ST. ALBANS CITY — The most heated topic of conversation at Monday night’s St. Albans City Council meeting was a proposal to regulate the collection of trash in the city.

Introducing the ordinance, St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud compared trash collection in the city to the wild west. “We’ve got close to a dozen haulers,” he said. “Every day is trash day.”

The proposed ordinance would have limited collection to two days per week – one for commercial collection and one for residential. It also would have limited the amount of time homeowners could put trash cans out to 48 hours between 9 a.m. the day before collection and 9 a.m. the day after.

Trash collection would have been limited to between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The proposal met with immediate opposition from Ward 2 Councilor Jim Pelkey, who said, “I do not like the fact that we are contracting individually with our trash haulers and then being told what day they can come and what hours.”

The offered ordinance also required that both trash and recyclables be stored in wheeled totes with lids.

How to regulate trash collection is a topic the city has been exploring for a few years, with much of the focus being on how to stop totes from being left out on the street for long periods of time and items from blowing out of them.

If containers of recyclables lack lids “you put them out on a windy day, all your recyclables will be gone,” noted Ward 6 Councilor Chad Spooner.

“I’ve had complaints about totes being left out year-round,” said Councilor Tim Hawkins, Ward 1, who has long advocated for a trash ordinance. He, too, mentioned every day looking like trash day, as well as overstuffed bins and trash blowing around.

The proposed ordinance, said Spooner, “is a watered down version of what we were talking about.”

“I can drive down my street and every day there’s totes out,” he added.

Councilor Marie Bessette, Ward 3, said that two local trash haulers are based in Burlington. “Why should they have to switch around all these customers to accommodate us?” she asked.

 

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