Garbage Math

by Robert Cohen Wrentham, MA

There’s a proposal circulating around town to cut out trash pick up to “save” money. Currently the town spends approximately $800,000 on this service. We have approximately 3500 homes in Wrentham. That works out to about $229 a year per family, or $19 per month, and it is included in our taxes.

Since we won’t stop making trash, the responsibility for its removal will fall on individual residents in the form of private carting companies. The cost of paying for this service privately is approximately $40 a month.

Do the math: 12 x $40 = $480 a year. $480 x 3500 = $1,680,000.

That’s what? A bit more than double to go private? And when you think about it, we end up paying three times as much because we will not be getting a tax abatement equal to the portion of our taxes formerly devoted to trash pick up. Plus, we have to build and staff a transfer station. Has anyone given thought to the costs for this?  Or the impact on the neighborhood in which it is sited?

How does that save us money?

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