Photo: Barrels in Belmont playgrounds and park will get add attention on weekends
With money “saved” in the Department of Public Works budget and a few tweeks to the pickup schedule, the Select Board approved a plan which they expect will make Belmont’s public spaces a bit more tidy.
At its Monday, Oct. 4 meeting, the board heard from town officials on a new initiative to reinstate weekend trash collection in Belmont’s business centers and public parks and playgrounds after residents this summer pointed to a ever increasing amount of garbage and waste overwhelming recepticals and sites near town eateries.
John Marshall, assistant town adminstrator and director of recreation, told the board that while bringing back Saturday collection does come at a cost – estimated at $10,000 a year – a funding source was identified that will allow the weekend collection to take place through fiscal year 2022.
“Luckily we had some [DPW] positions that took a little longer to fill … which opened up some salary items that we can use for the overtime to cover the weekend trash pickup,” said Marshall.
The new Saturday collection of the business centers by the DPW crew will begin around 4:30 p.m. while a Recreation Department truck will pickup at town parks and playgrounds starting between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., said Assistant DPW Director and Highway Division Manager Michael Santoro.
Santoro told the board the collection times during the week in the business centers, including Bemont Center and Waverley Square, “have been tweeked a bit more” to provide greater coverage over the time leading and following the weekend when a majority of the trash complants occur.
On Fridays, the town’s trash hauler, Waste Management, will make collections after they service the town schools as they exit Belmont sometime after 2:30 p.m. On Mondays, Waste Management trucks will start the day collecting at Belmont Center when they arrive in the morning around 7 a.m. Santoro said DPW staff will also monitor the pickup sites during the week.
While funding is secured for the current fiscal year, “we’ll have to go back to the drawing board for funding in ’23. That will now be part of the budget process,” said Marshall.