Pay For What You Throw Idea on the Table

Selectmen started talking about the trash pickup proposal last week.


Selectman Barry Greenfield proposes that the town institute a "pay as you go" trash pickup system as a fair solution to the condo trash collection issue.

His proposal, which 130 Massachusetts communities use, would refund the trash pickup costs to town residents and charge them for each bag of trash they put out for collection.

The town would save money, and residents would pay only for the trash they disposed of, Greenfield said.

Selectman Glenn Kessler agreed that the "pay as you go" system may work for Swampscott.

The system would require residents to pay a fixed price for each bag or can of garbage they generate in much the same way they pay for other utilities such as electricity and water service. In most localities, the per-bag or per-container system replaces or reduces flat fees all residents paid garbage haulers directly or through their property taxes.

Proponents say billing by the bag gives a boost to recycling. And they argue the shift of garbage expenses out of the property tax structure promotes fairness. No longer, they say, will small families who produce little garbage underwrite large families who fill several cans a week.

The board agreed to discuss the issue at its next meeting on Jan. 23 and encourage the Board of Health to consider adopting a pay as you go system.

Restless January 07, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Would this result in a decrease in property taxes I wonder?
Mark Chulsky January 07, 2013 at 02:27 PM
It may or may not result in a decrease in property taxes, but it surely will increase the amount of trash on our beaches, streets, and public places.
David Arsenault January 07, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Nope the monarchy will pocket the difference.
Moving South January 07, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Well, I used to live in Gloucester where we had a similar program and it was actually cheaper for most residents ... all we had to do was throw away less and recycle more.
Restless January 07, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Maybe they could institute some sort of rebate scheme whereby each household is issued a number of garbage stickers each year, maybe enough for 2 bags each week which is the current limit. At the end of the year the householder could return any unused stickers for a rebate from the town.
David Gustavsen January 07, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Your right people are doing it now. With all the trash barrels around Town parks, beaches, cemetery & streets . Some days the DPW gets 3 truck loads. There is always house trash & things they want to get rid of in the town barrels. If the pay as you go starts The DPW may need a full time trash truck for those who do not want to pay & just put it in the Public barrels
Dave Arsenault's Basement January 08, 2013 at 02:29 AM
dave, come down here. i need to talk to you about this whole monarchy thing you got going on
David Arsenault January 08, 2013 at 03:41 AM
They already have a scheme in place. The nine homes in my neighborhood are annually being damaged from town street run off. We all spend whatever we have or don't have on repairs afterwards and "They" have their hand extended to collect taxes for using Us as a retention pond. Gave themselves a raise this year for blessing Us with this great honor. Rebate, sorry the Monarchy doesn't give rebates with the damage that's been done here these properties should be a tax free zone for the next 20yrs and the garbage removal should be free.
NaemhOisin January 08, 2013 at 10:57 AM
the town would save money for what exactly?? and isn't this just really a trash fee? how would this work at public housing? or will they get a pass on this because it's unenforceable? cannot wait for my husband to retire so we can finally get the hell out of this town and out of this state
Bridget Russo January 08, 2013 at 05:00 PM
As it is now, I'm already giving my dad in Salem one full trash bag a week to get rid of. This is really getting ridiculous.
David Arsenault January 08, 2013 at 05:53 PM
School town, 99.9% families. With a 2 barrel limit, No household will be putting out less than what it is now. I've been up the Swampscott track before jogging and have seen people drive up to the Cans and throw bags in them. Not only is the DPW's pick up going to increase but we will all be paying alot more. Atleast the people in the condos are dry and not being charged for toxic street run off.
Glenn Kessler January 08, 2013 at 06:59 PM
This was a conversation that we had at a Board of Selectmen's meeting, and you should all know that Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) would only be considered if it was specifically tied to a reduction in property taxes for the residents and approved at town meeting. The skepticism is duly noted, (were I not a Selectman I would be saying the same things noted above). If we even consider this, the town will hold public forums to allow and encourage public comment. We need to agree if this idea has merit or not. Contrary to my good friend David's assertion, we are not a monarchy. If this doesn't save us money, I for one will not be for it.
David Arsenault January 08, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Hi Glenn, Just want you to know your the only one I think cares about what's happening to the homes off 1A. I use the term "Monarchy" in light of a very sore subject and it's not intended for you but the people whom have known about this long before you were elected. Here we are the 1st week of Jan and it may hit 60! I've worked outside for 30yrs and this week has always been the coldest time of the year, not one of the warmest. The ground isn't frozen and there's a 12" pipe connecting two 3ft pipes off 1A. In the past two yrs Swampscott was lucky enough to dodge 2 hurricanes but it's usually just a thunderstorm that floods this neighborhood. I know of two families that will have to claim bankrupcy by 2014 if we get it this coming season. Taxes went up & the poor drainage remains. I don't know after 100+yrs of this the Town/State should had added a line. When this prob. starts to threaten your ability to pay your mortage you become sour, "Monarchy" isn't such a bad word. Again sorry about the misunderstanding, hope your Holidays were good ones:)
John January 09, 2013 at 02:06 AM
$18.84 / $1000 Tax Rate ... WTH is going on here. When will it all end ? I would love to move, but I cant sell my house with these taxes.
David Arsenault January 09, 2013 at 02:21 AM
I wish the taxes were the only problem, nine families living down here in the hell hole that can never sell their homes because they float the F around 7 months out of the year. Might as well close the street off and make it a duck pond.
David Gustavsen January 09, 2013 at 10:35 PM
I remember when there was an open brook there in 1953. Sounds like they built on the duck pond & didn't tell anyone
David Gustavsen January 09, 2013 at 10:40 PM
If you want this to fly you would have to pull in all the town barrels off the beach, parks & cemetery. Because they are dumping now on a small scale there house trash in the public barrels.
David Arsenault January 09, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Ya, I heard that but this isn't ground water it comes from all the street run off flowing down to one spot from three hills, (flash flooding). Not only were homes built here but the State put a road through the same place but not enough drainage. Southbound side of 1A would work.


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