Officials explain nixing of SMART cart proposal
January 13, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — After the SMART Cart program was defeated at the Town Council meeting Monday, Jan. 10, councilors are beginning to look forward to future plans.
The program would have given each home a 40-gallon green container for their trash. The 120-gallon container that each home already had would be used solely for recycling. If a home produced more trash than could fit in the 40-gallon container, "party" bags could be bought.
The idea behind the program was to have people recycling more and disposing less. Southbridge's recycling rate is drastically lower than the state average. The state's recycling rate is 30 percent and the town's rate is 16 percent. If Southbridge had adopted the program, it would have been the 134th community in the state to have done so. More than 7,000 communities are part of the program across the country.
"People were really concerned about getting all of their trash into a 40-gallon container," said Southbridge Town Manager Christopher Clark. "Anytime a new program is offered, it's going to meet with some resistance. For a lot of people, change is hard. And you are always going to run into some people who oppose it just because they don't want that change."
At several recent Town Council meetings and hearings about the program, the idea of having multiple containers or larger containers for larger families was often discussed.
For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.