there are other options?

38 comments:

  1. I support PAYT. I think it will improve the recycling rate. As far as backdoor override goes, we could point to a lot of fees that now exist to cover costs that used to be covered by tax dollars. The fact that, unlike property taxes, we cannot deduct fees from our income taxes is a bummer. However, it appears that Sandwich taxpayers prefer fee for service instead of increasing property taxes to cover non-core services.

    Do you know how fees for private haulers would be handled? Would private haulers be required to pick up recyclables?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know what will catch peoples attention? Shut the dump and save $750,000 a year. If in 2015 I have to pay double/maybe triple of what a dump sticker is now, forget it. The combined dump employee's/DPW employee's have zero definition come budget time. "We use these people for this...we use those people for that..." CUT THE CRAP! Define expenses....is that sooooo difficult? Well, yes it is when you combine simple town authorities and departments. Most will find their own way to dispose of trash. Speaking for myself, I don't need the town to dispose of my trash. I don't need the town to buy a $100,000 loader to move recyclables, I don't a town to buy diesel tractors to haul trash off Cape and I don't need town employee's to operate this equipment.....If Sandwich is going to make it cost prohibitive I will do it myself. Trash disposal is profitable privately......Sandwich can't even make it brake even

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would not support PAYT unless the new transfer station “revenues” were offset by an equal amount reduction from the property taxes.
    These so called back door taxes are both a blatant attempt to increase town revenues without taxpayer consent and (worse) an easy way for the town manager and selectmen to kick the can of real systemic spending reform further down the road.
    This town doesn’t have a revenue problem it has an expense problem!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely NO! Once we empower elected officials to raise these fees....then we have another Governor of Taxachusetts. Even Mitt Romney tried to pull that one over our heads...didn't work the first time you tried to renew your car registration did it? We pay taxes...a lot of taxes...what little do we receive. These elected officials should spread the pain with the tax burden JUST LIKE THEY DO WITH THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Give us old folks something for our money will you 'Bored of Selectman'

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good Morning Mr. Hunt I sent you my thoughts on Pay As You Throw in an E Mail perhaps you may find the time to have it posted here.

    Pay As you Throw is only part of an ongoing problem we all will need to deal with, when it comes to reducing our trash and recycling what ever we can.
    It may only be part of the solution, but perhaps not the only way to handle ever increasing tipping charges and those among us who do not grasp that we are running out of places to simply dump our trash in some hole in the ground forever.

    The economics of trash removal is simple to understand. We pay some one take it away from the curb or pay some one [Like the town] to do the same thing,only we determine what day and what we throw away in a more selective manner.

    Both come with a cost.

    Recycling is a long range goal for all of those with environmental concerns. Placing the trash in a hole can no longer be a long term solution and then covering it for future problems down the road that the next generation must deal with.

    Burning it in many cases has a few good points, but the left over still needs to be disposed of. Some are now attempting to finding uses for this material that is left over from the burning process.
    The genration of a power source from this burning is an positive step, but the residue in the air has its own negative problems for those with lung conditions.

    By recycling every useable material, we decrease our environmental negative footstep here on earth and in the end we also get to save some of our natural resources for the future generations that will follow us.

    Money that has allready been spent up at our local transfer station, can not be recovered. We on the other hand may be able to increase the longevity of this investment, by recycling.

    A combination of things need to occur here in Sandwich and once all the questions are answered and we have many, we all may see a positive outcome for Pay as you Throw. Financially speaking and environmentally.

    Since I have basically recycled all my life it is much easier for me to understand the needs to protect Mother Earth and no matter how we do it we all still need to bear the cost in one way or another.

    It will be inconvenant, more containers will be needed to place recycables. Each of us will need to gain a complete understanding of what can be recycled and removed from our every day throw away trash. This will be the part we all pay for along with what ever the sticker price will be to gain entrance to the transfer station.

    If MR. Hunt post my E. Mail on this subject here, the rest of my concerns are no different then others who have posted here above.

    Carl Johansen
    A concerned Citizen of Sandwich

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not sure where my Dear husband and I will go with this one. Just a few points.

    When we started paying for stickers in December and the cost for one payment doubled because it was being collected once instead of twice a year, we were told that would make it easier for the collector people at the annex. No one gave us, a family, a thought that we might have many more expenses in December than in January. The point is no one cares.

    When select type people make a decision to fee us all by the bag, they don't give any thought to us, a family, that we might have to pay 4 or 5 times what the retired widow pays (The bag fee, is on top of the other fees that the school committee imposes, without thought to us, a family).

    When select type people decide to go for a debt exclusion to repair the roads, they do think of us as we will at some point have several more cars on the road than the retired widower, but, guess what, we don't have to pay more. Yipee!!

    My point in all is that fees are truly more unfair than taxes.

    We never go after the tradesman who dump their crap. I see the same guy three times a week when I go to the dump. He either has an awful lot of trash or he is cheating us.

    Happy New Year and peace to Sandwich.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Braless32A, a great comment you have made about the assessment of fees in lieu of taxes. I think you hit the nerve that makes my neck twinge each time I go to the dump. Fees, be it for the dump, school activites, buses....they are very unfair. They assess directly the user who in many cases is struggling these days. What hurts even more is when you find out surrounding towns provide curbside trash pickup at a much lower taxrate. I guess our selectmen just don't get it. It isn't that we don't want to pay our fair share, we just want it to be fair and in Sandwich that means it has to be the tax rate. We do punish the parents of kids in school a lot more with these fees and I understand your pain. I paid a fortune out for years for both girls to be in Knights Theatre Group but that does not mean it didn't hurt. To the selectmen I say keep it all on the up and up. Keep it in the tax base and let me at least be able to deduct a small part of it each year from the federal tax return. One more thought to anyone who does not have a trash compacter in their home. Recently had the kitchen updated and the builder said 'hey, no one puts these things in anymore, they are messy and they stink a lot'. Well, the one thing they do well is make you recycle goods and compress the air so you can put a lot more in those Pay as you throw bags....I still think fees 'STINK'.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just think that it is important to press our elected and non-elected boards to think about saving money not spending it. We should ask questions about wether or not we need a human recources department, a school department, a fire department, a town owned ambulance service, a council on aging, a nursing department. Acutally, most departments should be dismantled and the work contracted out. If we all think we can not live with these type of decisions, then maybe we should hire a management firm to run this town more along the lines of a business. We do not have to pay pay pay if we would only use the grey matter that the good Lord has given us. Its obvious to me that there are no answers for our town leaders other than "PAY MORE". Imangine the economies that would be realized if there were an incentive for politicians to cut un-needed and over-funded services.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good Morning Greg One would agree with your evaluations as to how we the taxpayers can also realize a savings from this new approach to Pay as you Throw.

    Even though I support the idea, we still have a few questions that need to be answered.

    The main one is presently we pay half of the cost for the transfer station from taxes and the other through fees.

    Do the taxes we are assessed for going to reflect any cost savings to the taxpayer by a reduction in taxes or will the portion of that assestment go into the general fund? That is once, the Pay as you throw program is operational.

    We can say that essesment is minimul, but in todays world every penny matters.

    If all the users of the transfer station are going to be still assessed for any of the cost , plus pay for the program through the bag fees and sticker fees to dump it . We will have a long drawn out battle

    ReplyDelete
  10. Carl Johansen I just had my Son from Ohio stop by and did not get a chance to finish my thoughts on the above subject matter.

    If the process to finance the cost of operating the transfer station is open and forthcomming I believe the future will be a benifit for every one. Once the process of financing it is known by every one.

    To address the commercial traffic at the transfer station, they pay a little more for the sticker then what we pay. It should even look different then the one on your car.
    If you think you are observing a commercial hauler using a sticker that is the same as yours, then you should take the plate number down and report it to the Director of the DPW before you head out onto 130.
    This was a huge problem a few years ago, but steps were taken to reduce this impact, by the issuance of sticker that states they are commercial.[This fee is higher then the one you pay as a resident}

    Now getting back to Pay As You Throw.
    Once every one is on the same page as to what is recycable and this is important for every one to understand inorder to provide a postive outcome for every one.

    We have two in my family at present and as an experiment and using a 30 gallon bag as a referance point,the following has been obtained. This amopunt of trash would be the only cost other then gas going back and forth to the transfer station.

    By removing every recycable item we presently fill one 30 gallon bag every two weeks. This basically eliminates from what was weekly to only two trips a month.
    Now that works out to a little savings on gas as well.

    As I indicated understanding all recycable items is a matter of education.
    To start off with I have a garden and every food product that is not eaten and that is not meat is placed upon my compost pile to be composted as part of my enriched soil for plantings later on. If done proporly you will not have any smell or odors. During the winter months this type of recycables is eaten by birds[Mainly crows}
    Composting can also include those paper towels, napkins, every day newspaper and cardboard that most folks throw in the trash. If you do not have a composting bin then all opf these products can be recycled at the transfer station.

    By having one barrell for glass, tin cans,plastic products your trash expence is less.

    The same for paper, cardboard.
    For example your cerial boxes are completly recycable as is the bag holding the cereal.
    Prescription bottles go in with the plastic, glass and tin can container.

    Therse are just a few ways to reduce the individual cost for your household to get rid of just trash.

    Once you understand what can be recycled, you then have a better understanding of what the actual cost saving it may be for each family.
    Catl Johansen

    ReplyDelete
  11. Carl, I am glad you came back to finish your thoughts. The timing is perfect because today I experimented with my 'trash' considering this is the heaviest day of waste disposal for us in the entire year. It took me two hours to undue what the youngsters did on Christmas day....removing all the wrapping paper, boxes and other material that can be recycled and preparing them for the transfer station. Yes, two hours folks to flatten the boxes, to sort the plastic, paper and don't forget glass wine bottles, etc. It was very simple to do this separation, but it does take time. Maybe because I am over 60, that time was available to me however, it proved a point that you (Carl) have repeated often...it can be done. With our trash compacter, the bag is quite small and two would fill a 30 gallon bag. That means we generate just about the same quantity as you Carl. I was amazed at the quantity of cardboard boxes that arrive during this time of year, with most shopping being done by internet. I absolutely concur with your process Carl (except the outdoor compost, just can't get the Princess to go out in the cold!) Arriving at the transfer station today I could see two groups of people, those that take recycling seriously and those that had all the paper, boxes, bows and ribbon just crammed into large black plastic bags. It really is easy to do...you just need your own system to separate the materials. Easy beans. So to all my fellow Sandwich celebrators who did not attempt to do this...I saw a lot of your bags on the side of Route 130, easily blown out of the back of your pickup trucks because they contain only lightweight easily recycled wrapping paper, etc. I am not scolding..I am just looking at how we need to change. As far as the financing goes Carl, I just don't trust the decision making process of our current Bored of Selectmen (SP Intentional). Not since the great dynamic economic plan of our rocket scientest and his attempt to debt exclusion us into our 90's...have I listened to them. Thats my New Years resolution...trying to listen to the five of them. Ohhhh the pain. Lately, on a national level, the more I listen to the proposal of a flat tax....the more interested I become, it seems to be a fairer process to pay our way versus our current Robin Hood VS the Sheriff of Nottingham game waged.... I digress.....recycle...recycle properly and it saves money and resources. I am with you Carl.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Greg,

    With my children, including my dear husband, I do not have the time to re-cycle. Why is it that the folks in Sandwich just don't get it. I want a service that works for me, not for all you retired people.

    Also, one of you should let me know what will happen when the rude town employees scream at me for doing the right thing, just as the did when I threw a box with some plastic in the paper bin. I did it because the week before another employee told me that I should do it.

    You and I both know that this is going to happen. All I would want to know is how much REAL education will the town get. The local bugle should get right on this, but I suspect that it won't.

    Happy New Year and the blessings of God be with you and your families.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good Evening Mr. Hunt This evening I would like to address the young lady with a few thoughts.

    First of, you would be correct in thinking that we all pay our fair share in taxes and that should cover all of the benifits our society offers.

    Our great leadership in Washington made all sorts of laws that required the States and towns like Sandwich to follow, but guess what they did not fund these great mandated programs. So this placed a severe financial burdan at the door steps of every taxpayer and especially those with young children. This is one reason [not the only one]that folks like yourself and including myself and Greg get to be charged for what you would think should be covered by what we pay in taxes. The way the process works, taxes will never ever cover those costs until the people replace those in charge of unfunded mandates with folks who see the broader picture of its effect.

    The unions in America once a needed voice of the people have become one of the reasons, we as taxpayers will continue to pay the bills. The strongest union of all is the teachers union, where absurd pay increases during financial difficulties have continued to take its toll on the over all health of the educational system, because no one is willing to make compromises, for fear of losing power.

    How can a town provide services to its citizens when the rate of the union increases go up by 6 percent or higher each year and the income of the town income stays in a minus budget mode.?

    The increase to our school budget automatically increases by one million dollars a year since the last pay negotiations and that is just for teachers. The town through tax dollars can not recover any of that expense with Taxes. At least based on the present tax base formula.

    So that is where fees come into play and why fees [perhaps not fair]but a needed suppliment to at least providing some sense of services to the public at large.

    This gets us to the cost of the Pay As You Throw program being spoken about as of late.
    At the present juncture in Trash disposal the price to get rid of the trash we generate, as a town, is going to increase. That is a known fact.
    This increase can be adjusted into how our taxes get paid and every one who owns a home and pays taxes here in Sandwich will see an dramatic increase on the tax bill.
    On the other hand Pay as you Throw will be put in place a more evenly charge to those who actually throw away and do not recycle.
    I know those with children may pay more then those of us that may be retired, but that is a chioce you make if you choose to not seperate out all things recyclble.

    WE can all say we do not have time nor the energy to do this, but in the end if we do not all do it together our costs will remain high to get rid of our trash.

    We all need to educate our children that Mother Earth can no longer hold all of this trash into the future with out having an effect on the next generation.

    Recycling can be tought to the youngest child and it is something they will take with them all of there lives.
    After one understands all of the items one is able to recycle and by keeping seperated location, barrles,bags, or whatever,you will actually see a reduction in what you actually need to pay for.
    Only Items that are not recycable will cost you to get rid of.

    It may only be a small savings with children in the family, as apposed to someone that is retired, but in the end still a saving

    Now that leads us back to how the present 50 percent now funded through taxes will be calciulated into any formula for bag and car fees.
    Once a formula is calculated only each taxpayer can make an evaluation based upon your use and what you presently pay now to take
    away your houshold trash.

    Calculating how many trips along with gas milage you presently make now and your present sticker fee and what you pay in taxes now for trash disposal is something we all need to do to get the big picture in reality.




    Carl Johansen
    A concerned Citizen of Sandwich

    ReplyDelete
  14. ...and I ask why do we seem so far out here in Sandwich when we are only 1 hour away from such a sophisticated metropolis as Boston? Sometimes I think we are putting up with the least sophisticated Town gov't in America! Why can we not harness the operation of curbside recycling? Truly Braless 32A...you have a point...when you have the kiddos at home, you need to have a realistic system for trash. To make a system like this work, one would need to do research to find a Town similar to Sandwich that handles curbside...more likely to find, however, is a regionalized system encompassing a county and contracted out in accordance with the rules of the state's utilities commission. Does anyone know if the towns on the Cape have ever discussed a proposition such as this? Finally,for the record, I, too, worry about the non-transparent budget calls of the current Town gov't.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy New Year everyone!

    To IHrtSandwich, your comments are well taken. My guess is that Randy might have information on who has considered implemented this program either on Cape or off.

    Mr. Johansen, believe it or not, although important, I find recycling to be difficult. I will, however, learn to do it whether or not we go to pay as you throw. You seem to be quite condescending (may I say)in that you speak about what we all know as if we did not know it. That aside, many of the things you have said are reasonably correct if not entirely correct. One item that I would strongly disagree with is, in reading between the lines, that you feel that some fees are inevitable and to just go along (at least in this case). I strongly disagree. I think that the Town may or probably should charge small fees for certain services. Frankly, I don't see why I should have to pay any athletic fees, program fees, bus fees, fishing licenses, etc. These things, as well as the garbage, should come out of taxes. If the Town needs an override, then let the people decide. If the Town still needs the money to run the dump, then take the money from somewhere else. In other words, let the system of taxes work. Don't pervert it with fees that are unfair. Taxation should be as fair as possible. I would not mind too much paying these fees if other things were fair. Example would be use of the streets. We have two cars, but some people have more in their families. Maybe they could pay a fee for the extra wear and tear on the streets. Also, why am I paying for so many nurses in school to dispense medication. If you took away the time they spend dispensing, then we might be able to run on less nurses. Why do we pay for maintenance of the beaches. Many Sandwich people don't use it. Why do we pay for snow plowing and salting when some people get plowed out and salted first and some may never get it done during a storm. If I accepted that fees are inevitable then you would be right, but I don't. And, you should be able to come up with something that would be more fair.

    I always thought that one of the main purposes of government was to protect life and limb. Trash is a serious thing and can damage the lives of people and their health. To me it is more important than many of the things we spend money doing in this town.

    Finally, this Town has too many of us who don't know how things work, not that were not smart enough but because there is little if any transparency in our town government. You need to be able to attend or watch every board meeting, and then, you would miss a lot unless you had the time of a retired person or are up at all hours of the night and are as organized as Randy.

    I know I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I just don't understand the concept of fees. To me they are most often a tax. Taxes, to be fair, should be spread out to everyone equally.

    ReplyDelete
  16. OMG, Braless32A, you just have to let up on us poor 'retired' folk in town. Now listen 'cutie'. I say that I am retired, but that does not mean I do not WORK! There are very few pensioners that can live in this town without taking on another task in life for pay. So please, don't throw us all into a heap and think we have nothing to do but go to meetings and separate our trash! On the otherhand, I must admit that there has been an epiphany of some sort on this blog. Either I have been converted or you have recently had a birthday (Number 29 I sould guess). We Agree Braless32A. This is one of those few times Carl and I might disagree, in that I too feel that fees are an evil spirit. They are a way of getting something done without the approval of the voters. I think we all realize how important recycling is and there is a hugh cost in not doing it. Let me explain a little more. Once upon a time, a long time ago, in my prior life, I had to monitor the outgoing trash for a large federal facility. Under the law we all have to recycle...but..oops do I dare say it...not the government itself? I will tell you that when you have BFI, Allied Waste or any other contractor haul away your trash, if you do NOT separate it there is a monstrous fee charged for mixed trash. They even put percentages on it so if they come to pick up that massive dumpster and you have say, 20 percent white paper in it...wham...you pay for a full mixed load. Over a year you would break the financial back of any business by not following the rules. Even in Sandwich, we mix the recycled materials, glass, plastics.....papers by type and that means someone has to sort it somewhere. That means we get less money for those containers being hauled. Soooooooooooo, trash is really a dirty business! Now, I don't think Carl is being condescending as much as he is being instructive. He does have a wealth of knowledge hiding behind that skinny frame of his...but don't be offended. I wish more people cared as much as he does as a sportsman and an environmentalist. But he isn't yellin at ya. I love the way you have stated your position on fees versus what government is supposed to do. I agree...no fees, put it all up front, find a way to pay in taxes or don't do it. Ooops. Now they will probably do away with trash totally! I also think that Carl may be correct in his assumption that fees are inevitable because our elected officials, currently sitting on the board, do believe themselves to be omnipotent...or bulletproof. We can't even get them to answer a question in public forum! So much for open and frank conversations. I am very happy Braless32A that we agree on this issue..with minor exceptions. Please be nice to us retired folks....and hold a door open for me will ya? Thanks...in advance in case I am feeling grumpy that day.... :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Greg, Greg, I too am so glad we agree on soemthing here (with a few exceptions). I don't expect that this will get into the blog, but I just have to say, that yes Mr. Johansen does have an awful lot of knowledge about a great many things, but he comes over as pompous, condescending and hypocrytical. One blog writer put it right when he suggested Mr. Johansen really help the town by getting himself on a board. He does little except to turn off many of the uninformed making them more uninformed. Yes, he pleases the powers to be, but the net to the town is zero unless he participates. Imagine if there were four or five Mr. Johansens, wow, then the Selectmen could have a second meeting every week.

    What you say about this current board is totally correct. It is by far the worst I have ever seen in my short life. The chairman has accomplished very little in the little time he spends on the job, another past chairman who just spouts off the Democratic town committee talking points, another past chairman who praises everyone that speaks at public forum and tries always to play combaya, another who is a rocket scientist who sounds as though he is in outer space without a clue. The only one who makes sense is put down more often than not.

    When will we get leaders who really let the people make a choice at the polls. As I had said, put the proposition on the dump on the ballot, if it is shot down, then either close the dump and allow everyone to fend for themselves or cut somewhere else.

    The door is always open to you Greg, except when my dear husband is away, then I must refuse, but only then.

    Blessings to you.

    Your Friend,

    Braless 32A

    ReplyDelete
  18. Why I support throw-as-you-go. I support throw-as-you... My reason for supporting this is simple, it seems the Town will have to either increase the annual fee for use of the Transfer Station or institute this method. Or use both to bring the cost down. I am a household of 2 people, we do recycle our trash and the remaining am't will fill about 1 1/2 bags per week. There are many families/people in Town who do not recycle (yet) and many who live in a household with more individuals. I don't mind paying my fair share via the purchase of pay-as-you-go bags, but I'm not sure I want to support the cost of larger households' trash, or the trash of those who do not recycle.
    julie

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with you Julie. We are a family of five and we recycle and compost. It is not very time-consuming or difficult. Unfortunately, the only way to increase the recycling rate and encourage more people to participate is to make people feel it in the pocketbook.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Bud and the BOS stated that closing the dump will prevent overrides for years to come. CLOSE THE DUMP!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Julie, if you do the math, doubling the fee to use the dump would be about what you are paying now with a weekly bag of $2 would have you pay about the same. My best friend has three kids in school, I have two, she should pay more. I have a friend who sends her kids to school off cape. She should get a refund. Nothing is fair, that's my point. Keep it simple. Keep it the way it is.

    ReplyDelete
  22. To the citizen who stated that the only way to encourage people to recycle is to institute pay as you throw. It won't. If people don't want to recycle they won't. They will pay more, have someone pick-up the trash, or better still just throw it behind one of the schools. And, that is the Liberal mentality. Punish people who pay taxes, benefit those that don't. Why punish me for the inability of town government to balance a budget because the powers that be are too dumb to see that raises in excess of 5% a year is just plain not sustainable.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Bud says closing the dump will prevent overrides for many years. NOTHING will stop the insatiable hunger of government. I don't plan to join the plan afoot where we will all dump on the past and current decisions that this and other BOS boards and Bud have made when the next town meeting comes, but there are a lot of things. I have said it before and will say it again. No one wants to address those who get paid to drive to work. There are more than you think and they drive nice vehicles. I will not give up on this one. You are all afraid, even Mr. Johansen.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am thrilled to see the comments flying on the transfer station issue. I am NOT the sharpest tack in the box...but are Anon at 11:05 and me the only two who really see what town government is doing to us again? Do you really believe Bud when he says 'Close the Dump' and we will give you override free years until doomsday? Is everyone ignoring the 1000 pound elephant otherwise known as 'Local Aid' which is going to take another big hit this year because the State Government cannot live within its means. Bud has to keep feeding the schools by law and now he wants to do it on our collective backs so he can keep his kingdom healthy, alive and in the medium town size payroll. The titanic is sinking and Cpt White (Bud) is pulling hard on the oars to continue 100 percent employment for his shipmates even though we cannot afford it. Everyone needs to take a long sip of mocha-Cappuccino with six shots of espresso and watch this maneuver by the BOS and Bud. Here it comes, spring town meeting and again we have two plans. You can triple the cost of the sticker and pay 5 bucks a bag or, plan B....we will close the dump and y'all can pay $500 to the local Gibbs/AW/Watts companies to haul your garbage...unsorted, unrecycled and excluding all the big stuff which you now have to drive to Bourne and pay to dispose of. Meanwhile, Captain Bligh (Bud) shuffles off into his new office with a LOT of money that he used to put into the Transfer Station. He is laughing at the schools because he finally got his share....even at the cost of residents. Notice I did not say taxpayers. Just as they can levy fees, how do we stop them from closing the transfer station. Something in town government stinks and it isn't the trash....it doesn't stay here long enough to equal the stench growing in town hall these days. Yes, I am mad as hell and I hope other windows will start to open in this sleepy, lazy village and folks will start screaming like Howard Beale....when will YOU stop taking it? Remember, the DPW will remain the same size as it is right now...they won't have to lay anyone off...they will have lots of money to float the boat until the next iceberg is hit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow Greg! You seem to be quite upset at things. I am more or maybe less with you depending on what you have said. I do think that the taxpayers will all get screwed if the dump closes and IT MAY NOT stop an override in the next year or two. I also think that the current board of Selectmen are without spine. They should just make a decision now and give us enough time to mull it over before the first Monday in May, but their plan is to talk and talk and talk and then present us with a couple of weeks to mull over many items on the TM warrant.

    Greg, Town Government will never stop taking from us. We are a bottomless pit, and you know, they don't care because if we don't like it and move, then someone else will move in and pay their taxes.

    Why don't they just sit down and try to figure out a way to do things without raising taxes/fees.
    Is Semass the only answer or are their other ways. Can we join in with other towns and build a Semass type facility on the base.

    Has anyone thought about privatizing the whole dump. That way we can get rid of the employees, not have to worry about their health insurance, not have to worry (in the future) about unemployment, maybe contract to have it open 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM for seven days a week etc. etc.

    Finally, Greg, you are cute when your upset, but I worry about that ticker.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Braless 32A, my new friend, and to all of the other caring, interested, involved bloggers, I want to apologize for my latest rant...however...I just can't do that. Its amazing how well trained the BOS and Bud have the poor residents of Sandwich. They ring a bell and we begin to salivate until we can willingly pay more taxes to the coffers. Braless32A I am not sure how long you have lived in Camelot, er Sandwich, however you are very astute. You have identified the flawed meeting management processes within this town perfectly. Their first rule is 'Allow no conflict'. Their second rule is 'We must all smile when we vote something unanimously' Finally, as each BOS member begins his almost timed contribution to the nightly meeting, NOTHING of substance is ever accomplished. Most members of the BOS, with the exception of our newest Selectman, Ralph Vatacco...appear to be having their ticket stubs validated for parking. They will not make a decision because they fear for their political futures. You hit the nail on the head describing their lack of ability to develop a plan. Most people in town have given up on this bunch....I hope that is reflected in the next election. So, Braless32A my youthful, energetic friend, fear not my heartbeat, it will be a brokenheart that will do me in...broken by a Town that I have loved for years. A couple of answers for you on the transfer station. Since the great theft of 14,000 plus acres in the northern portion of the Military base occurred, nothing can be built within what they have now designated as a protected preserve. No buildings, no activity that is harmful to the aquifer and trash is a very dirty business. They have one closed landfill there already that continues to leech into Bournes water table...so, no solution there. The only thing that does operate at the base is the transfer station for the trains to SEMASS. I have often looked at those large open sand pits along Route 130 from above (Oh, you didn't realize how they have opened the earth much like strip mining over there? Visit it sometime you will be amazed at the scars these sand and gravel companies have created!) and I think back to Pennsylvania where they fill in those mines with trash, tires, etc and make money from it. Now people will scream about how horrible the Bourne dump is...and how terrible the smell is...and how we could not possibly have another dump in Camelot. Thats why we call it the transfer station. Has a cleaner smell to it doesn't it? I have always wondered what if we did negotiate that land, those eyesores, those open scars and recycle them as done all across the country. Hmmmm. Just a thought. Braless32A thanks for worrying about me. This blog helps me to keep my bloodpressure in the 110/70 range. And you, my friend, keep making me think I am 40 again.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Greg, Speaking of floating a boat, the first boat that needs to be plucked is the DNR boat from Peter's Pond that floated around and had the guy waving at all of the people on their new illegal pieces of junk they stuck out there for us to paddle around.Talk about a crock...all of these people with money to live on the water, yet not enough to get permits that would help the Towns coffers. The town should have been all over that like a buzzard on fresh kill.Nope! Let's look the other way for this set up.The management is not up to snuff for one reason or another. Let's just hope it's dim lights upstairs and not the other. Met a fellow over the weekend from Marshfield. Told him I'm from Sandwich. His response, aren't they having big trouble with the budget down their? Then I read in the paper there's not enough to even fix the steps to Town Beach that were condemned from storm erosion. Can't fix steps...not enough cash? What? To fix steps? But we can keep a guy on staff that floats on a boat and waves and doesn't utilize that boat for protecting the public as was designed. Get him outta there. We can also afford to allow building without permits for certain folks. That is the one's that would "risk" it. They seem to find a real payout there. Why not avoid the law? Seems to be dumb to go outta your way here to mind it. There is much more I have recently become aware of. Some of what I have heard gives great concern for just how American this town really is anymore. If ain't American, it ain't for me. The town needs a good republican in charge for awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love it, I love it when I watch the news during major storms. I can always guess what they will have on.
    First there is the head of the DPW telling us his budget has been depleted....likely we are in mid-January, usually its after the first storm. You all know the budget is can never run as a deficit so what they do is plug in a number with a contingency, either spoken or in the head, that they will go to free cash or stabilization. ITS PLANNED ALL YOU TAXPAYERS. Wake up. There is NO snow and ice problem. Then I hear, "don't go out, its treacherous out there". There can be as little as a dusting or as much as two feet and its still "don't go out, its treacherous out there". Its always quite predictable. Then you hear, "Boston could get upwards to 18" on one channel and never really nail it down. They say that this is because they can not predict for whatever reason to to patterns.
    Then they go for hours talking about school closings and you have to wait for about a half hour, and typically, when your town comes on, you miss it and have to wait another hour. A guy on Channel 7 just mentioned that the snow is really, really, really slippery. Does anyone know the difference between really and really really or really really and really really really? Of course, we have to worry about the wealthy folks who live on the ocean and are about to lose there home, but alas, the government will help them by using there money to change the beach or put in a sea wall. Frankly, its boring. Anyway, good luck to all of you blowing snow, shoveling snow, or watching plows. I thinking of putting a coffee stand out on the corner of Jones Road and 6A just to hand out free coffee to all.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have an idea, let us take one of the premier properties on Cape Cod that was purchased to generate revenue for the town and move a Recreation Department into it. Quit crying about money when decisions such as this are enacted

    ReplyDelete
  30. Well, I guess 'Pay as you Throw' is going to become reality for us. I dislike the manner in which this BOS has resolved their problem and would rather they had given us, in this town, what others get as part of their tax base. Darn it, I forgot about the pending law suitsand contractual pay increases that are forthcoming! For my household, we will do fine for the first couple of years....we only produce one bag a week, a small one at that and we do a lot of recycling. Those of you with large families, you will see another unfortunate cost burden if you don't recycle aggressively. That can be hard to do with kids. So one more task, besides walking the dog and cleaning the hampsters cage will befall you. Probably the greatest problem I have is how quickly the bait and switch will occur. In five years time....its gonna get pricey. Nope, I still say fees are an illegal tax and I will vote NO in the spring, based upon that philosophy alone. Randy has shown just how easy it is to separate and recycle. Now, if only he can find a way to really turn our trash into cash! I always thought that sending trash to the power plant would result in lower electrical costs, etc. Just another boondoggle that makes a few people rich. Gee, this sounds like the Cape Wind project doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Carl Johansen would state to Greg .

    I have been getting over the loss of a younger brother, this week along with undergoing my third eye surgery over the past 6 weeks.

    It has taken awhile to catch up to all the inactions and actions of both the Selectman and school committee along with trusties of the Library.


    It is worth noting that what the board of Selectman have done with the latest vote was expected.

    It make me sad to think that the people may get the wrong end of this Pay as You throw program.

    No matter how it plays out the town will derive thousands of free cash dollars that we the taxpayers may wind up paying for in the end in some manner.

    I would like to add that we also have been experimenting with what we will need to pay for. By seperating every item that can be recycled from our houshold, we have brought our payable amount to one bag every three weeks[This is a 30 gallon container] We are still making recyclable [Items we do not need to pay for] trips each week.

    So one could say, depending upon how serious you want to be , depends upon how much of a savings you actually will realize.


    I would agree with some above in regards to paying for a gas, insurance for a boat that the Natural Resource departement uses to just ride around Peter's pond is a waste of taxpayers money.

    Not one criminal or non criminal citation have been issued by this department in the past TEN years. This I have in a answer that was asked of the Natural resource director in an E mail when I asked him this question, early last year.

    Illegal taking of public property, by a select group of residents does not get any attention from the Natural Resource department.

    Illegal posting of a public trust warrants no action by this same department.

    Illegal building on public owned property, also does not generate any concerns from this same department, as well

    The illegal taking and building on a public trust also does not generate any taxes for the town.Just think how much money that might generate for our town if the present Natural Resource Department were to actually do the job our tax dollars are paying them for.

    Carl Johansen

    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

    ReplyDelete
  32. Carl, I am sorry that you have experienced a squall in this wave we call life, the loss of a family member at our age is never easy. My spouse has worked in the field of eye surgery and I was always amazed at what they can do for us these days, but a third surgery is never fun because you know what's coming. I hope you heal quickly, before the fishing season starts in earnest. I could not agree with you more concerning our local branch of the water cops. The DNR will never do anything that angers those with the political clout to result in the actions you mention. For years I have watched the ability of the average joe to reach the ocean by boat shrinking. Gone are the days you could launch your catboat without paying some exorbitant mooring fee (another ugly tax) or parking fee, etc. Gaining access to the oceans edge is also becoming a chore, even if one just wants to walk along the edge. The ongoing activities on Peters Pond just add to confusion over what is right or wrong. Like you Carl, I have been aggressively pursuing the best way to handle our trash and we too find that with recycling, we will not feel the pain of the cost of trash disposal until they start to escalate the price of bags. I will vote NO because we truly have no say in where that money is going to go. Methinks it isn't going towards trash handling. They must think we are pretty stupid not to see what they are going. Arrogance at its best. Get well quick Carl, and again, I am very sorry for the loss of your brother.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Carl Johansen would state.

    Greg thank you for your kind words, It is not easy to lose a family member, especially a brother or a sister. As we all get a little older the loses seem to get more frequant. This will be my second brother,inside of a year that I would lose due to cancer. Being the oldest of six, it make you wonder, why it was them and not yourself

    My eye surgery was a partial cornea transplant, The firt one did not take. It is a marval what they can do at Mass Eye and Ear, in Boston

    To the subject of the Pay as you throw. The account must be set up
    as an entiprise per state reg[or it may seem] This means all money generated by this process will stay in this account. Salary, insurance, operating expences, and so on. If I understand the whole process correctly. The only thing that is required to vote on if we place the program into such an account.The Board of Selectman have given the town the direction as to if we will do pay as you throw, the answer is yes. The only issue, is how do they account for the money in the budget.
    This money would be exclusive of the towns present budget numbers, once it is 100 percent funded by all the users.

    The bag size for the large bag is 30 gallons, with three different sizes being offered two of smaller sizes.

    Perhaps should you come to town meeting in May that you will introduce yourself , unless you would like to do coffee some morning to go over the warrants articles being presented?

    Given that the selectman shot down the library proposal, some more time can be spent by our administrators staff in getting our town a new safety building.

    I found it rather alarming that the assistant town manager has spent hundreds of hours working with the library trustees on there proposal,at least that is what was stated at the last selectmans meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  34. PAYT No, that is what the vast majority of Sandwich Taxpayers have said. Yet once again the BOS could careless about what the "people" want. The Gibbs phone must be ringing off the hook. They other venue people are looking into is sharing small dumpsters. The worst part is the BOS voted on this after the deadline to get enough signatures for this issue to go to a vote at town meeting (like Mashpee) and after folks bought their dumpstickers for the year. A bunch of sneaks!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Carl Johansen would say

    Good Afternoon fellow citizens of Sandwich. The Pay as you Throw program does indeed still have some questions that need to be answered.
    What is the total cost to operate the transfer station Now?

    What part of that total cost is being picked up by the other town operated enities that also use the transfer station.

    The golf course, the schools,the marine.oakcrest cove, the beaches, just for starters. Will they be required to also recycle more and will they be backcharged for services rendered?

    What is to happen with the present assement on taxes now, for transfer costs, once the Pay as you Throw is fully implimented?

    The present sticker will be extended 6 months beyond its normal one year use, so it will expire in June 31 2012. rather then at the end of this year? [2011]

    Does that mean we will begin the new year July 1 ending December 31 2012 or will it expire in June 2013?
    This seems to defeat the present philosophy, going from Jan to Jan

    I would doubt that Gibbs could compete with the cost those who will use the transfer station will be charged. All haulers will be given a new set of guidlines to follow in order to pick up trash here in Sandwich. They will be forced to recycle what they pick up and that will have an impact on there operating cost and cost more for the customers they serve.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Carl, one of these days I will not have a client onboard when I pass your truck at DD on Route 6A and I will stop in to buy you a cup. I am going to have to see if I can submit an absentee ballot for town meeting this year, it is going to occur during my ONLY vacation with my bride. Yes, warm climates do wonders to heal an aching heart, which is being broken by the politics in our town. I will keep an eye on the parking lot and pray for poor business that day!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Carl Johansen, would say good morning to Greg, Unfortunitly one can not get an absentee ballot for town meeting. In all the years I have lived in Sandwich, I have only missed one town or special town meeting. That my friend is being deticated to our first amendment rights to free speach.
    The one time I did not make it to town meeting , I asked my wife to take my place. This would be the one and only time she would attend.

    It it most likely a good thing, as she does not feel comfortable attending any meeting.

    I do look forward to coffee at the local DD , perhaps on Thursday or Friday. I will be doing a post opt at Mass Eye and Ear, this morning.

    It would be nice however if the town put in place a way for every one to take part in town meeting by absentee ballot. I am sure that would stop all the special interest groups from stacking the vote for the articles they put forward. Every one expounds the virtues of Town meeting, but in essence it will never represent every ones opinions, no matter what is stated.

    ReplyDelete
  38. There are times that I wonder how the old town family members can have their thoughts published in the media, considering the position they put us all in today. I just finished reading Mr Ellis's thoughts on 'Pay as You Throw'. I have always disliked his bowtie because it leaned to the political left in spite of the caste within which he lives. Some time ago I think I penned a few words in the blog area that dealt with the debt exclusion that we would suffer pain having voted it down. Well, in Mr Ellis' own words that is exactly why 'Pay as You Throw' happened. This folks, is direct payback for the voters who failed to support town governments desires. Mr Ellis, a former DPW hack himself, states that our Town Manager and the BOS have, without our consent, now made it possible to pay for projects they want done. The shell game....we pay for the trash (and then some), pretend its for recycling, (for the good of mother earth) then redirect the money that used to come from the tax base that supported the Transfer Station and put almost all of that tax money into their capitalization program. You all think this is good for us? Do you believe its fair? It is a hidden tax, the kind that caused a tea party in Boston many years ago. They will never answer the questions that Carl has brought up...because they don't have to. This was the slap in the face that I have been waiting for. What shocks me in this little town that we all live in, is the way town government refuses to see the economic downturn. The Town Manager and the BOS both have a champagne taste when reality says we live in a gingerale world right now. The size of town government to include the schools has been allowed to bloat into an unsupportable lifeform that will surely bankrupt us. What does it take to make that point? I for one am not sure we can change the tide with the current elected officials. The sitting chair of the BOS is not running for his seat....'time to let someone else have fun?' is his moniker these days. As much as I respect Bud Dunham, he needs to develop a supportable town government model that does not require champagne to fuel it....how about some good old cranberry juice! One final note to my angry library lover who took me to task on this blog under our discusson of MEJ's enigmatic situation, Mr Ellis used the new library as another way to keep us all in line. Yup, they could have built that new library if only we all had paid as we threw all these years....oh, did I mention Mr Ellis was the former DPW head? Now, where is my glass of cranberry juice, I need to add some grain alcohol and ice!

    ReplyDelete

I monitor all comments. As long as there are no personally defamatory statements and/or foul language, I'll post your comment. For this reason, your comment will not appear instantaneously. To comment without registering, choose Name/URL and type a screen name (or your real name if you like) into the Name field. Leave the URL field blank.