The town will distribute 2,000 recycling barrels to Braintree homes this weekend as part of an effort to increase recycling, helping the environment and municipal finances.
Homeowners in the Highlands section of Braintree will receive the blue barrels on Saturday for use starting on Monday, the neighborhood's regular pickup day. Within a year every household should get the 32-gallon receptacles, Mayor Joseph Sullivan said, as part of an effort to help the environment and further reduce Braintree's waste costs.
Since instituting single-stream recycling three years ago, participation has increased by 14 percent. In fiscal year 2010, the town saved $144,000 by way of recycling rebates and taking waste out of the trash disposal operation, Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin .
"We believe we can do better," Sullivan said. "It's not only good for the environment, it's good for our finances."
Four crews from Capitol Waste will distribute the barrels in the Highlands this coming Saturday, weather permitting. Families can still use their existing bins for overflow.
This first batch of barrels cost about $34,000, or $17 per receptacle. The project was funded by recycling revenue that has been saved over the past two years, recycling coordinator Jeffrey Kunz said. As the participation rate increases, Sullivan added, town revenues will also go up.
Ultimately, the mayor said he would like to see Braintree have just one trash pickup day per week.
The next area to receive the barrels has not been selected yet, but may be a section of town with lower participation in order to analyze how the project works, Kunz said. Highlands is second or third in terms of participation.
"It's a win-win," District 6 Town Council Paul "Dan" Clifford said. "Braintree gets the financial benefit and residents get to participate in the ecological benefits."