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Town of Lockport plans to start using recycling totes next year

LOCKPORT – The town expects to switch to a recycling system similar to that used in the City of Lockport next year, Supervisor Mark C. Crocker said last week.

But other details of a new garbage system are undetermined, and the town is seeking the opinion of its residents.

Crocker said that in the next three weeks, all of the roughly 5,200 single-family homes in the town will receive a postcard survey in the mail. Return postage will be prepaid, Crocker said, and the town is hoping that all residents will answer the short questionnaire and mail it back.

The town’s contract with Waste Management to pick up its trash and recyclables will expire at the end of the year, and the town expects to seek new bids this summer, Town Attorney Michael J. Norris said.

Crocker said, “We, as a Town Board, have already looked at the two-week recycling, and we like it.”

He was referring to the practice in the City of Lockport and several other area communities in which a large wheeled tote for recyclables is provided to each customer, and its contents are collected every two weeks.

At present, the town still uses 18-gallon recycling bins whose contents are collected every week. The tote would be 64 or 65 gallons, depending on the model chosen, Crocker said.

“There are grants out there for bins, but to my knowledge, they won’t cover the whole cost,” Crocker said.

The city bought totes and imposed a semiannual user fee. It sought a grant from the state to reimburse the cost of the totes, but the $200,000 grant didn’t arrive until late last year, four years after the program began.

Town residents have been paying a single refuse fee as part of their annual tax bill; this year, it was $174.15.

It has not yet determined whether the town will provide residents with totes for nonrecyclable weekly garbage, as the city did. “The questionnaire will indicate whether people are open to different sizes,” Crocker said.

The town might offer tote choices of about 65 or 95 gallons for both recycling and regular trash. Or there’s a chance the town might skip totes for regular garbage and let the residents continue to put their trash at the curb in bags or cans.

Waste Management collects up to six containers per week, each weighing up to 60 pounds, and one large item is permitted per week. The city’s current contract with Modern Disposal requires all trash to be in the wheeled totes and allows only one large item per month.

“We don’t want to change the one large item per week,” Crocker said.