Photo: Cardboard drop-off remains a popular event in Belmont
The line of cars and other vehicles stretched down C Street and out onto Waverley Street this past Saturday, Jan. 9, all driven by Belmontians with a single goal in common: take our cardboard – PLEASE!
With holiday shopping favoring the use of online sites, residents were undeterred by a first-time ever fee or the anticipated long waits to have someone to take away all the empty boxes and packages that were piling up in garages and basements.
In just five hours on Saturday morning into the afternoon, the Department of Public Works’ Highway Division collected 22 tons of cardboard filling five 40-yard long containers, two truck bays and six 6-wheel dump trucks, said Jay Marcotte, Belmont’s director of public works to the Select Board at its Monday, Jan. 11 meeting.
In total, 348 vehicles came through the DPW Yard at the new year’s first drop off event and the town’s inaugural fee-based service. Marcotte said 211 residents paid the $5 fee using the on-line registration (another 20 paid early but didn’t show up) resulting in the town pocketing approximately $1,750. With cardboard selling for something like $50 a ton, Belmont’s coffer will all told take in about $3,000.
With expenses such as a police detail and overtime for DPW personnel, the revenue taken in meant that “we’ll break even,” said Marcotte.
“So you’ll be off the hook,” said Select Board member Adam Dash referring to Select Chair Roy Epstein’s pledge to pay off any deficit saying he was confident that people would not be troubled by a small fee.
For Epstein, the more important outcome of Saturday’s event is that it has “shown its proof of concept.”