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Hooksett could save $80k on garbage

HOOKSETT - The new automated waste collection program rolled out this month could save the town $80,000 by the end of the year, said recycling and transfer superintendent Diane Boyce.

While trash disposal from the transfer station costs the town $74 a ton, Boyce said, there is no cost for disposing of recyclables.

'In fact, right now we're making a small revenue on it,' she said. 'We bring our recycling to Allied Waste Service in Hooksett, and they pay us $10 a ton for it. The money you make off it is just a bonus. It's the money you're saving that's the big thing.'

After two weeks of the new system, the town's recycling rate has jumped from 8 percent to 33 percent, Boyce said.

She attributes this increase to the convenience of single-stream recycling, picked up curbside. Previously, residents wishing to recycle had to bring their separated cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and metals to the transfer station in bins.

That changed earlier this month when the town distributed two 65-gallon carts to each home, one for trash and one for all types of recyclables. Both barrels are picked up by collectors driving new trucks equipped with automated arms to lift and empty the barrels.

Boyce says she hopes to see an even greater increase as people become acclimated to the waste collection program.

Although some residents initially voiced concerns that one barrel for garbage and one for recyclables would not provide enough space, Boyce said she's received mostly positive feedback thus far.

'People got a little too nervous when they were used to having six barrels out and then were going down to two barrels,' she said. 'But these barrels are quite large and they do fit quite a bit. I think most people are finding it a lot easier than they'd thought.'

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