Belmont's Trash Collection, Disposal Contracts Set for Next Several Years

Town will continue to use Russell for collection and a North Andover plant for disposal.

For most Belmont residents, the interaction with the collection and disposal of their and their neighbors' garbage extends as far as the end of the driveway once a week. 

As for the town, its relationship with the two firms that picks up resident's garbage and recyclables and the one that disposes of it has been expanded for the next several years as the Belmont Board of Selectmen agreed to recommendations from the town's Public Works Department to extend contracts with the existing companies currently providing those services.

Under the plan, Belmont will approve a two year extension of its original contract with Somerville-based Russell Disposal to collect solid waste, recyclables and yard waste through fiscal year 2016 while contracting with the waste-to-energy facility Wheelabrator North Andover to dispose of the town's garbage up until fiscal 2020.

The result for town officials and residents is stability and continuity of payments to be made seven years into the future, said David Kale, Belmont's town administrator. 

"We will see steady rates with predictable increases for the next several years," Kale told Belmont Patch after the meeting.

Under the new contracts, Belmont will see increased payments of three percent with Russell – which has been the historical rate – and 2.5 percent set increase with Wheelabrator North Andover, according to analysis by DPW Director Peter Castanino. 

Castanino described Russell as providing "very good service" to residents at a rate that is fairly competitive in the area. Only Lexington, which uses JRM, pays a lower annual cost per household in fiscal 2014 then Belmont, $131.60 to $158.66 which translates to an annual total of $1,579,908 for Belmont taxpayers.

In comparison, Watertown pays $163.38 per household while Norwood, with nearly the same number of households, pay $185.03. 

"My experience is that the town will not receive a lower price for these services," said Castanino. 

With Wheelabrator, which has a five year contract with the town until the end of fiscal year 2015, the next five year contract will jump 2.5 percent yearly. Yet Castanino was able to push down the cost per ton to be disposed by roughly $2  from the original proposed contract (starting in fiscal 2016 at $63 per ton to $69.54 in 2020), cutting the total five year cost by a little less than $100,000 to $2.8 million. 

In addition, the town is being offered a signing bonus of $87,600 that will be used to reduce the disposal bill in the next fiscal years, said Castanino.


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