Q & A on new automated trash collection in North Smithfield to be held June 5


NORTH SMITHFIELD – Residents will have the chance to ask questions about the new trash and recycling program that goes into effect on Monday, July 1 at an informal informational session to be held next week at North Smithfield Middle School.

A representative from Waste Management will meet with residents in the cafeteria of the school at 1850 Providence Pike in a forum that starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

The meeting comes at the urging of Councilor John Beauregard, who noted at the board’s last meeting that he’s heard a lot of concerns about the change from residents.

“There was a lot of confusion regarding the new trash program that we have coming forward,” said Beauregard. “I’ve never received more comments and questions.”

Public Works Director Raymond Pendergast said questions can and should be directed to his office.

“Whoever calls my office, it’s addressed and they get their answers directly from us,” he said. “It’s very simple.”

Residents are set to be issued two collection carts – a 64 gallon trash bin and a 94-gallon recycling bin – the week of June 24. Flyers are set to go out this week, along with calendars showing the schedule for bi-weekly recycling pick up, and residents are instructed to begin using the new carts as of July 1.

“These wheeled carts are sturdy and easy to move to the curb,” notes the flyer.

Addressing concerns that some homes will have overflow, Pendergast noted that the town’s policy already limits residents to two 35-gallon containers.

“If anybody’s leaving more trash – which half this town is – they should be cited at curbside,” he said. “The company we have presently does not do that.”

As a result, Pendergast noted that North Smithfield has nearly reached the limit for tonnage disposal at the landfill this year, with fees set to increase for disposal of each ton over the cap.

“I’m trying to reduce the cost that the homeowner is going to have to foot if we continue throwing everything in the world curbside,” he said.

According to the flyer set to arrive in every town mailbox this week, the lidded carts will need to be placed at least three feet apart and three feet away from any obstacles to allow arms on the trucks to lift and empty the bins. Wheels should be facing the house, and carts should be fully closed and set outside by 6 a.m. on collection day.

“Automated collection with standardized collection carts is cleaner, more efficient for your community and safer for residents and drivers,” the flyer notes. “No other containers or materials outside the carts will be collected.”

Residents will have the option of purchasing additional carts for recycling at a cost of $45 for a 64-gallon cart, or $65 for a 96 gallon. For weeks where they have excess trash, special bags can be purchased at a cost of 5 bags for $10.

At the last Town Council meeting, resident Farrell McMillan asked one of many questions that may be on some residents’ minds.

“What do we do with our old trash cans?” McMillan asked.

Pendergast said that DPW employees plan to pick up any of the old trash and recycling bins that residents no longer want.

Of the concerns, he added, “It’s kind of getting blown out of proportion. It’s not really as bad as everybody’s making it out to be. We’re one of the last communities to automate.”

Anyone who does not receive the new carts by July 1 is instructed to call the Department of Public Works at (401) 767-2200 ext. 348 or email [email protected] – also a good contact for questions for anyone unable to attend the upcoming meeting.

Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski agreed with the idea that a Q & A should be scheduled with Waste Management.

“I think there will be quite a bit in attendance,” said Beauregard. “I do hear that Waste Management is a very good company to work with.”

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  1. Looking at that picture of the WM truck, I’m not optimistic about pickup on Iron Mine. There is not that much clearance in front of my house to have the bins and the truck without the truck being off the road.

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