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Automated trash pickups coming to Porter

Fri, Aug 14th 2020 12:40 pm

Staff Reports

Town of Porter residents can look forward to some changes in their garbage services as a result of a new refuse arrangement between the town and Modern Disposal Services Inc.

According to a letter from Modern over the past week, residential properties throughout the town will soon be receiving new, 96-gallon wheeled trash carts to allow for weekly automated trash pickups.

“The Town of Porter is improving the garbage and recycling collection residents receive,” the letter said. According to the mailer, the new system will see:

•Long-term cost containment for the town residents;

•A new wheeled trash cart provided by the town;

•Convenient curbside collection of three bulk items each quarter; and

•The availability of disposal solutions for town residents requiring additional service.

The new program will utilize automated side load collection of the special trash totes by Modern on a resident’s regular garbage pickup day and eliminate the actual pickup of streetside garbage bags by Modern’s collection crews. Loose garbage bags will no longer be picked up.

Modern currently collects 64-gallon totes for biweekly recycling pickups.

“The new program will not impact the current every other week collection schedule,” the Modern letter said.

Modern spokesman Joe Hickman said the Town of Porter contracted with Modern to provide the town its garbage disposal services through a formal bid process. He said the practice of municipalities utilizing automated trash pickups is becoming increasingly common throughout western New York state.

“The town specified service requirements in their bid document; Modern responded with (its) automated collection of carts,” he said.

Hickman said Lockport has been utilizing automated trash pickups since 2010, and six additional Niagara County communities – including Cambria, Pendleton, Newfane, Summerset, Barker and Middleport – are now considering automated collection services.

“It’s moving throughout the county,” he said.

Porter Supervisor John “Duffy” Johnston said the change to automated trash pickups continues to 2026. He said Modern and the town had been discussing the move to carts for some time and both saw mid-year as the opportune time for the change to carts.

“The biggest reason (for this change) is because of COVID and the oil prices dropping. The carts went from $56 to $42.50. So we saved $23,000 on (acquiring) the carts” at this time,” Johnston said. “We saved $23,000 by buying the carts early. We saved almost $50,000 by moving this up” (to mid-summer, versus January 2021, as originally planned).

Hickman said that, starting the week of Aug. 24, the company the town purchased the new totes from will start distributing new, 96-gallon wheeled trash carts, coded for the individual property for disposal of the resident’s trash. Residents can begin using them as soon as they receive them.

Pickups of individual trash bags placed streetside at residences will discontinue, with all pickups to be done solely via the automated system.

“It has to be in town-issued carts,” Hickman said.

Johnston said each residence would be furnished with one 96-gallon trash tote at no charge, and that additional containers for larger families would be available at a cost of $55 per unit from the town. The new offering will be available for single-family residences, duplexes and triplexes. Residential properties of four or more units (apartment buildings) would be deemed commercial and are not eligible for the 96-gallon trash carts.

Hickman said that, for larger families who may have extra garbage for pickup on their collection day, the town will have “additional capacity tags” at a cost of $5 per tag for residential users. The resident will place the tag on the extra trash and Modern would pick it up.

Those who may be in need an additional 96-gallon cart, as well as those desiring the additional capacity tags, should contact Porter Town Hall at 745-3730 for more information, Hickman said.

With regard to bulk trash pickups, Hickman said the 2020 fourth-quarter bulk collection will be Saturday, Dec. 12. For the balance of August, residents would be able leave bulk trash on their respective pickup day, he said.

For more information on the town’s new solid waste and recycling program, residents should visit the Town of Porter website at www.townofporter.net or contact Town Hall at the above number. Information can also be found at Modern’s website, www.modercorporation.com, or by calling its local customer service department at 800-330-7107.

In other news from the town:

•Following a public hearing this week that saw limited comment, the Porter Town Board approved an amendment to its property maintenance law covering residences. Under the title of “Weeds and Grass” the measure states, “Premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds and plant growth in excess of 10 inches in average height. Noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation other than trees and shrubs, provided, however this does not include cultivated flowers and gardens.”

It further says property owners found in violation of the measure would first be served a notice to comply and then be subject to prosecution – including payment to the town for addressing violations.

Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction (town) or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property to the Town of Porter. The fee for the remediation of overgrown weeds and grasses shall be established by the Town Board and amended from time to time.

Town Building Inspector Peter Jeffery explained, “Our current property maintenance law doesn’t specifically say that the town has the authority to go in mow properties that have become overgrown after they have been noticed appropriately.”

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