SELECTMEN NEWS: 15 Months In, It’s Official – Automated Trash Collection Program A Success

WILMINGTON, MA — At Tuesday night’s Selectmen Meeting, the board received an important update  on the town’s automated trash & recycling program Joseph Lobao, Wilmington DPW Business & Utilities Manager.

The program, which has been in place since July 1, 2015, has been an enormous success.

Loabo pointed to benefits realized in 3 forms — aesthetic, financial, and environmental.

Aesthetic: “As you drive around Wilmington, the amount of trash and litter isn’t as apparent as it used to be,” noted Loabo, who also pointed to the fact that the barrels are animal-resistant and provide neighborhoods with a more “uniform appearance.”

Finances: Loabo noted the town has realized a substantial drop in the amount of trash it produces.  From FY15 to FY16, the town saw a 26% decrease in the amount of trash produced. In FY15, the average Wilmington household produced 2,400 pounds of trash per year.  In FY16 (the first year of the automated system), the average Wilmington household produced just 1,800 pounds of trash per year.  The town saved nearly $140,000 in tipping fees between FY15 and FY16.

Environment: Loabo reported that, from FY15 to FY16, the amount of recycling Wilmington has produced increased by 10.3%.  In FY15, the average Wilmington household produced 500 pounds of recyclables per year. In FY16, the average Wilmington household produced 678 pounds of recyclables per year.

Loabo said that, after the first three weeks of the transition in July 2015, residents have really accepted the program.  DPW is receiving just 1-2 questions per day, while an average of 100,000 trash and recycling collections are made weekly.

“Questions have substantially decreased.  The calls were receive daily our minimal,” reported Lobao.

Lobao recommends visit the DPW’s Trash & Recycling website, which has a FAQ section and booklet with useful information about the automated programs.

“The town should be commended for this rollout,” noted Selectwoman Judy O’Connell.  “I’m please to see and hear the financial benefits.”

“I was skeptical at the beginning,” admitted Selectman Mike McCoy,” but I take my hat off to the town.  The program is working fantastically.”

“So far, so good,” said Selectman Mike Champoux.  “[Russell Disposal] is performing up to our level of expectations.”

“The program is working out fine and benefiting the town,” noted Selectman Kevin Caira.

“I’m glad to see it’s saving the town some money. I’ve taking a liking to it at my house and am recycling a lot more,” added Selectman Greg Bendel.

Watch the discussion, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below at the 11:45-mark:

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