CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee’s landfill is nearly full. So to reduce waste, a new trash program is starting that will require residents to use less trash and recycle more.
The city’s landfill will close at the beginning of next year, and Chicopee will lose nearly $1-million.
Starting May 1st, under “Pay-As-You-Throw,” each resident will receive a 35-gallon trash bin. If all your trash won’t fit in that bin, you’ll have to purchase city issued bags, for up to $2 each.
Some residents, like Anthony Bewsee, aren’t happy. “I live in a household of three, and we use at least three barrels a week, so that little barrel, we’re going to be charged the same amount of money, and it’s ridiculous.”
The goal of the new trash program is to reduce trash and increase recycling.
Chicopee dumps its trash at the city landfill on New Lombard Road. The landfill is close to capacity, and will close in early 2018.
City Councilor at Large Frank Laflamme told 22News, “We are a hostess city for the dump, and we’re going to be approximately losing $2-million, so we have to look for alternative ways to save money.”
Waste Management pays Chicopee $1-million just for having the landfill. According to Laflamme, the city will lose another $1-million in operational fees, because once the landfill closes, the city’s trash disposal fee will double.
Bewsee said, “Kind of upset to see that they didn’t use our tax dollars for something better.”
Chicopee received more than $300,000 in tax money to hire a reduction enforcement coordinator, to make sure people are recycling.
Laflamme said, “We found that there’s a lot of recycling not being done. And I think this will encourage people to do more recycling.”
All residents who don’t recycle will face a fine. According to Laflamme, they’re also considering hiring a part-time enforcement officer.