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Danvers set to start mandatory recycling in New Year

Posted by Justin Rice  December 6, 2011 11:21 PM

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Danvers is set to begin mandatory recycling on Jan 23, when the town’s curbside collection of recyclables will change from every other week to once a week.

Department of Public Works Director, David Lane, outlined the changes to the recycling program during a presentation to the Board of Selectmen last night at Town Hall, saying the town will save $51,921 if it the program reduces waste disposal by 10 percent and $77,882 if it reduces waste by 15 percent. 

Danvers currently pays almost $68 per ton to dispose of its trash at the Covanta Haverhill trash-to-energy plant.

“We’re going to watch, you have to put out recycling and if you don’t put recycling out you don’t get your trash picked up,” Lane said before his presentation last night. “The big idea is to get recycling tonnage up and save a lot of money by avoiding disposal costs.”

While this latest plan was passed earlier this fall by the Board of Selectmen, in October 2006 the town adopted the rule requiring all households to recycle but never fully enforced it.

“It’s time to put the teeth in our ordinance,” Lane said during the presentation.

Lane said residents have to put their recycling out at the same time they put their trash out and they should not bring their recycling bins back inside their homes until their trash has been collected. That’s because trash collectors will only collect trash if they see the recycling has already been taken out of the bin at that home.

Lane said residents can buy 22-gallon green recycling bins for $5 from the Hobart Street garage or put a free recycle sticker on any bin under 45 gallons or 50 pounds. The stickers are available at any town building.

“Put these on any kind of trash barrel or container and you have a recycling bin and it’s free and it works,” Lane said while holding up a recycling sticker during his presentation. “If it’s got a recycling logo on it it’s a recycling bin. We just try to make it as easy as possible.”

Danvers’ trash hauler, JRM Hauling & Recycling, agreed to shift to the weekly recyclables pick-up schedule at no extra cost to the town as part of a contract renewal the town recently negotiated with the firm.

The renewal extended the contract five years from its previous expiration date current in 2013. In addition to helping increase recycling, the switch to weekly pick-ups will offer a convenience many residents have requested.

“The whole concept is weekly recycling is a new additional service at no extra cost to residents,” Town Manager Wayne P. Marquis said before the presentation. “We heard loud and clear for years that people want weekly recycling.

“In order to make it work we need full participation; you must recycle something every week.  … We’re trying to get the word out as we get closer. We want to go through the basic tenants of recycling.”

Selectman Gardner Trask encouraged Lane and Marquis to stress to residents that the program will prevent an increase in taxes.

“I would market it as saving money for taxpayers,” Trask said. “I would really be pushing the point that every time we save something they won’t see an increase in taxes because the trash fee won’t go up next year. So I would make them feel it directly.”

Lane a mailing will go out to the entire town to inform them of the changes and he said enforcement will not be so strict for the first few weeks.

“We’re going to have a soft start the first couple weeks, and sticker people if they don’t put recycling out for the first week,” Lane said during the presentation. “So there will be a little latitude on the first week and then we are going to start to come down.”

Globe Correspondent John Laidler contributed to this report.

Justin A. Rice can be reached at

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