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    Tuesday, November 28, 2023

    Norwich to convert to automated garbage, recycling collection

    Norwich – The city’s garbage and recycling collection will be converted to an automated system that will require residents to use large new garbage and recycling carts that can be automatically lifted and dumped into collection trucks.

    City Public Works Director Barry Ellison unveiled the plan Monday, announcing that the city will provide dark green garbage carts and dark blue recycling carts to all residents in June for the new collection process to start June 29.

    Public Works officials will launch a public education campaign this spring to publicize the new system and stress the desire to boost recycling totals.

    The city advertised for proposals this winter and selected Willimantic Waste Paper Co., the city’s current hauling contractor for outlying residential areas, for the new 10-year contract. F.E. Crandall Disposal Inc. of Ledyard – which is currently the waste hauler for urban areas of Norwich – submitted the only other proposal.

    Ellison said the new system is expected to save $70,000 per year at the outset through a lower contract price and additional expected recycling revenues, and can save $180,000 to $200,000 after 10 years, when the collection bins are paid for fully.

    The city now pays $990,000 for contracted waste and recycling hauling services and another $20,400 for blue recycling bins. The new contract total is $940,000, and anticipated new recycling revenue should total $30,000, Ellison said.

    Residents will have the option of receiving a large or small cart. The large cart holds approximately six to eight white kitchen garbage bags or three to four standard-size black garbage bags. The smaller cart holds four or five kitchen garbage bags or up to two standard size black garbage bags. Large carts will be provided unless residents specifically request the smaller size.

    Under the new system, recycling will be collected only once every two weeks, rather than the current weekly collection, Ellison said. The list of recyclable materials will remain the same. Residents are reminded that plastic grocery bags still will not be recyclable and should be recycled at supermarkets.

    Garbage collection still will be done weekly.

    While many small cities and larger towns switched to automated collection several years ago, Ellison said Norwich held off. Willimantic Waste has committed to purchasing smaller trucks and trucks with automated lift arms on both sides for use on Norwich’s narrow and one-way streets. That will allow residents to put out bins on either side of these narrow streets, rather than having to cross the street with their carts.


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