Guest Op-Ed: A good time to think about change by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr. of Everet

A good time to think about change
by Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr.

As I said last month in my inaugural address:  “This administration will not be afraid to tackle the tough obstacles, push for progress and work to achieve our long-term goals.”

We’re working hard to keep to these ideals, which is why it’s important we keep in constant communication over the projects, proposals, decisions and legislation we deliver to our residents.

We are doing our best to control costs and continue to deliver the best services.   In talking with my fellow Mayors, City Managers and colleagues from around the State, trash disposal, costs and implementation is a big topic in these circles.

One must consider the birds eye view and bigger picture facing our City.  With over forty thousand residents, close to eleven thousand households, all of us living in just about two square miles, we generate a lot of trash.  Basically, the trash gets calculated into fees by the ton.  The more tonnage we create, the greater amount that we pay in fees. These are costs that keep escalating, costs that again affect your tax dollars.  Our vibrant recycling program helps minimize the tonnage, however we still seem to be paying more than we should.

Which is why we are introducing a new proposal for waste disposal.  The plan is similar to what Mayor McGlynn instituted in Medford, and similar to bigger cities and counties across the country.

Each household and small business will receive one (1), 64-Gallon container for Trash, to complement the ninety-gallon container for Recycling, which you will be allowed to use for trash disposal each week.

We’ll have a number of options for our seniors, who either live alone or do not need the large container.  There will also be options for renting additional bins or allotting “grace periods” for the few times a year we need to throw away more than expected.

So what are the positives?  First, the containers will help control how many tons go into our system, helping us truly calculate what we will spend every year in trash fees.  Second, it will encourage more recycling. Recycling generates revenue for the City as well as great incentives for residents through Recylebank.  The more we recycle the less gets thrown into the trash.  Third – cleanliness. No more ripped up bags on the streets from weather or rodents.  Less litter means a healthier and cleaner city.

With this new waste management system we will see a major improvement both in our bottom line and in our ability to offer services.  A uniform system will help departments from Inspectional Services to Accounting do their jobs more effectively.  While this proposal is one small piece in a large puzzle, the more we introduce better ways to get the job done; at the end of the day we all reap the benefits of change.

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