Select Board OKs 5 Year Trash Processing Contract

Photo: Trash processing will continue with Wheelabrow Technologies.

Belmont’s Select Board unanimously approved Monday, Aug. 12, a five-year extension to the town’s existing contract with a waste-to-energy firm to process Belmont’s residential trash.

The new contract with Wheelabrow Technologies, which goes into effect July 1, 2020 and runs through fiscal 2025, will see a one year increase of 10 percent from the current fiscal year, jumping from $69.54 to $77 per ton.

Despite the significant spike for the coming year – the cost increases for years two to five will be between 2.5 and 3.5 percent – Jay Marcotte, the town’s director of the Department of Public Works, said he was surprised at the bargain the town received.

“I can honestly tell you that I am surprised that the pricing. I thought it would be a lot more expensive it would be getting rid of trash” since the cost of recycling has skyrocketed in the past year.

“It’s a volitile world out there for recycling and trash,” said Marcotte.

Belmont has separate contracts for hauling trash from the curbside and recycling, each in their second of a five year contracts with Waste Management.

Marcotte said the price Belmont will pay on July 1 is comparable to those in surrounding communities such as Lexington, Wilmington and Reading. He also noted that just a decade ago, trash processing for Belmont was in the $90 to $100 per ton range.

The hit to residents’ tax bill for trash removal under the new contract should not be that hard due to the automated trash collection system installed last year, said Marcotte. While the town budget anticipated about 7,500 tons of trash processed townwide in the past two years, last fiscal year residents produced 6,200 tons, an 18 percent fall off due to automation.

“There is room for improvement,” said Marcotte.

Trash/Recycling Update: Carts Are (Still) Coming; A Day For The Old Barrels: Sept 29

Photo: Carts and barrels are on the way.

It was anticipated Belmont’s new automated trash and recycling collection program would be up and running by the first week in July. That was the plan developed by the town over half-a-year of preparation; it turns out the weather had other plans.

According to a Friday, July 6 press release from the Belmont Department of Public Works, the intense temperatures generated by the week-long heat wave slowed the carts distribution to a crawl.

The new deadline for all of Belmont to receive trash and recycling carts is Thursday, July 13.

“Please be patient and we appreciate your cooperation,” asked the DPW news release.

The DPW has also set the day for residents to drop off their old trash barrels: Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Yard, 37 C St.

The DPW is telling the public not to place old trash barrels or recycling bins on the curbside to be picked up. In fact, they are advising residents to use barrels that are 32-gallon or smaller as Yard Waste receptacles. The blue and green recycling bins can be used as storage or a way to bring your recycling from your house to the cart. 

The town will also be accepting cardboard on Sept. 29; it will need to be cut and folded to be accepted.

Trash Update: Keep Using The Old Barrels If Your ‘Carts’ Haven’t Arrived

Photo: Ready to go!

“Where’rah my barrels?”

That clarion call has been heard from homeowners throughout Belmont as the slow rollout of the new trash and recycling carts scheduled for the past week has reached just about half of Belmont’s households.

And while the new automated garbage and recycling collection system starting today, Monday, July 2, don’t fret that you’ll need to store your trash during the ongoing heat wave. According to the Department of Public Works, if you haven’t seen your new trash and recycling carts, just continue using the old barrels. At least for one more week.

Micheal Santoro, head of the DPW’s Highway Division, said Waste Management – Belmont’s new collection provider –  has supplied just about 50 percent residences with a pair of carts. Santoro said that percentage of carts is what Waste Management expected to deliver the first week with the rest of the households receiving their either this week or next week. Some streets such as Pleasant and Beech received new carts this morning.

No resident who still hasn’t obtained carts will be left holding the bag (of garbage); just keep using existing barrels until the new ones arrive, said Santoro.

Now, what to do with your old barrels and recycling bins? Well, the DPW hopes you’ll keep them around for collecting yard waste (they’ll need “Yard Waste” stickers), leaves and other for other uses. The reason they aren’t being disposed of by the town? Apparently, there currently isn’t a market for “rigid plastics” which the old barrels are considered. The DPW is hoping to take the old barrels during the annual DPW Recycle Day in October when it will be profitable or breakeven. If not, the DPW will likely hold a day to collect these items and dispose of them as trash.

New Trash/Recycling Carts Start Arriving Monday … And What To Do With The Old One

Photo: Belmont residents can expect to see their new “carts” this and next week.

They’re here!

For the next two weeks, residents will discover something left behind on trash day: the delivery of the long-awaited “carts” for automated garbage and recycling collection by Waste Management, Belmont’s new trash collector.

The pair of carts will be left curbside during the last week in June and the first week of July. Each cart will have a serial number corresponding to the resident’s address.

If residents are not home during the drop-off, make arrangements for a neighbor or friend to place the carts on your property.

This week will be the final one for curbside removal of unlimited “bulk” items – large items such as couches or mattresses. 

Overflow bags will be sold at:

  • Hollingsworth, 89 Trapelo Rd.                               
  • Hillside Garden/True Value, 280 Blanchard Rd.
  • DPW Office, 19 Moore St. (Homer Building) Some of these locations only accept cash or checks.

Residents living in townhouses at Hill Estates will have their recycling changed from Monday Blue to Wednesday Green. This change is for recycling only.

For residents who are on a Tuesday Green recycle collection schedule, check the list below to see if your collection has changed to Wednesday Green. This change is for trash and recycling.

Change trash and recycling from Tuesday to Wednesday: 

  • 60-144 Blanchard Road
  • 11-157 Bright Road
  • 3-16 Dana Road
  • 5-65 Gale Road
  • 4-68 Glenn Road
  • 9-21 Mannix Circle
  • 17-90 Richardson Road
  • 10-49 Sharpe Road
  • 2-96 Taylor Road
  • 3-336 Washington Street
  • 16-176 Watson Road

What to do with your old garbage barrels?

Residents can continue to use them for personal use. But if a homeowner wants the barrel taken away, according to DPW Assistant Director Mike Santoro, place a large note on the barrel(s) on the next trash day that reads something like: PLEASE TAKE THIS BARREL. If you don’t take advantage of this one time removal, just remember that barrels are considered a “bulky” item and residents must call DPW Office to schedule pick up by noon before the next regular trash day.

The 411 On The Town’s New Trash Collection System

Photo: A 64-gallon bin being lifted into an automated trash collecting truck.

Note: Below is a letter from the Belmont Department of Public Works with details on the new automated trash collection system approved by the Board of Selectmen.

At their meeting this past Monday, Sept. 25, the Board of Selectmen voted in favor for the Department of Public Works to obtain competitive bids for automated trash collection. This change in service will require residents to place their trash in the provided 64-gallon wheeled cart and set in front of their residence. After the RFP is put out in October and a hauler is chosen there will be information on more specific details. However at this time here are the known details: 

This change in service will require residents to place their trash in the provided 64-gallon wheeled cart and set in front of their residence. After the Request For Proposal is put out in October and a hauler is chosen there will be information on more specific details.

However at this time here are the known details: 

  • Only trash will have automated collection 
  • The Town will provide wheeled 64-gallon containers. There will be a consideration for residents that have concerns maneuvering their carts to the curb. DPW will set up a home evaluation to determine the best method to accommodate the resident. 
  • The option to buy an overflow bag will be available. 

The selectman also voted for the following curbside services to be bid on the next contract. All of the services will remain the same except for bulky items. Residents will now only be allowed one bulky item per week and it must be scheduled through the DPW Office. Residents are now doing this for CRT’s and appliances. 

  • One bulky item per week 
  • Every other week dual stream recycling collection 
  • CRT’s (televisions, computer monitors and laptops) 
  • Appliances 
  • Yard waste collection 

The Belmont DPW feels that the automated collection with 64-gallon carts will balance Belmont residents’ expectations between services, costs and environmental impacts. This will put the Town in a better position now and in the future. 

There will be additional detail information with more specific details in the months after the RFP is awarded. Any questions or suggestions, please contact Mary Beth Calnan/Belmont Recycling Coordinator at or 617-993-2689.