MANCHESTER, N.H. – Manchester residents looking to get rid of their yard waste more frequently got some good news on Monday night.
The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) Special Committee on Solid Waste Activities recommended what would ultimately be a return to the yard waste schedule prior to the BMA’s reduced pickup plan approved last October.
That plan, brought forward by an expected rate increase coming at the conclusion of the expiring contract with Pinard Waste, limited yard waste collection to 17 times per year.
Michael Porter (Ward 8) brought a request to the committee after receiving 24 constituent calls in Ward 8 and the current vacant Ward 6 seat requesting the pickup reduction be rescinded.
The change would cost the city $70,000 and would return the prior yard waste pickup schedule until the end of June.
Porter admitted that his decision to support the reduction in October was a mistake and said that returning to the earlier schedule would cost the average Manchester resident only about 1.5 cents per thousand dollars of value on their home, an amount he believes Manchester residents are willing to pay.
“We’re really talking about pennies on the dollar when we talk about services like this,” he said. “It’s money well spent.”
Kevin Cavanaugh (Ward 1) agreed with Porter’s assessment. Anthony Sapienza (Ward 5) questioned the move, noting that due to rising costs surrounding waste removal, returning to the prior yard waste pickup schedule would delay difficult decisions on solid waste until a later date.
Porter’s request to take the $70,000 from contingency funding was replaced with a proposal from representatives of the Department of Public Works (DPW) that the money from a surplus within the Fiscal Year 2021 DPW budget.
Under the terms from Pinard Waste specified by DPW Solid Waste and Environmental Programs Manager Chaz Newton, returning to the previous yard waste pickup schedule would cost the city $69,000 until the end of June.
If the full BMA approves the committee’s recommendations to continue the previous yard waste pickup schedule on Tuesday night, it would cost the city $152,950 in the upcoming fiscal year.
The committee also recommended extending the current agreement with Waste Management for trash removal for another five years, the final option on the original agreement from 1996.
Although a request for bids on trash removal services was not made by the DPW, Newton told the committee that an extension of the current agreement would hold a rate of approximately $68 per ton of trash while open bidding would provide a likely proposal of approximately $90 per ton from competitors.
Currently, the city produces 38,000 tons of trash per year.
Newton added that a significant increase in the rates should be expected at the conclusion of this five-year extension due to significant changes in the waste removal industry as well as expected upcoming challenges with landfill space here in New England.