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Town of West Hartford Surveying Residents about Trash and Recycling Management

Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The Town of West Hartford has launched a survey of the entire community to obtain input about trash and recycling management.

West Hartford recycling bin. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

By Ronni Newton

The Town of West Hartford has launched a new survey as the Department of Public Works continues to explore solutions to reduce the amount of residential trash generated in the community, as well as to decrease the environmental impact of food waste which is currently burned in incinerators or buried in landfills.

For more than a year, nearly 700 households in the Morley neighborhood have been participating in a pilot program for food waste collection program that also includes piloting unit-based pricing. Director of Public Works John Phillips told the Town Council’s Public Works, Facilities and Sustainability Committee at its last meeting, on May 2, that even with a current participation rate of 43.8%, an average of 1.27 tons of food waste are being diverted by these households – which would work out to 66 tons on an annual basis.

“We would appreciate your feedback on how we move forward. Your participation in this survey is crucial, and your input will greatly contribute to shaping the future of waste management in West Hartford,” states the introduction to the online survey, which was launched last week.

Consideration is being given to expanding the pilot program town-wide, funded by a grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The Town Council would need to vote to accept the grant prior to launching the program.

The survey takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes, and in addition to collecting demographic information about respondents asks about current habits and satisfaction with current trash and recycling options. The survey also asks respondents about how important they believe it is to personally take action and for the town to take action to reduce the amount of trash being generated, as well as how important they feel it is for the town to collect food waste. There are also questions about what would be essential regarding a collection program – for example should it be free and/or voluntary – and whether the respondent feels it is critical to take action now or wait until forced to do so.

The survey includes multiple opportunities to offer narrative responses with thoughts and suggestions.

To participate in the survey, click here. The survey closes on Thursday, May 23 and the town is hoping for a large number of responses.

More information about the waste reduction pilot in West Hartford can be found on the town’s website.

Recycling barre and trash barrel. Courtesy photo

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1 Comment

  • The way this survey is written is very manipulative and I’m very disappointed in our town government. Food waste collection is nice in theory, but if it’s “free” it will raise property taxes even more. If you’re a renter and think that doesn’t affect you, higher property tax leads to higher rents. Also, we are already paying for trash removal in our taxes and should not have to pay extra when we already have such high property taxes. I seriously doubt they are planning on lowering taxes when they introduce fee-based trash collection.

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