It finally seems safe to say that spring is here.
All over West Hartford, residents can be found in their yards, priming the grass for its growing season, cleaning up debris left by winter’s storms, pulling out dead bushes, and even planting hardy annuals like pansies.
It’s important to ensure that all yard waste created by weekend warriors is disposed of properly. Yard waste – which is a state-mandated recycling item – must be put into 30-gallon biodegradable yard waste bags and placed at the curb.
While very few residents make the mistake of placing yard waste in their blue recycling barrels, unfortunately many appear to dispose of this material in the trash. In the past, West Hartford’s Department of Public Works has seen a substantial spike of 36 percent in the weight of refuse during the growing season – an incredible increase of 455 tons per month! If it continues, that increase in refuse tonnage from an average of 1,260 per month in the winter to 1,715 tons in warmer months will cost taxpayers $27,400 per month extra in tipping fees.
Other seasonal activities likely contribute, but it’s estimated that 75 percent of the increase is caused by residents throwing yard waste into the trash. And in past years the amount of recycled material has declined by 8.4 percent during the growing season, reducing the rebate received by the town.
Here are the facts:
Small pieces of brush, leaves, thatch, and dead plant matter should be disposed of in 30-gallon biodegradable bags as part of the SPRING YARD WASTE COLLECTION. Dirt (please shake it off the dead plants), rocks, and metal objects cannot be placed in the bags. Yard waste collection will take place during the weeks of April 21-25 (Earth Week!), May 12-16, and June 2-6. Bags should be placed at the curb (not in the road or sidewalk) by 6 a.m. on your regular collection day.
Larger branches should be bundled separately and also placed at the curb to be included in the SPRING YARD WASTE COLLECTION. To be included, branches must measure less than 4 inches in diameter and cut to 4 feet or less in length. Bundles should be tied with biodegradable rope or twine and must weigh less than 60 lbs.
Residents may also bring yard waste (including branches too large for bundled pick-up) directly to the EnviroCycle recycling center, 25 Brixton St. Hours of operation are found on the Town of West Hartford website under the Department of Public Works tab. Permits are required and can be purchased at the Public Works office, 17 Brixton St. Residents may also apply for a permit online at https://220.127.116.11/yardwaste/index.php.
Plastic pots and trays used to transport plants can be RECYCLED in the blue barrel.
Broken garden tools, other plastics (like plant markers), empty bags from seed or fertilizer, and other small debris that cannot be treated as yard waste should go into the TRASH.
Large objects (old patio furniture, lawn mowers, grills) are considered BULKY ITEMS, and residents must obtain a permit for pick-up by Paine’s, West Hartford’s trash and recycling hauler, by calling 860-844-3000 or online under the Public Works tab. Warning: If you purchase a permit for pick-up of bulky items you must pay for it even if your discarded items are “trash-picked” and become someone else’s treasure.
Any questions? Email them to Dave Gabriele at email@example.com.
Recycle This, Trash That, is a community outreach program for the Town of West Hartford funded by Covanta Industries, the town’s trash-to-energy facility. Ronni Newton is contracted as the recycling campaign editor for the Public Works Department in the Town of West Hartford.