Hudson Citizens Group calls for town-wide curbside recycling and trash pickup

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Hudson – A citizens group is calling on the town of Hudson to launch a town-sponsored curbside recycling and trash pickup program. On Sept. 23, the Recycling Sustainability Committee outlined a series of recommendations to the Board of Selectmen following a six-month study of recycling and trash disposal options for the town.

“We gave things a thorough look,” said Steven C. Sharek, a retired school administrator who chaired the seven-member committee.  “And we came up with a series of recommendations that we think make sense for the town of Hudson.”

Sharek stressed that these are only recommendations from the committee. Town officials involved in implementing the program may choose to reject or modify some of the recommendations as particular issues arise.

The Recycling Sustainability Committee is recommending the launch of a weekly, town-wide pickup program that would be entirely voluntary and paid by users of the service. The cost, the committee estimated, would be roughly $300-$350 per year. The program would be limited to one-, two- and three-family households.

As envisioned by the committee, the program would be run by BP Trucking, the same firm that runs the town’s transfer station. The transfer station would continue to operate for those not interested in the town-wide program and for disposal of bulky items, yard waste, and certain recyclable materials not accepted during the regular weekly pickup.

Each household would receive two 64-gallon containers, one for recyclable materials and one for trash. Each would be picked up weekly.

The next step is for the Board of Health to negotiate a town-wide contract with BP Trucking.  The contract will outline the roles and responsibilities of the parties and establish form costs for the program. The program would start in July of 2020.

Signup would be entirely voluntary and users would be billed on their water and sewer bills.

Pickup containers would be purchased by the town, with help from grant funds from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Funds for the program initially would be placed in a Revolving Fund, then into an Enterprise Fund. Creation of the funds would need to be approved by Town Meeting.

Michael Delfino, a member of the Hudson Board of Health, served as vice chair of the committee. Additional members included Sean Frey, Jacqueline Gillis, Jillian Jagling, Selectman Fred Lucy II, and Kathryn Nardozza.

Staff support was provided by Kelli M. Calo, director of public and community health, and Irene Congdon, Central Mass. municipal assistance coordinator for the Massachusetts DEP.

Work on the project began in the spring when the Hudson Board of Health sent out a survey to town residents. With nearly 3,000 residents responding, the survey indicated broad town-wide support (63 percent) for starting a curbside recycling and trash disposal program.

In the survey, there was even strong support from residents who indicated they likely would not sign up for such a program because they brought their trash directly to the transfer station.

The Hudson Board of Health has already voted to keep open the transfer station, regardless of whether the town establishes a curbside recycling and trash disposal program. The transfer station will be moving from its current location to a spot directly behind the wastewater treatment plant. That move is expected to occur sometime in 2020.

Before issuing its recommendations to the Board of Selectmen, the Recycling Sustainability Committee held two public hearings to gather input from town residents.