Letter: ‘Please Stop Penny-Pinching’

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Fellow New Canaanites,

I know it seems like a minuscule thing to some, but given the severity of the storm [Tuesday], there are many limbs and branches that have come down in our yards. My husband was up early this morning and loading the truck with these things and went to the Transfer Station to drop off our one load of the day (which I gather was the determination from the last meeting with our elected officials). However he was over the 300-ton limit and had to pay for the whole load.

Not even the amount over 300.

When is this nickel and dime-ing going to stop? We as residents of this town care about our properties and some of us don’t have gardeners that take care of them, we do it ourselves.

There will be numerous residents of town doing exactly as my husband did Wednesday morning (cleaning up their yards after a storm) and will be outraged at having to pay extra for their runs to the Transfer Station.

I have written before, would our town elected officials like us to start dragging our debris from these storms down to the road and leave it there for town trucks to come pick up? Similar to the convenience you allow with leaves in the fall for those close to town?

With property values starting to come back would this be a good look for our town? Or please stop penny-pinching and just let us take our debris to the Transfer Station with no limits on the amount of debris we need to bring to clean up our yards.

Concerned resident of New Canaan for 28 years,

Carol Howe

4 thoughts on “Letter: ‘Please Stop Penny-Pinching’

  1. Mrs Howe

    I feel your pain. Like you, I interpreted the recent action by the Town Council on bulky waste fees to mean 300 lbs per resident/household was free, whether brush or construction waste. As you know, the area for the latter is on the other side of the brush area, all of 25 feet. Otherwise, they sure seem like the same kind of waste to me, namely stuff that can’t just be ‘dumped’ in one of the containers in front before you go to the scale.

    In any event, I just went to the Town website and checked the pricing for bulky waste. Your husband was appropriately charged according to the posted schedule, at least my reading of it.

    However, absent the exact language of what was voted on by the Town Council, I can’t say if the posted pricing and the nuances between the fees for brush and construction debris is consistent with what was discussed and voted upon, particularly the ‘free’ 300 lbs per day that we thought we were permitted to ‘dump’ as residents.

    Michael, perhaps you could publish the Town Council minutes/proceedings in question along with the posted pricing and let us all see how consistent or inconsistent the pricing is with what was voted on by the Town Council?

    Admittedly, this issue pales by comparison to the storm-induced state of emergency, never mind Covid-19. Dealing with it in due course, though, would be appreciated, particularly given the recent history and controversy about ‘dump’ fees.

    Thank you, Mrs Howe for raising this question and Michael for your hoped-for follow-through.

    Peter Accinno

    • Peter this was a Board of Selectmen decision, not the Town Council. The selectmen updated the policy at the July 21 meeting. The discussion starts around the 42:00 mark bookmarked here: https://youtu.be/jUhd9Fht9BU?t=2513. You will note that the public works director clarifies (around the 50:00 mark) that the policy has been to allow the first 300 pounds of bulky weight free, but to charge for the whole load if a person has 500 pounds. When it is suggested to make a change to that—for example, whereby someone with 500 pounds of debris would get the first 300 pounds free and pay for 200—the first selectman says, “I would not do it that way. We have got to be careful that we do something on the fly here that we have not thought through.”

  2. Michael

    Scratch my latest reply. Can now see your entire reply. Checked the ref on the video. Am now totally confused. Will re-review in the AM, the video/your follow-on article and the published fees.

    Now seems to me that if you brought 299 lbs of one type of debris on your single visit, you would pay nothing. However, if you had 301 lbs of that same debris, you pay for the whole load.


    Peter Accinno

  3. If i remove carpeting from my house but it requires 5 trips to the transfer station because i can only fit a load in my back seat, I will have to go back over the course of 4 additional weekends if i have work work during the week. My neighbors get to look at rotting carpet in my driveway for those days between

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