Editorial: Bristol's new trash plan will make sense (eventually)

Posted 10/11/19

Skeptics say the town’s future trash and recycling program is doomed to fail — with narrow streets, congested parking and elderly residents managing 95-gallon rolling tubs, there will …

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Editorial: Bristol's new trash plan will make sense (eventually)

Posted

Skeptics say the town’s future trash and recycling program is doomed to fail — with narrow streets, congested parking and elderly residents managing 95-gallon rolling tubs, there will certainly be complications.

But if some of America’s large cities can figure this out, or East Providence and its 50,000 residents can figure it out, Bristol can too.

The overhaul in the town’s program (coming this spring) is massive, and the change invites numerous questions …

How will the robot arms of automated trucks reach between parked cars to grab trash bins?

Where are these enormous bins stored when not in use?

What happens if a home generates more trash or recycling than can fit in the new bin in the course of a week?

How can senior citizens used to dragging their small trash barrel to the corner be expected to wheel these behemoths to the street?

These are all good questions, all with reasonable answers. And because the town has nearly six months until the program launches, it has ample time to listen to folks, respond to their concerns and explain how things will work.

There are many aspects of the program to be excited about — including savings in labor costs and worker’s compensation cases — but best of all may be a final solution, and fair treatment, for the town’s hundreds of businesses.

Beginning in the spring, every business will have the opportunity to purchase one trash bin and up to two recycling bins. After that one-time purchase, the town will haul their waste and recycling for free.

If a business generates more waste than can fit in those bins, the business is on its own to hire a private trash service.

It’s a fair solution to a decades-old dilemma, where the town was inadvertently giving some businesses preferential treatment, while others had no services, and the only ones who seemed to know what was what, were the guys on the trucks.

Residents should take interest in the new program, and ask any and all questions about what will happen, but they should not panic or protest too loudly.

The Town of Bristol is making a sound decision and treating everyone fairly — which is exactly how a municipal government should make decisions.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.