Pay-as-You-Throw Could Go Before Mashpee Voters Again

CCB MEDIA PHOTO

CCB MEDIA PHOTO

MASHPEE – Voters in Mashpee may decide again on the pay-as-you-throw program.

Last month, selectmen discussed creating a town-wide ballot question on the program, which aims for residents who throw out more trash to pay more than those who throw out less.

Selectmen will re-visit the issue again this month and if approved, will decide whether to include it as a ballot question in November or next spring during the annual town election.

The issue was rejected by residents in 2009 and 2011.

Selectman Andrew Gottlieb said he is concerned that the town is missing out on an opportunity to adopt a program that has proven to save towns and cities money across the state.

“I don’t think that we’re in a position as a community, given the other needs that we have and the general pressure on taxpayers, to be spending more on a public service than we know we have to,” said Gottlieb.

The town’s waste committee has spent a year discussing the pros and cons of the program, along with keeping the waste system as it is now.

The committee recommended and selectmen approved setting a limit of five 40-pound bags at the transfer station in order to discourage commercial collectors that dump their neighbor’s trash.

Also recommended and approved was the requirement of all users of the station to purchase a sticker, even if just for dump yard clippings or recycling.

Sandwich and Brewster have adopted similar pay-as-you-throw programs and Gottlieb believes that Mashpee can have the same success with its own program.

“I don’t see that there’s anything unique about Mashpee that would make our results any different once we actually commit to it and come up with a rational program,” said Gottlieb.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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