Darien dump fees could go up

19. března 2013 v 4:24 |  solar photovoltaic system
The committee also suggested eliminating the pro-rated landscaper fees because of the expense of having haul out leaves and grass, which is what most pro-rated permit holders dispose of. This fee is $75, or half the cost of a regular landscaper permit.

Stolar suggested the Representative Town Meeting take a look at the public works ordinance that defines landscaping permits.

Commercial fees for disposing leaves were proposed to go from $55 a ton to $70 a ton, which is equal to City Carting's fee, Stolar said. Wood chips would go from $40 a ton to $70, and grass clippings would go from $55 a ton to $85. All changes are still pending Board of Selectmen approval.

Selectman John Lundeen expressed concern that raising tipping fees for landscapers might increase that group's tendency to dump leaves and grass illegally.

"People should be aware they're dumping into watercourses," Lundeen said, adding that this affects silt levels in other water bodies, which could lead to the need to dredge. "I'm a little concerned that by raising the price for commercial haulers, we give them more incentive to cheat the system and dump those things on other areas in town where they shouldn't be."

Stolar said as part of her committee's education platform they could include information on proper debris disposal, and potential penalties if not followed, to the landscapers in a letter to them on the fee increases, should the selectmen choose to raise fees.

The committee would also like to see the dump accept compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, for recycling. These bulbs contain mercury and must not be broken when recycled. This would cost the town less than $3,000 annually, Stolar said, to allow residents to bring bulbs to the dump.

Currently, residents have few options to recycle these bulbs, which use less energy and output less heat than incandescent bulbs. The schools currently put all CFL bulbs in original packaging and leave them for City Carting to take, although it's unclear what happens after that, said Dr. Stephen Falcone, schools superintendent, in an email to The Darien Times.

However, state law might soon implement what's called a "source responsible" method of CFL disposal, which would mean stores that sell the bulbs would have to take the old ones.

Stevenson advised the town get ahead on CFL disposal, and not wait for what could be years before the state requires merchants to accept the bulbs.

Clothes recycling, or textiles, has also been a suggested addition for the dump. This could reduce solid waste by up to 5% in about three years, and would produce revenue of around $100 per ton.

Stevenson suggested the committee also examine proposed state legislation that would require mattresses to be recycled. Stolar said that was something her committee would look into.

"The total of our recommendations calculates to be $130,497" in additional revenue, Stolar said, "however; since the number of permits and the amount of material being tipped may decrease, thus resulting in less revenue, using $100,000 as a target revenue increase allows for some potential reduction in usage."

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