After re-negotiating specifics, the New Windsor Fair Trash Reduction pilot program — which was put on hold last month — is now set to start on Nov. 1.

During the eight-month pilot phase of the Fair Trash Reduction, or FuTuRe, program, residents of New Windsor will pay for what they throw away in the trash, but not for what they recycle, with a system that treats trash disposal like metered utilities.


At the town’s last council meeting on Monday, New Windsor county staff discussed two controversial parts of the program: who would receive the revenue from the bags and whether the county’s tipping fee for trash could be waived.

“We are still willing to continue working with county staff to implement the pilot program, so long as it is in the best interest of the town and the citizens of New Windsor,” Mayor Neal Roop said.

Commissioners green light pay-as-you-throw pilot in New Windsor, but question timing

Residents of New Windsor will pay for what they throw away in the trash, but not for what they recycle, with a system that treats trash disposal like metered utilities.

“I was trying to get the money from the bags,” he said this week, “and get the tipping fee waived or not charged this period. And that was maybe asking too much, but I felt like if I don't ask, I'm not going to have any chance of getting it.”

The final decision reached Monday was that the county and Waste Zero — the company contracted to provide the garbage bags and assist in trash reduction — would receive the profits from the bags and waive the town’s tipping fee for trash throughout the duration of the pilot program.

The 15-gallon bags will cost 60 cents and the larger, 30-gallon bags will cost $1.20 — with 20 cents from the smaller bags and 30 cents from the larger bags going back to Waste Zero for their production of the bags and the remainder going to the county.

But the agreements didn’t come without a struggle.

In late August, county staff asked the Board of County Commissioners to put the program on hold after questions arose regarding where profits from the pilot would go, and whether or not encouraging trash reduction and recycling increases was a fiscally responsible move with demand for recycling on a steady decline.

“With the current market conditions with recycling, and costs that the county is incurring to run the pilot program, at this point we will request the project be placed on hold until the market has become better,” Public Works Director Jeff Castonguay said at the Aug. 31 commissioners meeting.

In addition to those concerns, Roop said last week he would have been remiss not to try to get a better deal for his town — which could have ended up with increased trash and recycling costs.

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New Windsor's former town manager writes that the town deserves credit, not blame, from Carroll County's commissioners, when it comes to the FuTuRe pay-as-you-throw trash program.

Trash hauling and disposal costs

This year the town of New Windsor entered into a contract with Ecology Services Refuse & Recycling, its new trash hauler. Their services will cost the town about $53,000 for the 2019 fiscal year, according to Town Manager Gary Dye.

In addition to the hauling fee, Dye said the town pays the county $64 per ton of garbage sent to the landfill, and gets recycling for free.

With a three-year average of 500 tons of trash dropped off at the county landfill annually, the cost for this year would come to about $32,000 for the town of New Windsor.

But even though the town doesn’t pay for recycling, the county does. It pays $50 per ton — which sparked Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4, to bring his concerns to the BOCC meeting about whether or not increasing recycling is fiscally responsible.

It also sparked concerns from the New Windsor Town Council that the county could start charging the town for recycling.


“What kind of guarantee does the town have in the event we go into this wholeheartedly and people start recycling like wild and the county decides it’s costing them too much money and they want to start charging for recycling?” Councilman Dave Hoffman asked at the Sept. 5 meeting.

A more immediate concern, Roop said, was that since the town was giving its residents back what they paid in taxes for trash — $35 gift cards so they can purchase the Waste Zero trash bags from the local 7-Eleven, and “pay as they throw” — the town would still have to pay the $64 per ton tipping fee to the county, on top of the hauling costs, while the profits from the pilot went back to Waste Zero and the county.

That’s about $85,000 annually — a price paid with $21,525 less in revenue from the town’s residents since about 615 gift cards would be issued refunding the tax money.

Going forward

With the county agreeing to waive the tipping fee for trash, the town will be able to save the money it would have spent on the disposal — but New Windsor’s town manager said it doesn’t really add up.

“Waste Zero is getting their cut for making the bags and the county is getting the rest,” Dye told the Times this week. “So that money is going to the county to cover what they’re not getting from the town for the tipping fee.

“In your opinion are they waiving the tipping fee?” he asked. “It’s not costing the town anything more, other than a lot of aggravation.”

Disagreements and calculations aside, the pilot program is back on track and slated to begin in New Windsor on Nov. 1.

Waste Zero will be issuing brochures and the town will make more information available as the start date for the program nears.