Brown garbage bins are getting delivered to Shelton residences this week and automated trash pick-up will start the week after bins arrive.
The brown bins going out to most homes will hold 96 gallons, the same size as the new recycling bins. Some condominium complexes are receiving 64-gallon versions of the bins. The 64-gallon versions will be available to other residents, if needed.
“We ask that everyone try the larger one for now and maybe not put it out every week,” Public Works Director Paul DiMauro said. “But if someone does feel they need a smaller bin they can call the Highway Department at 203-924-9277 and we’ll review the situation.”
The cities single-stream recycling started earlier this month and city residents are adjusting the to new system. DiMauro has fielded a lot of questions.“I’m talking to a whole lot of people and most are enthused about the program because ours includes so many items other towns don’t take like coat hangers, pots and pans, telephone books and pizza boxes — as long as there are no gobs of mozzarella on it,” DiMauro said. “Some people think the containers are too big and they will never fill it and my advice has been not to put it out every week if it’s trash, maybe out every four weeks if it’s recycling.”
The large bins will be helpful, especially during the winter months, DiMauro said.
“If it’s snowing out you don’t have to put it out that week,” he said.
DiMauro said some elderly or handicapped residents have been concerned about transporting the big bins. The city will try to replace bigger bins, if needed, but he hopes that neighbors, family and friends can help if there is a concern in the meantime.
“You would hope there is a family member of neighbor who would pitch in to help,” DiMauro said.
DiMauro said an editorial cartoon The Herald ran last week that shows an old woman struggling to bring the bin down a long driveway, is “a statement of our times.”
“What’s wrong with society that we don’t help each other?” DiMauro said. “Why is it always the government that needs to solve the problem — it’s very disconcerting to see that.”
Every Shelton address receives one blue and one brown bin. If a household needs another recycling bin the city will provide it for free. A second brown bin will cost residents $65. If residents are using the new recycling guidelines, their waste should be reduced by 40 to 50%, DiMauro said, so many will not need a second bin.
If residents have a long driveway, he suggests keeping the bins closer to the road and bringing garbage bags and recycling down to the big bins. Then, there will be a shorter trip on garbage trip.
The way that the bins are put out is important so the automated trucks can pick them up. The directions for placement are embossed on the bins but the manufacturer didn’t make the letters easy to read.
“The handle has to be facing back toward the house,” DiMauro said.
Residents of one-way streets need to put the carts on the right hand driving side of the road.
“The truck only picks up from one side and the police have told me they don’t like the idea of a truck going the wrong way on a one-way road,” DiMauro said. “It’s the same thing for dead-end streets: The carts must be put on the right hand side.”
So what can residents do with their old garbage and recycling bins? They can keep the old blue recycling bin and use it to transfer items to the new bin or put it in the recycling bin to be collected.
The old bins may also be brought to the transfer station at 866 River Road.
While DiMauro said that the system will take some getting used to, it is better overall and people will see that.
“People overreact to a change,” he said. “Once you start recycling all the items on the list you will realize that you reduce your trash by so much and it will help considerably. It makes sense and it’s more convenient.”
Another perk is how much neater the new system looks.
“One alderman said to me how nice it is to see the blue and brown bins and not the bags of garbage out,” DiMauro said.
For more information on the system, visit CityofShelton.org and find information on the system under “Featured Notices” on the homepage.