Funding next step for town's new pay-as-you-throw trash plan

Selectmen have voted to back a new trash plan that will give residents the option of dropping off rubbish and recyclables at a transfer station or having them picked up at the curb. Both options will require the purchase of special bags for trash. Public Works director Jonathan Beder said those who use transfer station dropoff will pay an average of $179 per year, which includes a $48 flat fee plus bag purchases. Those who choose curbside will likely pay about $210, Beder said, which includes a curbside charge of $79 plus bag purchases. The new program won't begin on July 1, however, unless the spring Town Meeting approves $2.3 million in seed money to get the system up and running. That's about $700,000 more than what was budgeted for the current year. Beder said, however, that the program will be self-sustaining once it's in place. "Taxpayers don't fund it," he said. "It will be funded by the rates."