‘The Bottom Fell Out’: New Canaan Sees Steep Increase in Cost of Recyclables Disposal

Saying a dramatic turn in the recyclables market is hitting the town, officials last week approved a $197,000 one-year contract with a Stamford company to haul and dispose of glass, plastic, paper and other materials discarded at the Transfer Station. The hauling of recyclables has “changed considerably in the last couple of years” due in part to a problem with glass that breaks in the single-stream system, so that where towns such as New Canaan “used to make a little bit of money,” they’re “now getting charged a lot of money to get rid of it,” according to Don Smith, assistant superintendent of solid waste with the Department of Public Works. “China is no longer taking it,” Smith told members of the Board of Selectmen at their Dec. 4 meeting, held at Town Hall. “They are just trying to find markets to get rid of it, and a lot of people don’t want it.”

The changing market is increasing New Canaan’s recycling costs by about five times, officials said.

State Halts Natural Gas Roadworks on South Avenue, Officials Say

State officials have halted the roadworks on South Avenue overseen by Eversource as part of the natural gas main installation, and it won’t resume until midweek next week at the earliest, officials said Tuesday. A small stretch of the main at Bank Street “is posing a problem for them [Eversource and Ferreira Construction] with the state,” according to New Canaan Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “The material that they are replacing the trench with is wet—wetter than the state would like,” Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting. 

“It has been raining every other day, so the material stockpiles are wet and there is not much that the contractor can do for it,” he said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. 

The parties have a meeting next week and Eversource officials hope to resume their work on Tuesday, Mann said. The rest of this week is out because the state doesn’t allow work the day before or after a holiday (both Bank Street and South Avenue are state roads). “We are pushing winter and the fact that the asphalt plants will closing Dec.

Traffic Officials Respond to Church Street Residents’ Call To Eliminate New Double-Yellow Centerline

Voicing frustration at times during a meeting with traffic officials Tuesday, residents of Church Street agreed to wait until next year to find out whether a double-yellow line recently painted down the center of their road could be nixed from future post-paving plans. Since a new centerline appeared on Church Street last month, residents have said it’s speeding up motor vehicle traffic and is out of character with their neighborhood. 

Andy Towers told members of the Traffic Calming Work Group during a special meeting that local Realtors also have been unanimous in their feedback that “living on double-yellow line road is less desirable for people and their families than one that is not.”

“Certainly we are all concerned with kids and the pets and everybody and I understand and respect that you guys have a job to do,” Towers said at the meeting, held in the New Canaan Police Department’s training room. 

“The reality is this attacks our bottom line if the perception from the people that are in the business is that people don’t want to or are less apt to buy houses on streets with a double-yellow line and all of our net stakes are connected to that, I would think there would be recourse for our group to address that. It just seems as though, what is the difference between throwing down two yellow lines in the middle of the road and saying you owe us $200,000, you owe us 6 percent or 5 percent or whatever the numbers are? You are hacking into the value of our property. There is no question about it.

Town Approves $72,000 To Repave Park Street Lot Driveways, Fix Drainage Problem

Saying the town has received multiple complaints about the driveways that flank the Park Street parking lot, officials last week approved up to about $72,000 to repave them and fix a drainage problem that’s affecting an abutting commercial property. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 at its regular meeting to approve a contract with a Norwalk company whose work will include redirecting drainage from the southern driveway that now affects a staircase behind the building at 125 Elm St. “We are headed into another winter season and we would like to get this work done and make the area passable,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the selectmen at their Nov. 6 meeting, held in Town Hall. 

“There is a pedestrian walkway, side staircase that is not owned by the town, that is maintained by a private property owner. He has had to go in and redo that staircase because of the drainage flowing off of our driveway onto his property.

Town To Install Additional Guiderails at Six Locations

Town officials last month approved a $107,000 contract with a Plainville-based company to install guiderails along the sides of the road at six locations in New Canaan. The Board of Selectmen at its Sept. 18 meeting voted 3-0 to approve the $107,170 contract with Eagle Fence and Guardrail, which includes $14,000 in contingency, plus $5,000 in for police protection for the work. The installations will be on Ponus Ridge, Frogtown Road, Clapboard Hill Road and Glen Drive, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “Two of these locations were actually given to us by a recent inspection done by the state,” Mann told the selectmen at their meeting, held in Town Hall.