At the beginning of the year we were enthusiastic about Meriden’s return to providing bulky waste pickup. It seemed like a small thing, but when residents started bringing it up it became anything but. The service had not been offered since 2006, so a pilot program that ended late last month was a source of encouragement.
“A dozen or so years ago a similar program ended in part because cooperation was lacking,” said a January 10 editorial. “Residents should recognize that this is an opportunity to restore it.”
That appears to now be on the horizon, with the city announcing at the end of the three-month pilot program that it will likely be brought back, in the late summer or autumn, when the Parks and Recreation Department will have fewer demands.
“The winter affords us a slower schedule but now with ball field prep, prep for the Daffodil Festival and grass cutting, we just don’t have the time to dedicate resources to it,” explained Chris Bourdon, Parks and Recreation director.
But that the program will return once the responsibilities of spring and summer abate should be encouraging news for residents. When the program stopped in 2006 there were issues stemming from people not quite understanding limitations. Residents would leave “mountains” of items, said Bourdon, which had “this domino effect of backing stuff up.”
The pilot program worked because residents got the message, with most following the rules: a limit of five items per household and not putting stuff out on the curb until 24 hours before the scheduled pickup.
The pilot program offered a pretty good deal. For $10, residents could set a time for pickup at the curb. When the program comes back that charge will likely be closer to the $40 it now costs for residents to discard items at the city’s transfer station on Evansville Avenue
Many residents will likely still consider that a bargain. It’s also a good deal when the city recognizes and responds to the interests of residents and residents in turn respond positively to an opportunity. In that respect bulky waste pickup has been a winner.