Bulk trash, electronic waste regulations are reasonable
March is said to “come in like a lion and go out like a lamb,” while that may or may not be true given the vagaries of the weather cycle – we all remember snowstorms in late March and mid-April – it is the time when people get out of their winter mode and begin to think about spring and summer. With it comes the age-old ritual of “spring cleaning.”
The city helps with bulk trash pickups four times a year, and this current week is the one that was earmarked for the next three-month cycle. Those having “e-waste,” electronic equipment, are asked to drop off those items to the city’s maintenance garage at 1 Collis St., this Saturday.
It is good to review those rules and regulations set down by city’s Public Works Department in cooperation with the city’s trash hauler. The bulk trash pickup and the e-waste collection are two distinct services. Here are the rules as represented in the city’s press release:
“During bulk trash week, crews will not pick up electronic items, including TVs. They will only pick up such bulk items as couches, chairs, mattresses, tables, carpeting, padding, fencing and small amounts of bundled lumber, which may not exceed 6 feet in length.
“The amount of bulk trash per collection is limited to 6 cubic yards, which is equal to a pile of trash 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 4.5 feet high.
“For electronic recyclables, which are defined as typically anything that contains a circuit board or needs a battery, residents must drop off those items from 8 a.m.-noon at the highway maintenance garage, 1 Collis St.
“Anything that has refrigerant, including air conditioners and dehumidifiers, is not accepted. Those items are considered white goods, and residents are asked to put them out for pickup on their weekly curbside collection days.
“The collection is free for residents who have such items as TVs, hand-held video games, computers, monitors, copiers, scanners, microwaves, toaster ovens and other small appliances.”
We include these rules because residents, many times, decide to clean out their buildings and leave trash out on the curb during non-collection times. Too often as well, residents get rid of televisions or similar items, and those are never collected by the city’s trash hauler, nor by DPW crew. Those must be delivered by the taxpayers to the Collis Street garage.
Spring is a time for sprucing up one’s property, getting rid of debris that has collected due to snowstorms and shoveling, and the harsh winter Mother Nature has given us. Cleaning up one’s property is a laudable task, and we’re glad many homeowners take the opportunity.
But we all must follow the same rulebook. At one time the city took bulk trash every week. That was the procedure for more than a decade. Then, due to contractual obligations, state and federal environmental rules and other considerations, the pickups were limited to four times a year. Some people never got the memo. Some just ignore it.
We all want our streets and neighborhoods to look their best. It helps morale, keeps property values up, and contributes to making the city a better place. When there are televisions rotting away on the curb, or brush that has been cleared piled up, the city and the people of the city look bad.
The problem is exacerbated by absentee landlords, many of whom are unaware or don’t care about the pickup rules now in force. The city has an enforcement procedure and can fine homeowners who determine they will not follow the procedures set down.
Springtime is coming. We all want the city to look its best. The city has set down some simple operating procedures that make life better for all of us. It is up to us to follow those simple rules in order to make West Haven look its best.
These rules are no onerous. They should be followed for the betterment of all.