The New Windsor Town Council met Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 and discussed the pay-as-you-throw pilot program.
The New Windsor Town Council met Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 and discussed the pay-as-you-throw pilot program. (Emily Chappell/STAFF PHOTO)

With less than a month until the New Windsor Fair Trash Reduction pilot program — a pay-as-you-throw metered trash program — begins, some New Windsor residents are still expressing concerns and disdain over the pilot.

During a Wednesday night council meeting, a handful of individuals spoke to the council, citing frustration over bag costs, and saying that many in the town felt the same way. Some community members said the issue should be taken to a town vote before it goes into effect.


Rachel Harper, who lives in New Windsor, said with a child in daycare, high water bills and other bills, having to pay for bags for pay-as-you-throw is just one more expense.

“We’re barely making ends meet,” she said.

She also spoke about having a toddler, and because the child is still in diapers, her family throws out more trash.

“This doesn’t seem like this is very good for people with large families,” she added.

And while some of her concerns may seem like small things, she said, it’s clear listening to others and reading the comments on Facebook that the town doesn’t want the program.

“Nobody else wanted this so why do we have to take it because nobody else wanted it?” she asked.

The program in question, which is set to begin next month, will be an eight-month pilot where residents of New Windsor will pay for what they throw away in the trash, but not for what they recycle.

Last month, it was decided — after some back and forth — 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.

The town has agreed to give $35 gift cards to residents so they can purchase the Waste Zero trash bags from the local 7-Eleven.

New Windsor pay-as-you-throw program to start Nov. 1

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

At Wednesday’s meeting, Harper said she’s already heard people say they’ll dump their trash illegally as opposed to participating in the pilot.

“It doesn't seem fair that we’re being subjected to this,” she said, adding “I’m not the only one that feels this way.”

Mayor Neal Roop said while New Windsor is participating in the pilot program now, it’s likely that this type of program will be mandatory countywide because Carroll is being required to reduce its trash rate.

Roop said he understand some — like Harper’s family — may have more trash because they have children, but that is why the council approved the $35 gift cards.

The town will look at about halfway through the program to see is having success, with the ultimate goal to lower taxes using money saved through the program.


“Hopefully we see major savings in that four- to five-month period,” he said.

And if there is success, after June 30 when the pilot ends, the town can take it over and use ad different company. Roop said there are already other companies contacting him saying they can work with the town and have bags that are cheaper.

Town council on county trash pilot program: 'Do they want the town of New Windsor to do this or not?'

Despite comments made at a recent Board of County Commissioners meeting, New Windsor council members wanted it known the town was not pulling out of the pilot, and still remained committed to participating in this phase of the Fair Trash Reduction, or FuTuRe, program.

Harper asked the town to put the issue to a town vote before implementing it.

“You’re driving people out of town with stuff like this,” she said.

But Roop said more people should have come out to town meetings as this was being discussed. And, he said, when people don’t show up, the council is left to make decisions.

“There are a lot of people that are in favor of this plan,” he added.

Another community member, George Burke, also spoke against the implementation of the pilot, saying he doesn’t like the program and doesn’t want it.

Burke said he wanted the town to work to get more of the community’s response on this before making a decision.

But Roop took issue with that, shooting back, “If that many people are upset with the pilot program, where are they?”

Councilwoman Kimberlee Schultz also responded, asking what more the town should be doing to communicate information.

The town has put information about the pilot in the newsletter, it’s been covered in the newspaper, it’s been on social media and it’s in the meeting minutes, she said.

“We have been talking about this for a year and now that we’ve made decision, everyone is upset with us,” she said, adding that as citizens, there is a responsibility to pay attention.

Schultz also said that the town can’t put every decision to a vote, adding “If you’re upset with us, you can vote three of us out in May.”

Councilman Edward Smith went further, and said people have said the town council should come door to door to inform people, which it can’t do, because they work full-time jobs. The one thing that cannot be said is that the information hasn’t been communicated, he said.

New Windsor pay-as-you-throw trash program put on hold

At the Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday, county staff announced the pilot pay-as-you-throw trash program slated to begin in New Windsor this fall is on hold.

Smith said he’s answered the same questions over and over again.

“It’s like dealing with children trying to get them to eat green beans and they say, ‘I don’t like it’ without having even tried it,” he said.

Smith also said he doesn’t like the concept of the program, but even he plans to try it and give it a shot.

Harper asked that if this program is moving forward, if the town could at least work with environmental groups to help community members how to compost.

“Teach me. I would like to do it,” she said. “I’ll do a lot if you work with me.”