Danvers residents will be required to participate in the newly implemented weekly recycling program starting on the first of January, as approved by the Board of Selectmen at last night's meeting.
Town Manager Wayne Marquis said while the town currently has a mandatory recycling structure, there is no penalty to not recycling. Starting in 2012, if a recycling bin is not present with the rest of the garbage barrels, the trash will not be picked up.
"We are doing what we can to encourage people to recycle everything that they can," Marquis said.
Currently, the reported that about 7 out of 10 residences recycle. "We need everyone's participation," Marquis said.
Along with the changes approved by the Board of Selectmen, the number of trash barrels per residence has been lowered from five to three. This decision was in conjunction with a Department of Public Works' survey that was conducted in the spring of 2010, that showed 95 percent of households using three or less trash barrels. For multi-family homes (2-4 units) there will be a five barrel maximum.
According to the Department of Public Works, the town presently generates about 7,500 tons of recycled materials per year, with each recycled ton saving the disposal fee of $67.00. Therefore, recycling an additional 1,120 tons would save $75,000 in disposal costs, which would potentially offset the weekly recycling costs.
Because there were two years left under the current recycling contract, the selectmen approved to extend on an additional five years, making the new contract a seven year system. The first two years will see no changes to the cost, with a 2.5 percent cost increase in the last five years.
"We have an opportunity," said Marquis. "My hope is, based on other communities, we'll increase to 20 to 30 percent and offset the cost of recycling. As recycling goes up we don't pay any more; that is the way our [program] is structured."
Marquis said the town will have a multi-pronged communication effort to ensure a smooth transition.
For the two weeks after Christmas the town will allow up to 5 barrels per household.