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Testing the Toters in Cheshire

Town Council members test extra-large recycling bins.

By mid-summer, Cheshire residents could have a lot more room for disposal of recyclable items. That's because the town may begin a new program that will provide large, wheeled "toters" for disposing of paper, plastic and other recyclables. 

The change to "single stream recycling" would mean residents would no longer have to separate paper from plastic or glass. All recyclables could be placed in the same toter.

To see how the toters work, member of the Cheshire Town Council is testing the large blue bins to check out a few things:

  • Are they easy to move?
  • Do they encourage recycling?
  • Which is the right size for a family, a couple?

Council member Sylvia Nichols said she likes the whole idea. "I'm delighted. It will encourage more recycling because there is more space," she said. Nichols is testing the 64-gallon toter. She said it stores easily in the garage and is no bigger than a trash can. 

If the program is approved, the toters will be offered, at no cost, to residents in three sizes: 96, 64 gallon or 32 gallon containers. 

Council member Peter Talbot is also testing a 64-gallon toter. He wrote in an email that the container is working out well.

"I just had my first pick-up Thursday morning and it went very smoothly," Talbot wrote. "I purposely had my 15-year-old daughter (Lindsay) bring the full container to the curb and she had no issues maneuvering the toter."  

All council members will test the two larger size toters, according to Nichols. They will use one size for a month then trade out for the remaining size.

Town Manager Michael Milone said the move to single stream recycling would save the town up to $80,000 a year. That's in part because recycling pick-ups will switch to twice a month rather than once a week. 

Milone also noted more recycling means less trash. Reducing the amount of trash that must be burned at the regional trash to energy plant, he said, will save money as well. 

Editor's note: A earlier version of this story said the town will begin the recycling program this summer. However, it is still under consideration and not yet approved by the council.

About this column: A weekly column that offers Cheshire residents practical advice on daily life from local experts.

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