Random sticker checks net numerous violations

A Southwick police officer checks the registration of a vehicle that was found to be towing a homemade trailer with no registration plate during a checkpoint inspection at the Southwick Transfer Station Saturday. The driver of the vehicle called his wife to deliver the trailer registration plate of which he left in the garage. The checkpoint was manned by a member of the Southwick Police Department and employees from the Southwick Department of Public Works to insure residents had purchased the proper 2015 transfer station sticker. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Two days of unannounced spot checks at the town transfer station found numerous violations.

Department of Public Works Director Randy Brown said he worked with the Southwick Police Department to conduct the operation.
“Every vehicle was checked,” said Brown. “We did it now because the fiscal year started July 1 and residents need a new sticker to use the transfer station.”Vehicles were checked Saturday, July 26 and Tuesday, July 29. Every vehicle that enters the transfer station should have a current sticker adhered to it. Brown said at least one person was discovered sharing the sticker with someone else.

Southwick Department of Public Works employee Keith Goyette, right, inspects a transfer sticker decal which is assigned to a Souhtwick resident prior to entering the Southwick Transfer Station Saturday. Residents were denied use of the facility until the proper paperwork and sticker were in order. Many used their smartphones while in line to pay for the new sticker. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)

Transfer station stickers are $100 for the fiscal year, with a $28 charge for a secondary vehicle in the same household. Senior citizen stickers are $50, and there are prorated fees for those who purchase a sticker halfway through the year. A one day pass and a recycling only sticker are also available.

The surprise check is something Brown plans to do again.

“This is something we will do regularly,” he said. “We have had about 60 people buy stickers since Saturday.”

Although those without a valid sticker were turned away at the gate during the random checks, Brown said they were allowed to purchase them online and were admitted into the station with proof of purchase.

Brown said there are two options to purchase stickers.

“Transfer station stickers can be purchased online through the town website and a sticker will be mailed the next business day,” said Brown, “or they can be purchased at the town clerk’s office.”

Police were present to “keep the peace” during the checks, said Brown. The officers took the opportunity to do checks of their own.
“They found several cars with bad inspection stickers and other issues,” Brown said.

The station sticker allows residents to bring household trash and recyclable materials for disposal. Additional fees apply for items outside the realm of regular trash, including a $20 fee for each television or computer, $10 for a freezer, air conditioner or refrigerator, $20 for large appliances, $16 for a mattress or box spring, $5 for each propane tank, and $5 per dismounted tire (up to four).

A complete list of regulations, hours and fees is available at www.southwickma.org.

Media Credit: The Westfield News

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