Council Hears New Waste Removal Presentation; Proclaims Arbor Day
A spirited discussion was had involving new environmental initiatives.
Town Council President Gary Cote began Monday night's meeting by urging residents to attend the public hearing regarding the 2012 Fiscal Year Budget that is being held Thursday at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Town Hall Annex (Across from Town Hall.)
"I am encouraging you to ask questions," said Cote. "There will be no smoke and mirrors, no magic math, just the numbers up front."
New District Two Representative
The newest member of the Town Council, republican Carl Mattson was officially sworn into his new position by his son-in-law Det. Sgt. James Tiernan of the West Warwick Police Department. Mattson was elected as the District Two representative during the Special Election held on April 5.
Waste Zero Presentation
Michael LaPorte, Regional Sales Manager with Waste Zero Corporation, an environmental service firm, gave a presentation to the Council featuring the "Pay As You Throw" program that the company offers.
LaPorte explained that since beginning in 1991, the company has provided trash-metering programs and trash bags for more than 300 municipalities in the Eastern United States. He addressed questions about how the bags would be sold, how the community would benefit and how the program would be monitored. He also assured Council members that there has never been a documented increase in illegal dumping or burning of trash after the implementation of the program in any community.
Waste Zero manufactures and distributes the bags to local retailers and contacts them directly about restocking so that the community will never experience a shortage.
LaPorte said the company guarantees a monthly bag revenue to the town of about $38,000 (about $423,690 annually) and would guarantee $198,442 a year when factoring in savings on tipping fees that would come with the reduction of trash. Based on the population figure of just about 35,000 people, the program would decrease the town average of 1,100 pounds per person annually to 500 pounds. Coventry's annual tonnage would also decrease from 13,178 to 8,697.
The Council would decide how much to charge for the bags, but the guaranteed figures are based on a $1 charge for a 30-gallon bag, a .63 for a 15- gallon bag and a .50 for an 8-gallon bag.
The program would also increase the amount of recycling, allowing for more rebates and would decrease the number of pickup routes needed for trash. This would also cause a decrease in greenhouse gases caused by waste removal trucks that spend long amounts of time idling at each residence.
The financial benefits would take some time to see, as the average household involved in the program spends about $156 per year on the trash bags, however the overall savings would be reflected in the town's budget and property taxes.
Town Manager Tom Hoover in conjunction with Public Works Superintendent Dennis Smith arranged for LaPorte's presentation. The Council will further research the program and its effect on the community and did not make a decision Monday.
View the Waste Zero presentation here.
Arbor Day Proclamation
Peter Lockwood of the town's Conservation Commission was present at the meeting to proclaim April 29, 2011 as Arbor Day in the town of Coventry with President Cote.
"Unlike so many other holidays that celebrate the past, Arbor Day looks to the future, " said Lockwood. "It will be a good vision of what we have in store for us ahead...and we have a lot to look forward to."
The Conservation Commission will be planting a 12-15 foot Red Oak outside of the Town Hall at 10 a.m. on May 14 in memory of Peter Soursa, a former Commission Member.
- The Council approved a resolution to amend the Operating and Capital Improvement Budget schedule that will move the School Department Budget Public Hearing from May 3 to May 5.
- The Council awarded a one-year contract for street sweeping to Xpress Sweeping Inc., at a total cost of $27,107.20. The company is currently under contract with the town for the same cost.
The next Town Council meeting will be held on Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m.