There have only been a few minor glitches since the town started a new single-stream recycling program last month and Town Manager Michael Milone said residents have given the larger bins positive reviews.
"We haven’t gotten any criticism and as a matter of fact we’ve gotten very surprisingly positive feedback," Milone said.
The large green bins, which come in 64- and 96-gallon sizes, started showing up at the end of residents’ driveways right before Thanksgiving. Trash collection using the new system began on Nov. 26. Pickup for recyclables was switched to biweekly and residents have been assigned to either an "A" week or a "B" week.
The wheeled bins are designed so that they can be lifted and emptied automatically by a mechanical arm attached to the recycling truck. The new bins replaced the 18-gallon blue containers that residents have used for years.
They were distributed free to residents, with those in larger households getting the 96-gallon bins and those in smaller homes and condos receiving the 64-gallon containers.
Milone said one of the most common problems the first few weeks was that some residents put trash and other non-recyclable material into the bins. Others placed the bin at the curb improperly which slowed down the pickup. Some people placed their bins backwards, too far away from the street, or too close to a mailbox so that a driver had to get out and manually move the bin.
He said the recycling company, AJ Waste, sent out an extra truck during the first runs to help speed the collection.
"Given the fact that it was the first two weeks of pickup, it went a lot more smoothly than we would have expected," he said.
Town officials have predicted the larger containers would help residents recycle more waste, which will decrease the town’s disposal costs by as much as $80,000 a year.
But Milone said it is too soon to tell whether recycling has increased. Although the recycling loads were heavier than usual during the first two weeks, there was no collection during Thanksgiving week so some residents were putting three weeks’ worth of recycling to the curb.
Milone said the town has recently added several items to the list of recyclables that will be accepted. Among those are black plastic containers, bottle caps, medicine and prescription bottles, plastic knives, spoons and forks, and plastic flower pots.