Trash is Talk of the Town at Fairfax Town Meeting Day

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You’ve heard the saying, one man’s trash?

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but collecting trash is the focus of this year’s Town Meeting Day in Fairfax.  March 1st residents in Fairfax will have to choose whether or not to continue their curbside trash service.  The options: no impact on taxes, the other, continued convenience.

“It’s always been a convenience as a town to have Thursday morning pick up, people are used to that,” said Aaron Minor, a lifelong resident of Fairfax.  He says in just over a week voters will decide whether to join the Northwest Solid Waste District, or enter a new curbside trash pick-up agreement with a different company.

“If you think of standard service for a town without this curbside service, if you’re rural and say you live five or six miles out and there’s only a couple people out there, if you want such a service it’s going to cost you some money,” stated Tom Fontaine, Fairfax Selectboard Chair.  He says prices have gone up for their current collector, Duffy’s Waste and Recycling.  Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law Act 148 is to blame.  “With Act 148, you’ve got all the layers that come with that, the compliance, the reporting, household hazardous waste days,” expressed Fontaine.

Fairfax is one of the few remaining towns in Vermont offering community-wide curbside trash pick-up.  It’s a service residents including Henry Raymond are use to, “I just think it’s tremendous advantage to just bring you’re trash out to the road and that’s it.”  Aaron Minor, manager of his family store Minor’s Country Store said, “If we go to separate vendors, we’d end up having 3 or 4 different vendors in town, I think it would be good in a way that people would be more conscientious of what they throw away and force them to recycle a little more.”

Minor admits joining the waste district could encourage people to cut down on waste, but thinks driving to the closest trash facility in Georgia is an inconvenience.

Voters will decide if they want to pay a $32 a month increase. If so Casella waste will take over trash pick up and cover Act 148 requirements.  “These are major decisions, some people may look at it as oh it’s just trash, but you’ve got to take it seriously,” stated Minor.

So Fairfax residents have a lot to consider, a possible $32 increase for hiring Casella; whether or not they want to hire their own trash haulers, which is estimated to be about $40 a month; or whether they want to make the drive to Georgia to drop off their own trash.  We’ll find out their answers March 1st.

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