You Ask, Patch Answers: Is New Recycling Pickup a Two-Man Operation?
We answer one reader's query about the number of workers on recycling pickup trucks.
The new curbside recycling program has now been in effect in North Kingstown for nearly one month. The new program shifts residents from the green and blue, two-bin system to a single, 96-gallon bin picked up every other week began Dec. 1.
These new bins are supposed to be picked up by an automatic system, instead of being manually picked up. To help further cut costs, only one person is needed to operate the truck.
But, one reader noticed that when the new contractors arrived to pick up his recycling, there were two workers on the truck instead of one. Was there a change in contract? What is this costing North Kingstown's taxpayers?
According to Public Works Director Phil Bergeron, one of the two trucks servicing North Kingstown was experiencing mechanical problems earlier this month that rendered the automatic function of the truck inoperable. This mechanical problem forced Waster Haulers (the private contractor tasked with handling the town's curbside recycling program) to assign two workers instead of one to that truck.
Though these two workers had the unfortunate task of having to unload the 96-gallon bins by hand, Bergeron said the problem should be remedied by the end of the month.
Luckily, this snafu won't cost anything to North Kingstown's taxpayers. Bergeron said the financial responsibility for fixing the problem and manning the truck falls on Waste Haulers and won't burden taxpayers.
With the first full cycle of the new recycling program under way, Bergeron says the town is already seeing the benefits. Even residents who were against the switch and refused to participate in the program have called the Department of Public Works and asked to have a bin sent to their home.
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