ESSEX— Planned new and higher disposal fees for the town’s solid waste transfer station drew no major objections from residents at a public hearing Wednesday, though First Selectman Norman Needleman announced that implementation of the new fees would be delayed until April 1 rather than a planned January start date.
About 20 residents turned out for the public hearing on a new fee schedule for the transfer station that was unanimously approved by the board of selectmen in August. The plan recommended by the town’s appointed sanitary waste commission would replace the current $3 per bag disposal fee for household trash with an annual resident user sticker that would cost $125, with a $75 annual fee for senior citizens. There would also be higher fees for disposal fees of tires, demolition materials, junk furniture and mattresses.
Needleman said the purpose of the plan is to remove cash transactions from the transfer site, and to recover some of the costs for disposal of the various bulky waste items. “We don’t want to make any money, but we would prefer not to lose money,” on the site, Needleman said, adding the current cash per-bag system “lends itself to potential problems and extra work.” He said there would be no charge for recyclables, including glass bottles, cans, and newspapers, or for residents depositing small loads of brush.
The new fees would apply to residents who carry trash and other items to the site off Route 154, not effecting the majority of households in Essex paying a private hauler for curbside trash pickup.
The new fee schedule brought no objections from residents during the 40-minute hearing, though one elderly woman said the $75 annual sticker fee for senior citizens would still be more than she is now paying for disposal by the bag.
Despite the lack of strong objections, Needleman said the board of selectmen would review the fee schedule a final time at a future meeting before holding a second vote for final approval. He said the new system would become effective on April 1, rather than the January start date envisioned by the board with the initial vote last August. Needleman said the additional time would be needed to set up a payment by check or credit card system to collect fees for disposal of items not covered by the annual sticker fee.