|Tyer Trashes Toter Plan|
|Staff Reports, |
01:20PM / Tuesday, March 13, 2018
|After hosting a series of community meetings about the plan, Mayor Linda Tyer has opted not to move forward with the program.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer has tossed the toters in the trash.
The mayor released a statement on Tuesday saying the city will no longer be pursuing an overhaul to the curbside trash pick up through the implementation of a toter system.
"In the wake of spirited community conversations on the proposed toter plan, there have been many questions as to next steps and the future of the plan," Tyer wrote on Tuesday.
"It is first important to know that over the course of 18 months, city staff engaged in a rigorous review, analysis, preparation and outreach toward the development of this plan. As we've publicly stated, the proposal sought to modernize Pittsfield's trash removal services through automation and city-issued toters, a 45-gallon for trash and 96-gallon for single-stream recycling. We believed that benefits included, but were not limited to, cost savings, enhanced efficiency and a boost to our community's recycling practices.
"While our belief has not wavered in the plan's potential for the city's enrichment, we also understand that many still have unresolved questions and concerns about the plan and its impact on the community. We recognize that the success of a program such as this greatly benefits from the understanding, support and trust of those it will most impact.
"In recognition of these perspectives, and after much consideration and review, the city of Pittsfield will not be moving forward with this initiative. We extend a heartfelt thank you to the citizens of Pittsfield for their robust engagement and participation in the discussions surrounding this plan. The city remains committed to the reduction of solid waste and increased recycling as an important long-term goal. Looking ahead, we will continue to seek ways to enrich and advance our city together."
Tyer had put forth a proposal more than a year ago to overhaul the city's management of curbside pick up. The plan would have given every resident a 45-gallon tote for trash and 96-gallon one for recycling. Those exceeding 45 gallons for trash would have to purchase overflow bags.
That plan was estimated to save the city somewhere between $90,000 and $225,000 per year in trash disposal costs because it would push residents to recycle more. It was also eyed to bring more equity to the system by providing residents an equal amount of disposal and combat blight caused by bags of trash being left on the curbside.
However, the issue caused much consternation in the city with many voicing concerns about the size of the toters, ability to move them, and the financials surrounding the upfront cost to purchase and deliver the toters.
The City Council ultimately rejected the plan, sending it back to the mayor's office for more work. Tyer, however, still believed in the toter system and held a serious of public meetings in an effort to alleviate residents' concerns.
But, ultimately, the administration has decided to hold off on such a proposal at this time.
This marks the third time a plan to move to toter systems ultimate faced its demise. Twice in the past, the system failed to receive City Council authorization.