Shrewsbury officials address shortage of pay-as-you-throw trash bags

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By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

 A blue, pay-as-you-throw trash bag sits at the end of a driveway on Brook Street in Shrewsbury. The town has recently faced a shortage of the trash bags.   Photo/Laura Hayes
A blue, pay-as-you-throw trash bag sits at the end of a driveway on Brook Street in Shrewsbury. The town has recently faced a shortage of the trash bags.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY — Facing a shortage of blue, pay-as-you-throw trash bags, the town is asking residents to only purchase the bags they need for the week. 

Shrewsbury residents dispose of their trash in blue bags, which typically are purchased at several stores throughout town.

“We’ve been made aware of a shipping and a manufacturing delay that have impacted the town and a number of other communities in the Commonwealth,” said Department of Public Works Business Manager David Snowden.

According to Snowden, WasteZero, which manages the bags, has been using FedEx to deliver the bags to the stores. 

“But now, FedEx is also falling behind, which is impacting the availability of bags at stores,” Snowden said.

WasteZero is purchasing and sending out bags as fast as they can, he said.

When staff learns about a shortage, they call around to find more bags, but Snowden said those bags typically sell out within a few hours.

The town sent out a news flash on July 28, telling residents what stores still had bags. 

“Further, given the availability of bags, we ask that residents only purchase what they need for the week. We have confirmation of additional shipments that will eliminate the inventory by the end of next week,” the release said.

As a possible long-term solution, Snowden suggested increasing manufacturing of the bags or storing the bags throughout the state.

“I wish I had better news, but we’re trying to make residents aware of where the bags are as soon as we can, but we also don’t want to cause a calamity by sending 12,000 people to one store,” Snowden said.

Vice Chair John Lebeaux asked if they were considering limiting how many trash bags stores could sell. 

“I’m seeing a March [2020] toilet paper situation,” he said, referencing the panic buying of some household commodities that took place in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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